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Galba denarius, 68-69 AD
Seventh of the 12 Caesars and first emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors.
Galba (24 December 3 BC – 15 January 69) was Roman Emperor for the seven months period between June 8, 68 and his murder. Galba became Praetor in 20, consul in 33 and distinguished himself as a capable military officer in provincial campaigns. Nero assigned him governor to the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. In 68 Galba was alerted of Nero's intention to eliminate him but as events played out military support for Galba led to Nero committing suicide. Galba had not distinguishing leadership capabilities or populist flair. Although his position depended on military backing he made the self destructing decision to stop paying the praetorians in his efforts to restore state finances. On January 1, 69, two Germania Superior legions refused loyalty to Galba and on the next day a rebellion of the Germania Inferior legions led to the declaration of Vitellius as emperor. Meanwhile Otho entered into communication with the discontented Praetorians proclaiming him as their emperor. Galba was met by a troop of Otho's cavalry and was killed near Lacus Curtius (a mysterious hole in the ground in the Roman Forum). According to Plutarch, during Galba's last moments he offered his neck and said, "Strike if it be for the good of the Romans!" Obverse Galba IMP SER GALBA AVG. Reverse legend SPQR/OB/CS within an oak wreath.
Mint: Rome
Provenance: Private acquisition

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