Galba, 68-69. Aureus (Gold, 21 mm, 7.20 g, 6 h), Rome, July 68-January 69. IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG P M Laureate head of Galba to right. Rev. DIVA AVGVSTA Livia standing front, head to left, holding patera in her right hand and long scepter in her left. BMC -. Calicó 474. Cohen 57. RIC 223. Rare and with an excellent pedigree. A bold and very attractive piece with a lovely portrait struck on an exceptionally large flan. Minor bumps on the ear and the reverse edge, and with light doubling on the reverse, otherwise, good very fine.
From the collections of Regierungsrat Dr. iur. Hans Krähenbühl, W. Niggeler, Bank Leu/Münzen & Medaillen AG, 2-3 November 1967, 1136, Kommerzienrat H. Otto, Hess 207, 1 December 1931, 988 and M.P. Vautier & Prof. M. Collignon, Naville II, 12-14 June 1922, 383.
Lucius Livius Ocella Servius Sulpicius Galba, or just Galba, as we know him, was the antithesis to Nero. Born in 3 BC into an old consular senatorial family, Galba was renowned for his adherence to the mos maiorum, the conservative Roman virtues of discipline, hard work, justice, piety and devotion to public service. Despite his disgust for the excesses of the later Julio-Claudian emperors, Galba had a successful political and military career and served, among others, as legate and governor in various provinces, even receiving the ornamenta triumphalia in 46 for his victories in Germany and Africa. In the year 60, Galba became the governor of the important Spanish province Tarraconensis. It was there that he somewhat reluctantly made his bid for power following the news about Vindex's revolt against Nero in 68.
Calling himself legatus Senatus Populique Romani, Galba refused to attempt to take the throne without the consent of the Senate, and it was only when the Senate officially acknowledged his rule on June 8 (an event which led to Nero's suicide on the following day) that he accepted the imperial titles of Imperator and Augustus. The respect Galba demonstrated to the venerable Senate was typical of his honorable and modest character, but his severity and strict discipline eventually contributed to his downfall, as the Praetorians turned against him when Otho offered them a large bribe in early 69.