[3 BCE - 69
Wealthy & influential patrician, who as
governor of Spain orchestrated the rebellion that precipitated the fall of Nero
(68 CE). Servius Sulpicius Galba's political career had been favored by
all previous emperors of the house of Caesar.
And Nero himself had appointed him to his post as governor. But fearing
that the emperor was plotting his assassination, Galba encouraged Vindex,
the Roman governor of Lyons to revolt & used his influence to rally
political & military support for him. The conjunction of Nero's
suicide & Vindex's defeat paved the way for Galba to be the first
Roman who was not directly related to the house of Caesar to be proclaimed
emperor by the Senate. But once in office (June 68 CE) his puritanical
policies rapidly lost him support. Instead of currying the favor of
the Senate and military, he concentrated on a sweeping purge of Senators
and other highly placed officials of Nero's administration, including the
officers of the Praetorian guard who had guaranteed his succession. His
favoritism for the Gallic troops who had rebelled against Nero alienated
the legions in Germany who had defeated Vindex. When the 72 year old
emperor by-passed his most influential supporter in the Senate, Otho,
to designate another successor, the imperial guard killed him & his
heir and proclaimed Otho emperor (Jan 69 CE). Instead of capitalizing
on widespread opposition to Nero's regime, Galba's policies only plunged Rome
deeper into civil war.
_____, War 4.494-499, 546.
of Caesars: Galba.
Other resources on line:
It is uncertain
whether this silver tetradrachma
minted at Antioch in early 69 CE was
or after Galba's assassination. The Greek
inscription surrounding the portrait of the ill-fated emperor
reads (clockwise from the bottom left): Autokratoris Servios
Galbas Sebastos ["of Emperor Servius Galba
Augustus"]. For high resolution images of this
& an earlier coin issued by Galba, see Joseph Sermarini's excellent numismatic website Forum
on the World of Jesus
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