Galba, who was governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, rebelled against Nero who was declared a public enemy by the senate and committed suicide. On the same day, Galba was recognized as emperor.
This issue was hand struck in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (ancient Roman province Philippopolis). It goes without saying you always get the exact item in the picture.
The ‘three Gauls’ had been among Rome’s most coveted possessions ever since the region was brought into the Roman fold in the 1st Century B.C. Not only was it a considerable source of income to the Roman state, but Gaul also served as a buffer against Germans living north of the Rhine. Rome’s investment in the region, financial and otherwise, was immense, yet its returns were greater still. Thus, when Nero’s callous treatment of the Gauls sparked a revolt under Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, it was no trifling affair. Legions were dispatched from Upper Germany with the utmost urgency, and they defeated the largely civilian army that Vindex had assembled in his hour of desperation. The death of Vindex was a double-edged sword for Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, whose uprising had been encouraged and supported by the defeated Gauls. Suetonius (Galba 11) tells us that upon learning of Vindex’s defeat Galba thought his cause was lost and he considered taking his own life, only to be spared that fate once he learned of Nero’s suicide and of the decision by the senate and the people to support him as the next emperor. It is perhaps fair to suggest that had Vindex and the governor of Aquitania not beseeched Galba to rise up against Nero, it is unlikely he would have done it of his own accord. Thus, Galba owed a debt of gratitude to the Gauls for his being hailed emperor, and he repaid them by lowering their tribute to the government and by increasing their rights to Roman citizenship. With this denarius type Galba honours Gaul with one of the most distinctive of all Roman coin designs, which pairs an image of Galba on horseback with three busts representing the ‘three Gauls’ – Gallia Aquitania, Gallia Belgica and Gallia Lugdunensis. Together, they comprised most of Gallia transalpina, a region the Romans also called Gallia Comata (‘long-haired Gaul’) due to the comparatively wild appearance of its inhabitants. To the south of this region was Gallia Narbonensis, which skirted the Mediterreanan coast from the Pyrenees to the Alps. As Rome’s gateway to Spain, this area had been pacified earlier than the Celtic regions to the north. Pliny praised this part of Gaul for its wealth and civilization, going so far as to describe it as ”…second to no other province, it is, in fact, not a province at all, it is Italy.” Closer still to Rome was Gallia Cisalpina (Gallia Togata), which comprised northern Italy. Originally this region was divided into Gallia Transpadane and Gallia Cispadane, provinces separated at the River Po. The two, however, were united into one province before the region was incorporated into Italy.
Galba on horseback, right
IMP SER GALBA
Three female busts in a row right, representing the three Gauls (Gallia Aquitania, Gallia Belgica, and Gallia Lugdunensis); globe at point of each bust
TRES GALLIAE in ex
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