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.
Whilst Galba was governor of Tarraconesis he became an ally of Vindex in the revolt against Nero. Following Nero’s suicide, Galba marched on Rome and was declared emperor by the Senate. Dio Cassius relates that Galba put great emphasis on how the Senate had bestowed power on him, and that he had not claimed it for himself.
Dio Cassius also comments on Galba’s heavy taxation of the Empire, and his contrasting thriftiness which made him unpopular with the people. He refused to pay the Praetorians, on account of his aversion to ‘buying loyalty; despite having promised to do so, which caused a rift between the emperor and his guards. Otho seized the opportunity created by this hostility, and bribed the Praetorians to murder Galba which they did in January 69, after a reign of seven months. Otho was quickly declared the new Roman emperor. Galba’s short reign marked the first in a succession of leaders known as ‘the year of the four Roman emperors.’
The obverse of this denarius depicts a bold and powerful portrait bust of Emperor Galba, skillfully engraved and artfully executed in the finest of Roman realism. The coins reverse depicts the legend SPQR, which is an abbreviation for the ancient Republican Roman Latin phrase Senātus Populusque Rōmānus (“The Roman Senate and People of Rome”), referring to the Republican government in which Roman society believed all authority came from the people of Rome. The SPQR Republican tradition was carried into the Imperial period, but was used by emperors more for propaganda rather than the original political ideal of the Senate as Roman citizenship representation.
Bare head of Galba, right
IMP SER GALBA AVG
SPQR OB C S, in two lines in oak wreath
SPQR OB C S
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.