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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ GalbaView Options:  |  |  | 

Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.

Galba was governor of Hispania Tarraconensis when he was proclaimed emperor by his troops. The Senate recognized his authority in Jul 68. His avarice, ruthlessness, and refusal to pay a promised donative to the praetorian guards made him unpopular. He was assassinated in a conspiracy plotted by Otho.


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The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
SH84074. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 388 (S), BMCRE I 70, Cohen I 112, Cayon I 54, SRCV I 2118 var. (laureate head right), Hunter I 23 var. (same), aVF, excellent portrait, attractive dark sea-green patina, shallow old cuts on the reverse, areas of corrosion, weight 23.372 g, maximum diameter 35.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. Oct 68 A.D; obverse SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P, laureate and draped bust right; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA (freedom of the people), Liberty standing half left, pileus liberatis in right hand, rod in left hand and cradled in left arm, S - C (Senatus Consulto) flanking across field at center; scarce; $570.00 (€507.30)
 


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In the spring of 68, Galba was informed of Nero's intention to put him to death. On 2 April 68, at Carthago Nova, Galba declared himself the "representative of the Roman people" and received salutation by the troops as Imperator. This was not quite a claim to the throne, but was clearly rebellion. This rare denarius is from a small issue struck in Gaul during the period after Galba's salutation as imperator, but before his recognition as Augustus in mid-June. On the reverse Galba claims he will achieve Victory for the Roman people.
BB76887. Silver denarius, RIC I 111 (R2), BMCRE I 227, RSC II 322, BnF III -, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, aVF, toned, scratch, light corrosion, weight 3.352 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Gaul (Narbo?) mint, c. 10 April - mid Jun 68 A.D.; obverse SER GALBA IMPERATOR (counter-clockwise from lower right), laureate and draped bust right; reverse VICTORIA P R (counter-clockwise from upper left), Victory standing left on globe, wreath in right hand, palm frond in her left; rare; $360.00 (€320.40)
 


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The reverse inscription abbreviates Senatus Populusque Romanus Ob Cives Servatos, meaning "[Awarded by] the senate and the Roman people for saving citizens." The wreath on the reverse is the corona civica, the oak wreath awarded to Roman citizens ex senatus consulto (by special decree of the Senate) for saving the life of another citizen by slaying an enemy in battle. It became a prerogative for Roman emperors to be awarded the Civic Crown, originating with Augustus, who was awarded it in 27 B.C. for saving the lives of citizens by ending the series of civil wars.
SH37553. Gold aureus, RIC I 164, Cohen I 286, SRCV I 2093, BnF III 72, gF, weight 6.975 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, Aug - Oct 68 A.D.; obverse IMP SER GALBA AVG, bare head right; reverse S P Q R / OB C S in two lines within oak wreath (corona civica); rare; SOLD







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

CAESARAVGGALBAIMP
GALBACAESARAVGPM
GALBAIMP
GALBAIMPER
GALBAIMPERAT
GALBAIMPERATOR
IMPGALBA
IMPGALBACAESARAVGPP
IMPSGALBA
IMPSERGALBA
IMPSERGALBAAVG
IMPSERGALBAAVGPM
IMPSERGALBAAVGTRP
IMPSERGALBAAVGVSTVS
IMPSERGALBACAEAVGTRP
IMPSERGALBACAESAR
IMPSERGALBACAESARAVG
IMPSERGALBACAESARAVGPM
IMPSERGALBACAESAVGPMTRP
IMPSERGALBACAESAVGPONMTRP
IMPSERGALBACAESAVGTRP
IMPSERSVLPGALBACAESAVGTRP
IMPSERSVLPIGALBACAESAVGTRP
IMPSERSVLPICGALBACAESAVGTRP
IMPSERSVLPICIVSGALBACAESARAVG
SEAGALBAEHISPANIA
SERGALBACAESARAVG
SERGALBACAESARAVGPMTRP
SERGALBAAVG
SERGALBAAVGIMP
SERGALBAIMP
SERGALBAIMPAVG
SERGALBAIMPAVGVSTVS
SERGALBAIMPCAESARAVGPMTP
SERGALBAIMPCAESARAVGPMTRPPP
SERGALBAIMPCAESARAVGPMTRPOT
SERGALBAIMPCAESARAVGPOMATRP
SERGALBAIMPCAESARAVGPONMATRP
SERGALBAIMPCAESARAVGPONTMAXTRP
SERGALBAIMPCAESARAVGTRP
SERGALBAIMPCAESAVG
SERGALBAIMPCAESAVGPMTRP
SERGALBAIMPCAESAVGTRP
SERGALBAIMPERATOR
SERGALBEIMPERATOR
SERSVLPICGALBACAESAVGTRP
SERSVLPICGALBAIMPCAESARAVGPMTRP
SERSVLPICIGALBAEIMPA
SERSVLPICIVSGALBA
SERSVLPICIVSGALBAIMPAVG
SERSVLPIGALBAIMPCAEAVGPMTRP
SERSVLPIGALBAIMPCAESARAVGPMTRP
SERSVLPIGALBAIMPCAESARAVGTRP
SERVGALBAIMP
SERVIVSGALBAIMPERATOR
SGALBAIMP


REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Calicó, E. Xavier. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, De Claude Ier à Vespasien (41-78 après J.-C.), et au temps de Clodius Albinus (196-197 après J.-C.). Numismatique Romaine XX. (Wetteren, 2000).
Giard, Jean-Baptiste. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulèvement de 68 après J.-C. a Nerva. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
King, C.E. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Kraay, C.M. The Aes Coinage of Galba. ANSNNM 133. (1956).
Mattingly, H. and R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, David R. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C.H.V. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, April 24, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Galba