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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Twelve Caesars| ▸ |Galba||View 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.


Roman Civil War, Vitellius, c. 69 A.D.

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This coin is M71 in Butcher, K. & M. Pointing, The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage: From the Reform of Nero to the Reform of Trajan (Cambridge, 2015). There is a tiny drill hole on the edge where silver was extracted for testing. This was an important coin in the study, with test results indicating 93.9% silver bullion and Gallic isotope ratios strongly suggesting similarity with other Vitellius coins from Gallia, not coins minted for Galba.
RS86684. Silver denarius, Butcher-Pointing M71 (this coin), RIC I Civil Wars 121, BMCRE I 65, RSC I Galba 363, BnF I 75, Martin 7, EF, toned, tight flan, light corrosion, test drill hole on edge, weight 3.127 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Southern Gaul(?) mint, c. 69 A.D.; obverse clasped hands, FIDES above, EXERCITVVM below; reverse clasped hands, FIDES above, PRAETORIANORVM curving along the edge below; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Helios, auction 4 (Munich, 14 Oct 2009), lot 270; ex Coll. A. Lynn collection; ex Classical Numismatic Group, auction 54 (14 June 2000), lot 1484; ex P. DeVicci collection; rare; $1170.00 (€1029.60)
 


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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.
RB89529. Bronze dupondius, RIC I 137 (R), BnF III 263 var. (rev. legend from lower left), SRCV I 136 var. (same), Cohen I 163 var. (same), BMCRE I -, aF, well centered, rough from corrosion, edge split, weight 11.454 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. Dec 68 - 15 Jan 69 A.D; obverse SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P P P (or similar), laureate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse LIBERTAS PVBLICA (freedom of the people, clockwise, from upper right), Liberty standing half left, pileus in right hand, rod in left hand, S - C (senatus consulto) across fields; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


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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. 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. 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, J. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulèvement de 68 après J.-C. a Nerva. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
King, C. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Kraay, C. The Aes Coinage of Galba. ANSNNM 133. (1956).
Mattingly, H. & R. 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. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C. 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 Sunday, October 20, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Galba