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Search results - "galba"
galba~0.jpg
26 viewssalem
DenPSulpicioGalba.jpg
38 viewsAR Denarius - P. SVLPICIVS GALBA - 69 BC - Gens Sulpicia
Obv.: Veiled head of Vesta right; S.C behind
Rev.: Knife, simpulum and ornamented axe; AE CVR in field, P GALB in ex.
Gs. 3,8 mm. 18,6
Cr406/1, Sear RCV 345

Maxentius
REVERSESl.jpg
123 viewsThis "Otho" with "VÍCTORIA PR" reverse is an ingenious fabrication created by the famous forger "Tardani". He had obviously realized that there were a few VICTORIA OTHONIS dies recut from Galba's VICTORIA PR dies and created this fictitious but possible coin with copies of real dies. I used to have this coin and another with the same dies is in the Berlin coin cabinet. Both are overweight, around 3.9 gr. It took some time to find a Galba minted with this particular reverse die but finally I succeeded. The final proof is seen in this coin, there are a few regions were the die has broken, ie before the die ever could have been used for an Otho coin. The coin is quite convincing because of the dies, but the surfaces were a bit strange and the legends unusual in profile.jmuona
Vindex_denarius.jpg
6.75 Revolt of Vindex53 viewsRevolt Against Nero, Gaius Iulius Vindex, Governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, c. Late 67 - May 68 A.D.

Struck by Gaius Iulius Vindex, the Roman governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, who rebelled against Nero's tax policy and declared allegiance to Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, as the new emperor. Vindex was defeated and killed in battle near Vesontio (modern Besançon), but the military continued to support Galba. On 9 June 68, deserted by the Praetorian Guard, Nero stabbed himself in the throat.

Silver denarius, Unpublished, civil war restitution of Augustus, gF, porosity, marks, uncertain (Lugdunum?) mint, weight 3.167g, maximum diameter 19.0mm, die axis 180o, c. late 67 - May 68 A.D.; obverse CAESAR, bare head of Augustus right; reverse AVGVSTVS, young bull walking right, head turned facing; ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 6, lot 321; only two examples known to Forum

Purchased from FORVM
2 commentsSosius
GALBA_TAG.jpg
7 9 viewsSosius
Galba_As_RIC_324.jpg
7 Galba65 viewsGalba.
AD 68-69. Æ As (28mm, 10.30 g, 6h). Rome mint.
Struck circa August–October AD 68.
Laureate head left / Ceres seated left, holding grain ears and caduceus.
RIC I 324 var. (bust right); ACG –. Good Fine, brown patina, porous surfaces. Rare with bust left.
From the Dr. Robert A. Kilmarx Collection.
Ex CNG - Nov 2013
4 commentsSosius
Galba_RIC_232.jpg
7 Galba28 viewsGALBA
AR Denarius (17mm, 3.13 g, 6h).
Rome mint. Struck circa July AD 68-January AD 69.

O: Laureate head right

R: Salus standing left, right foot on globe, sacrificing from patera over altar and holding rudder.

RIC I 232; RSC 240. Fine, toned.

Ex CNG
RI0035
1 commentsSosius
image~0.jpg
7 Galba35 viewsGalba. A.D.
68-69 AD
Æ as (27 mm, 10.29 g, 6 h). Rome.

O: IMP SER SVLP GALBA CAES AVG TR P, laureate head of Galba right

R: LIBERTAS PVBLICA, S C across fields, Libertas standing left, holding pileus and scepter.

RIC 328 var. (bare head); BMC 144; BN 160 (same dies). Dark brown and green patina, light roughness.

Good fine.

Ex Triskeles Auctions
RI0040
Sosius
normal_Galba_Alex_Tet~0.jpg
7 Galba 36 viewsGalba
Billon Tetradrachm of Alexandria.
Year 1 = 68 AD.
ΛΟΥΚ ΛΙΒ ΣΟΥΛΠ ΓΑΛΒΑ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒ, laureate head right, LA before / ΕΛΕΥ-ΘΕΡΙΑ, Eleutheria standing half-left, holding wreath and sceptre, and leaning on column.
Köln 220, milne 311
Ex Nilus Coins
RE0001
1 commentsSosius
Galba_Sestertius.jpg
7 Galba52 viewsGalba AE Sestertius (34mm, 24.69g).
Rome mint. Struck AD 68.
SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG TR P. Laureate and draped bust right / SPQR OB CIV SER within oak wreath.
RIC I 405

Ex Artifact Man Ancient Coins
2 commentsSosius
Galba_RIC_420.jpg
6 Galba AE As15 viewsGALBA
AE As

O: SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P, laureate head right

R: CERES AVGVSTA S C, Ceres, draped, seated left holding 2 corn ears and torch.

RIC 420 aF, rough surfaces, red encrustations on Galba's face. Rare
Sosius
Galba_RIC_366.jpg
6 Galba AE As19 viewsGALBA
AE As

O: IMP SER GALBA CAES AVG P M TR P, laureate head right

R: LIBERTAS PVBLICA S C, Libertas, draped, standing left with pileus and vertical rod.

RIC 366 F/VG, holed
RI0036
Sosius
rjb_galb_02_06.jpg
6832 viewsGalba 68-9 AD
AE as
Obv "IMP SER GALBA CAES AVG PM TRP"
Bare bust right
Rev "VESTA SC"
Vesta seated left
Rome mint
RIC - (cf 375-6)
mauseus
normal_galba_diva_aug_b_res~0.jpg
(00040C) LIVIA (with Galba)25 views(wife of Augustus; mother of Tiberius; grandmother of Claudius; b. 58 BC - d. 29 AD)
struck 68 - 69 AD (posthumous issue)
AR Denarius 3.15 g
O: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG laureate head right
R: DIVA AVGVSTA Livia standing right, holding patera and scepter
Rome, RIC 186
laney
galba~0.jpg
(07) GALBA40 viewsÆ As 27.5 mm 9.43 g
ca. October 68 AD
O: SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P Laureate head right.
R: LIBERTAS PVBLICA Libertas standing, head left, holding cap, S-C
RIC 445v
ROME
laney
GALBA_RED.jpg
(07) GALBA35 viewsGALBA
69 AD
AE Dupondius
29.5 mm 11.73 g
O: IMP SER GALBA AVG TR P, laureate head right
R: LIBERTAS PVBLICA S C, Libertas standing left, holding pileus and scepter
laney
galba_diva_aug_b_res.jpg
(07) GALBA40 views68 - 69 AD
AR Denarius 3.15 g
O: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG laureate head right
R: DIVA AVGVSTA Livia standing right, holding patera and scepter
Rome, RIC 186
1 commentslaney
galba_alexandria_tet_b.jpg
(07) GALBA31 views 68 - 69 AD
Billon Tetradrachm, 25mm, 12.52 grams
O: Laureate head of Galba right, LA below chin.
R: EI PH NH, Veiled and draped bust of Eirene right, kerykeion over shoulder.
Egypt, Alexandria MintEmmett171 // RPC5328 // Dattari302 // Koln219 // K&G17.3
2 commentslaney
galba_antioch.jpg
(07) GALBA19 views68-69 AD
AE22 (7.16 g), Antioch, Syria.
Obv. IMP SER GALBA CAE AVG, Laureate head to right.
Rev. S C within large wreath.
Antioch, Syria. McAlee 314 (same dies); RPC I 4315var (obv. legend)
From the Richard McAlee Collection
Rare, only the second known to McAlee. Very fine.

laney
galba_libertas.jpg
(07) GALBA23 viewsGALBA
69 AD
AE Dupondius
29.5 mm 11.73 g
O: IMP SER GALBA AVG TR P, laureate head right
R: LIBERTAS PVBLICA S C, Libertas standing left, holding pileus and scepter
laney
LPisoFrugiDenarius_S235.jpg
(502a) Roman Republic, L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, 90 B.C.157 viewsSilver denarius, S 235, Calpurnia 11, Crawford 340/1, Syd 663a, VF, rainbow toning, Rome mint, 3.772g, 18.5mm, 180o, 90 B.C. obverse: laureate head of Apollo right, scorpion behind; Reverse naked horseman galloping right holding palm, L PISO FRVGI and control number CXI below; ex-CNA XV 6/5/91, #443. Ex FORVM.


A portion of the following text is a passage taken from the excellent article “The Calpurnii and Roman Family History: An Analysis of the Piso Frugi Coin in the Joel Handshu Collection at the College of Charleston,” by Chance W. Cook:

In the Roman world, particularly prior to the inception of the principate, moneyers were allotted a high degree of latitude to mint their coins as they saw fit. The tres viri monetales, the three men in charge of minting coins, who served one-year terms, often emblazoned their coins with an incredible variety of images and inscriptions reflecting the grandeur, history, and religion of Rome. Yet also prominent are references to personal or familial accomplishments; in this manner coins were also a means by which the tres viri monetales could honor their forbearers. Most obvious from an analysis of the Piso Frugi denarius is the respect and admiration that Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, who minted the coin, had for his ancestors. For the images he selected for his dies relate directly to the lofty deeds performed by his Calpurnii forbearers in the century prior to his term as moneyer. The Calpurnii were present at many of the watershed events in the late Republic and had long distinguished themselves in serving the state, becoming an influential and well-respected family whose defense of traditional Roman values cannot be doubted.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, who was moneyer in 90 B.C., depicted Apollo on the obverse and the galloping horseman on the reverse, as does his son Gaius. However, all of L. Piso Frugi’s coins have lettering similar to “L-PISO-FRVGI” on the reverse, quite disparate from his son Gaius’ derivations of “C-PISO-L-F-FRV.”

Moreover, C. Piso Frugi coins are noted as possessing “superior workmanship” to those produced by L. Piso Frugi.

The Frugi cognomen, which became hereditary, was first given to L. Calpurnius Piso, consul in 133 B.C., for his integrity and overall moral virtue. Cicero is noted as saying that frugal men possessed the three cardinal Stoic virtues of bravery, justice, and wisdom; indeed in the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, a synonym of frugalitas is bonus, generically meaning “good” but also implying virtuous behavior. Gary Forsythe notes that Cicero would sometimes invoke L. Calpurnius Piso’s name at the beginning of speeches as “a paragon of moral rectitude” for his audience.

L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi’s inclusion of the laureled head of Apollo, essentially the same obverse die used by his son Gaius (c. 67 B.C.), was due to his family’s important role in the establishment of the Ludi Apollinares, the Games of Apollo, which were first instituted in 212 B.C. at the height of Hannibal’s invasion of Italy during the Second Punic War. By that time, Hannibal had crushed Roman armies at Cannae, seized Tarentum and was invading Campania.

Games had been used throughout Roman history as a means of allaying the fears
of the populace and distracting them from issues at hand; the Ludi Apollinares were no different. Forsythe follows the traditional interpretation that in 211 B.C., when C. Calpurnius Piso was praetor, he became the chief magistrate in Rome while both consuls were absent and the three other praetors were sent on military expeditions against Hannibal.

At this juncture, he put forth a motion in the Senate to make the Ludi Apollinares a yearly event, which was passed; the Ludi Apollinares did indeed become an important festival, eventually spanning eight days in the later Republic. However, this interpretation is debatable; H.H. Scullard suggests that the games were not made permanent until 208 B.C. after a severe plague prompted the Senate to make them a fixture on the calendar. The Senators believed Apollo would serve as a “healing god” for the people of Rome.

Nonetheless, the Calpurnii obviously believed their ancestor had played an integral role in the establishment of the Ludi Apollinares and thus prominently displayed
the head or bust of Apollo on the obverse of the coins they minted.

The meaning of the galloping horseman found on the reverse of the L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi coin is more complicated. It is possible that this is yet another reference to the Ludi Apollinares. Chariot races in the Circus Maximus were a major component of the games, along with animal hunts and theatrical performances.

A more intriguing possibility is that the horseman is a reference to C. Calpurnius Piso, son of the Calpurnius Piso who is said to have founded the Ludi Apollinares. This C. Calpurnius Piso was given a military command in 186 B.C. to quell a revolt in Spain. He was victorious, restoring order to the province and also gaining significant wealth in the process.

Upon his return to Rome in 184, he was granted a triumph by the Senate and eventually erected an arch on the Capitoline Hill celebrating his victory. Of course
the arch prominently displayed the Calpurnius name. Piso, however, was not an infantry commander; he led the cavalry.

The difficulty in accepting C. Calpurnius Piso’s victory in Spain as the impetus for the galloping horseman image is that not all of C. Piso Frugi’s coins depict the horseman or cavalryman carrying the palm, which is a symbol of victory. One is inclined to believe that the victory palm would be prominent in all of the coins minted by C. Piso Frugi (the son of L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi) if it indeed signified the great triumph of C. Calpurnius Piso in 186 B.C. Yet the palm’s appearance is clearly not a direct reference to military feats of C. Piso Frugi’s day. As noted, it is accepted that his coins were minted in 67 B.C.; in that year, the major victory by Roman forces was Pompey’s swift defeat of the pirates throughout the Mediterranean.

Chrestomathy: Annual Review of Undergraduate Research at the College of Charleston. Volume 1, 2002: pp. 1-10© 2002 by the College of Charleston, Charleston SC 29424, USA.All rights to be retained by the author.
http://www.cofc.edu/chrestomathy/vol1/cook.pdf


There are six (debatably seven) prominent Romans who have been known to posterity as Lucius Calpurnius Piso:

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi: (d. 261 A.D.) a Roman usurper, whose existence is
questionable, based on the unreliable Historia Augusta.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Licinianus: deputy Roman Emperor, 10 January 69 to15 January
69, appointed by Galba.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 27 A.D.

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 1 B.C., augur

Lucius Calpurnius Piso: Consul in 15 B.C., pontifex

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus: Consul in 58 B.C. (the uncle of Julius Caesar)

Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi: Moneyer in 90 B.C. (our man)


All but one (or two--if you believe in the existence of "Frugi the usurper" ca. 261 A.D.) of these gentlemen lack the Frugi cognomen, indicating they are not from the same direct lineage as our moneyer, though all are Calpurnii.

Calpurnius Piso Frugi's massive issue was intended to support the war against the Marsic Confederation. The type has numerous variations and control marks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Calpurnius_Piso
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/indexfrm.asp?vpar=55&pos=0

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


2 commentsCleisthenes
Galba.jpg
*SOLD*35 viewsGalba Copper As

Attribution: RIC I 431, Cohen 274, rare
Date: AD 68-69
Obverse: SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG PON MA TR P, laureate head r.
Reverse: legionary eagle on thunderbolt between two military standards, S-C across fields
Size: 26.7 mm
Weight: 9.2 grams
ex-Forvm
1 commentsNoah
Galba_-_AE_As_Tarraco_mint.jpg
*SOLD*37 viewsGalba AE As

Attribution: Tarraco mint, Rare
Date: AD 68
Obvese: SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P P P, laureate head r., globe at point of bust
Reverse: DIVA AVGVSTA, Livia standing l., holding patera & scepter
Noah
NeroDECVRSIOSestertiusRome.JPG
005. Nero 54-68AD. AE Sestertius, Rome mint, 63AD. DECVRSIO. 38.6mm193 viewsObv. Laureate ead right, wearing aegis NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR P IMP P P
Rev. Nero on horseback prancing right, wearing cuirass, short tunic, and billowing cloak, spear in right hand, to right soldier moving right. carrying vexillum; to leftin shallow relief, soldier running right DECVRSIO in ex
BMCRE 155; Cohen 94, RIC I 176 var (obv legend)
38.6mm, 180o, 63 A.D. Rome mint.
This sestertius was an early emission from the Rome Mint, which resumed striking bronze after about 10 years of inactivity. The talented engraver, perhaps with extra time for this initial project, produced one of the best dies in the entire imperial bronze series. The special style, complemented by superior execution, has similarities to later medallions.


The fine expressive portrait has higher relief than the more common Lugdunum issues.
The reverse uses the roundness of the flan and three geometric planes of relief to both present the scene in a format that draws the eye to the emperor and show movement that is lacking on almost all other Roman coins. The rare use of geometric planes was repeated on ADLOCVTIO sestertii of Galba five years later, perhaps the work of the same artist. Rome sestertii after 70 A.D. are of far less impressive style.


The lack of SC leaves the reverse fields uncluttered. SC stood for Senatus Consultum, "By Decree of the Senate" and signified the role of the Senate in the minting of brass and bronze coinage. Many sestertii of Caligula and some brass and bronze of Nero lack SC. Subsequent issues include SC again, until inflation produced the demise of the sestertius under Gallienus, c. 265 AD
5 commentsLordBest
008.jpg
006 GALBA29 viewsEMPEROR: Galba
DENOMINATION: Denarius
OBVERSE: IMP SER GALBA AVG, bare head right
REVERSE: SPQR OB CS, legend in three lines within oak wreath
DATE: AD July 68 - January 69
MINT: Roma
WEIGHT: 3.45 g
RIC: I.167 (R)
Barnaba6
99101.jpg
007. Galba (68 AD - 69 AD)154 viewsGALBA. 68-69 AD.

Galba had displayed talent and ambition during his lengthy career. He enjoyed distinguished ancestry, moved easily among the Julio-Claudian emperors (with the exception of Nero towards the end of his principate), and had been awarded the highest military and religious honors of ancient Rome. His qualifications for the principate cannot be questioned. Even so, history has been unkind to him. Tacitus characterized Galba as "weak and old," a man "equal to the imperial office, if he had never held it." To be sure, Galba's greatest mistake lay in his general handling of the military. His treatment of the army in Upper Germany was heedless, his policy towards the praetorians short sighted. Given the climate in 68-69, Galba was unrealistic in expecting disciplina without paying the promised rewards.

AR Denarius (18mm, 2.97 gm). Rome mint. Bare head right / Legend in three lines within oak wreath. RIC I 167; RSC 287. Ex-CNG
2 commentsecoli73
99104.jpg
009. Vitellius 69 AD155 viewsVITELLIUS. 69 AD.

Without doubt, the most fortuitous moment in Vitellius' political career was his appointment as governor of Lower Germany by the emperor Galba late in 68.

Vitellius has not escaped the hostility of his biographers. While he may well have been gluttonous, his depiction as indolent, cruel, and extravagant is based almost entirely on the propaganda of his enemies. On the other hand, whatever moderating tendencies he did show were overshadowed by his clear lack of military expertise, a deficiency that forced him to rely in critical situations on largely inneffective lieutenants. As a result he was no match for his Flavian successors, and his humiliating demise was perfectly in keeping with the overall failure of his reign.

AR Denarius (20mm, 3.24 gm). Rome mint. Laureate head right / Tripod-lebes; dolphin above, raven below. RIC I 109; RSC 111. Ex-Cng
1 commentsecoli73
Galba_AR-Den_IMP-SER-GALBA-AVG_SPQR-OB-CS_RIC-167_p-241_C-287_Rome_68-69-AD_Rare_Q-001_axis-5h_17,5-18,5mm_3,33g-s.jpg
017 Galba (68-69 A.D.), RIC I 0167, Rome, AR-Denarius, SPQR/OB/CS in wreath,141 views017 Galba (68-69 A.D.), RIC I 0167, Rome, AR-Denarius, SPQR/OB/CS in wreath,
avers: IMP-SER-GALBA-AVG, bare head right.
revers: No legends, SPQR/OB/CS legend in three lines within oak wreath.
exerg: -/-//--, diameter: 17,5-18,5mm, weight: 3,33g, axes: 5h,
mint: Rome, date: 68-69 A.D., ref: RIC-167, p-241, C-287,
Q-001
quadrans
017,_Galba,_AE-As,_SER_GALBA__IMP_AVG,_LIBERTAS_PVBLICA,_RIC-372,_Rome,_68-69AD,_Rare,_Q-001,_6h,_25-27,5mm,_9,72g-s.jpg
017 Galba (68-69 A.D.), RIC I 0372, Rome, AE-As, S/C//--, LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing facing, head left,65 views017 Galba (68-69 A.D.), RIC I 0372, Rome, AE-As, S/C//--, LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing facing, head left,
avers: SER•GALBA IMP•AVG, Laureate head right, with a globe at point of bust.
reverse: LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing facing, head left, holding pileus in extended right hand, cradling vindicta in the left arm. S C across the field.
exergue: S/C//--, diameter: 25,0-27,5mm, weight: 9,72g, axes: 6h,
mint: Rome, date: 68-69 A.D., ref: RIC-372, p-,
Q-001
quadrans
19.jpg
019 Galba. AE AS 8.2gm36 viewsobv: SER GALBA IMP AVGVSTVS laur. head r.
rev: QVADRAGNS REMISSAE arch on r. surmounted by two equestrian statues,
to l. three captives, officer behind
1 commentshill132
0193.jpg
0193 - Denarius Sulpicia 69 BC41 viewsObv/ Veiled bust of Vesta r.; behind, S C.
Rev/ Knife, simpulum and axe; AE CVR in field; P GALB in ex.

Ag
Moneyer: P. Sulpicius Galba.
Mint: Rome.
RRC 406/1 - RSC I/Sulpicia 7.
ex-Jesús Vico, auction 140, lot 79.
dafnis
Personajes_Imperiales_2.jpg
02 - Personalities of the Empire58 viewsCalígula, Claudius, Britannicus , Agrippina jr., Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Domitila, Titus, Domitia and Julia Titi1 commentsmdelvalle
Galba-RIC-95.jpg
029. Galba.17 viewsDenarius, 68-69 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG / Laureate bust of Galba.
Reverse: DIVA AVGVSTA / Livia standing, holding patera and sceptre.
3.44 gm., 17 mm.
RIC #4, Sear #2102 var.

The DIVA AVGVSTA on the reverse of this coin is Livia. She was the second wife of Augustus, and the mother of Tiberius. She had a falling out with her son, and became the patroness of the young Galba. When she died, she left him a fortune in her will - certainly a reason to remember her on a coin several decades later.
Callimachus
IMG_6730.JPG
034. Galba (68-69 A.D.)22 viewsAv.: SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P P P
Rv.: LIBERTAS PVBLICA

AE As Ø27 / 12.2g
RIC 73 Spain Tarraco
Juancho
Galba.jpg
06 Galba50 viewsGalba Denarius. IMP SER GALBA AVG, bare head right / SPQR OB CS, legend in three lines within oak wreath. BMC 34, RSC 287, RIC 167. Weight 3.29 g. Die Axis 6 hr.

2 commentsmix_val
10624v.jpg
068 AD., Galba, Rome mint, Æ As, RIC 510.155 viewsGalba, Rome mint, 68 AD. (November),
Æ As (26-27 mm / 10.49 g),
Obv.: SER SVLPI GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P , laureate head of Galba right.
Rev.: S - C , Victoria walking left, r. holding wreath and l. palm.
RIC 510 .

my ancient coin database
2 commentsArminius
GalbaI375.jpg
068-069 AD - Galba - RIC I 375 - Vesta Reverse52 viewsEmperor: Galba (r. 68-69 AD)
Date: ca. October 68 AD
Condition: Fair
Denomination: As

Obverse: IMP SER GALBA CAES AVG TR P
Imperator Servius Galba Caesar Emperor Tribune
Bare head right

Reverse: VESTA (in exergue)
The Emperor looks after the state.
Vesta, draped, seated left on low chair, right holding palladium, left transverse sceptre.
S - C to left and right

Rome mint
RIC I Galba 375; VM 64
8.78g; 28.4mm; 180°
Pep
Galba,_RIC_204.jpg
07 01 Galba RIC 20449 viewsGalba. 8 June 68-15 Jan. 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. (3.22g, 19.3mm, 6 h). Obv: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG, bust, laureate draped right. Rev: ROMA RENASCES, Roma standing left, holding Victory on globe and transverse eagle tipped scepter. RIC 204. Ex HBJ.

Galba’s reign marked the end of the Julio-Claudian’s rule of Rome. Rated R3 in the RIC, this type appears fairly scarce with 2 examples in the Reka Devnia hoard, and only 2 in Berk’s photofile. Galba, the first of the 4 emperors of 69 A.D, was governor of Hispania Tarraconensis during Nero’s reign. He was assassinated after 7 months of rule and succeeded by his former supporter, Otho
3 commentsLucas H
Galba,_RIC_I_211.jpg
07 02 Galba, RIC I 21130 viewsGalba. AD 68-69. AR Denarius. Rome mint. (18mm, 2.88 g, 6h). Obv: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG, laureate head right. Rev: SALVS GEN HVMANI, Salus advancing left, foot on globe, holding patera over altar and carrying rudder. RIC I 211; RSC 238. CNG 264, lot 391.

According to the Roman Dictionary of Coins, this type alludes to Galba’s taking over revolt during Vindex’s revolt due to his high birth and political connections. The reverse inscription invokes the safety, health, and wellbeing of the human race.
Lucas H
Galba_RIC_I_168_Clashed_Dies.jpg
07 Galba RIC I 168 Clashed dies25 viewsGalba. AR Denarius. Rome Mint July 68- Jan. 69 A.D. (3.29g, 19.6m, 11h). Obv: IMP SER GALBA AVG, laureate head right. Rev: [SPQR/OB]/CS in three lines in oak-wreath. Reverse clashed dies. RIC I 168 (R). RSC 287a.

With complete obverse legends and a high relief portrait, the obverse is worn and the coin is on an oblong flan. The reason I added this to my collection is the reverse. I initially thought the reverse was an obverse brockage, which had been restruck. A more experienced collector pointed out it was produced by clashed dies. An interesting oddity.
Lucas H
Galba_RIC_I_189.jpg
07 Galba RIC I 18937 viewsGalba April 3-Jan. 15, 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint 69 A.D. (3.15g, 18.9m, 6h). Obv: [I]MP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG, laureate and draped bust right. Rev: [DI]VA AVGVSTA, Livia standing left, holding patera and scepter. RIC I 189, RSC 55a. ACCG IV, 59.

Upon Nero’s death, Galba was governor of Hispania Terraconensis, and marched to Rome. His short reign was ended by his murder in a plot hatched by Otho and the Praetorians. Many of his economic measures had been unpopular, including his refusal to “bribe” the Praetorians upon his ascension.
1 commentsLucas H
galba,_RIC_I_167.jpg
07 Galba, RIC I 16749 viewsGalba July, 68-Jan., 69. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. Aug-Oct 68 A.D. (3.07g, 17.8mm, 6h). Obv: IMP SER GALBA AVG, bare head right. Rev: SPQR OB CS in 3 lines within oak wreath. RIC I 167, RSC 287, Sear 2109.

Upon the death of Nero, Galba’s troops proclaimed him emperor on April 3, 68 A.D. Governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, he marched on Rome and assumed the throne, but was assassinated in a plot by Otho on January 15, 69 beginning the year of 4 emperors.
1 commentsLucas H
galbacomb.jpg
07. GALBA25 views69 AD
AE Dupondius
29.5 mm 11.73 g
O: IMP SER GALBA AVG TR P, laureate head right
R: LIBERTAS PVBLICA S C, Libertas standing left, holding pileus and scepter
laney
Otho_RIC_I_3_1.jpg
08 01 Otho RIC I 483 viewsOtho. 15 Jan. to April 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 69 A.D. (3.27g, 18.9mm, 6h). Obv: IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right. Obv: PAX ORBIS TERRARVM, Pax, draped, standing left, right holding branch, and left caduceus. RIC I 4, RCV 2156, RSC 3. Ex Warren Esty Personal Collection.

At 3 months, Otho had the shortest reign in the Year of the Four Emperors. During much of Nero’s reign, Otho administered Lusitania, and followed Galba when he marched on Rome. Upon Galba’s naming another as his successor to the throne, with some of the rankers of the Praetorian Guard, Otho staged a coup, had Galba murdered, and was declared Emperor.

THis is an odd reverse message for an emperor complicit in the murder of his one-time allie and predecessor Galba, while the legeons of Vitellius were Marching on Rome. PAX ORBIS TERRARVM "Peace on the Earth" is ironic given the civil war going on in Rome at the time.
5 commentsLucas H
Otho_RIC_I_12~0.jpg
08 02 Otho RIC I 1221 viewsOtho. 15 Jan. to April 69 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint. 69 A.D. (3.23, 18.5mm, 6h). Obv: IMP M OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head left. SECVRITAS P R, Securitas standing left, wreath in right, scepter in left. RIC I 12, RSC 19. Ex Forum.

While coins of Otho are fairly rare given the short length of his reign, this issue is perhaps more so with the left facing bust. (RIC 3). Otho supported Galba’s revolt, and then turned on Galba when he wasn't named Galba's heir. He committed suicide after his forces were defeated by those of Vitellius during the Year of the Four Emperors. A nicely centered and well toned coin.
Lucas H
12_caes_portraits_coll_res_lt.jpg
12 CAESARS PORTRAITS164 viewsObverse images from my collection.
R 1: Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula
R 2: Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho
R 3: Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian
2 commentslaney
RPC_2060_Nicaea_Neron.jpg
14-34 - Nicea - Bitinia - NERON (54 - 68 D.C.)17 viewsAE Dupondio 28 mm 10.8 gr.

Anv: "NERΩN KΛAUΔIOΣ KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ ΓEPM" - Busto a cabeza desnuda viendo a derecha. Contramarca "GALBA" en la cara.
Rev: "ΠOΠΠAIA ΣEBAΣTH;" - Popea, esposa de Nerón sedente en trono a derecha.

Ceca: Nicea - Bitinia

Referencias: RPC I #2060
mdelvalle
Denario GALBA RIC 167.jpg
15-01 - GALBA (2/04/68 - 15/01/69 D.C.)65 viewsAR Denario 17 mm 3.1 gr.

Anv: "[IMP S]ER - GALBA [AVG]" - Busto a cabeza desnuda viendo a derecha.
Rev: "SPQR / OB / C S" - Leyenda en tres líneas dentro de una corona de hojas de roble.

Acuñada Set./Dic. 68 D.C.
Ceca: Roma
Rareza: R

Referencias: RIC Vol.1 #167 Pag.241 - Sear RCTV Vol.1 #2093 var Pag.407 - BMCRE #34 - Cohen Vol.1 #287 var Pag.338 - DVM #28 Pag.93 - CBN #76 - Hunter #5 - RSC Vol. II #287 Pag.22
1 commentsmdelvalle
RIC_167_Denario_Galba.jpg
15-01 - GALBA (2/04/68 - 15/01/69 D.C.)21 viewsAR Denario 17 mm 3.1 gr.

Anv: "[IMP S]ER - GALBA [AVG]" - Busto a cabeza desnuda viendo a derecha.
Rev: "SPQR / OB / C S" - Leyenda en tres líneas dentro de una corona de hojas de roble.

Acuñada Set./Dic. 68 D.C.
Ceca: Roma
Rareza: R

Referencias: RIC Vol.1 #167 Pag.241 - Sear RCTV Vol.1 #2093 var Pag.407 - BMCRE #34 - Cohen Vol.1 #287 var Pag.338 - DVM #28 Pag.93 - CBN #76 - Hunter #5 - RSC Vol. II #287 Pag.22
mdelvalle
GalbaDenVictory.jpg
1at Galba31 views68-69

Denarius

Laureate head, right, SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P
Victory standing on globe, VICTORIA PR

RIC 111

Suetonius recorded: Servius Galba, the future emperor was born on the 24th of December, 3BC, in the consulship of Marcus Valerius Messala and Gnaeus Lentulus, at a hillside mansion near Terracina, on the left of the road to Fundi (Fondi). He was formally adopted by his stepmother Livia Ocellina, and took the name Livius and the surname Ocella, also changing his forename to Lucius, until he became Emperor.

It is common knowledge that when calling on Augustus to pay his respects, with other boys of his age, the Emperor pinched his cheek, and said in Greek: ‘You too will have a taste of power, my child.’ And when Tiberius heard the prophecy that Galba would be emperor in old age, he commented: ‘Well let him be, it’s no concern of mine.’

Galba achieved office before the usual age and as praetor (in 20AD), controlling the games at the Floralia, he was the first to introduce a display of tightrope-walking elephants. He next governed Aquitania, for almost a year, and not long afterwards held the consulship for six months (in 33AD). When Caligula was assassinated (in 41AD), Galba chose neutrality though many urged him to seize the opportunity for power. Claudius expressed his gratitude by including him among his intimate friends, and Galba was shown such consideration that the expedition to Britain was delayed to allow him to recover from a sudden but minor indisposition. Later he was proconsul in Africa for two years (44/45AD), being singled out, and so avoiding the usual lottery, to restore order in the province, which was riven by internecine rivalry and an indigenous revolt. He re-established peace, by the exercise of ruthless discipline, and the display of justice even in the most trifling matters. . . .

But when word from the City arrived that Nero was dead and that the people had sworn allegiance to him, he set aside the title of governor and assumed that of Caesar. He then began his march to Rome in a general’s cloak, with a dagger, hanging from his neck, at his chest, and did not resume the toga until his main rivals had been eliminated, namely the commander of the Praetorian Guard in Rome, Nymphidius Sabinus, and the commanders in Germany and Africa, Fonteius Capito and Clodius Macer. . . . His prestige and popularity were greater while winning power than wielding it, though he showed evidence of being a more than capable ruler, loved less, unfortunately, for his good qualities than he was hated for his bad ones.

He was even warned of the danger of imminent assassination, the day before his death, by a soothsayer, as he offered the morning sacrifice. Shortly afterwards he learnt that Otho had secured the Guards camp, and when his staff advised him to carry the day by his presence and prestige, by going there immediately, he opted instead to stay put, but gather a strong bodyguard of legionaries from their billets around the City. He did however don a linen corselet, though saying that frankly it would serve little against so many weapons. False reports, put about by the conspirators to lure him into appearing in public, deceived a few of his close supporters, who rashly told him the rebellion was over, the plotters overthrown, and that the rest of the troops were on their way to congratulate him and carry out his orders. So he went to meet them, with such confidence, that when a soldier boasted of killing Otho, he snapped out: ‘On whose authority?’ before hastening on to the Forum. The cavalrymen who had been ordered to find and kill him, who were spurring through the streets scattering the crowds of civilians, now caught sight of him in the distance and halted an instant before galloping towards him and cutting him down, while his staff ran for their lives.
Blindado
OthoDenSecuritas.jpg
1au Otho36 views69

Denarius
Bewigged head, right, IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P
Securitas stg., SECVRITAS P R

RIC 10

Suetonius wrote: Otho was born on the 28th of April 32 AD, in the consulship of Furius Camillus Arruntius and Domitius Ahenobarbus, Nero’s father. In early youth he was so profligate and insolent that he earned many a beating from his own father. . . . After his father died, he feigned love for an influential freedwoman at Court, though she was old and decrepit, in order to win her favour, and then used her to insinuate himself among the emperor’s friends, easily achieving the role of Nero’s chief favourite, not only because they were of a similar disposition, but also some say because of a sexual relationship. . . .

Otho had hoped to be adopted by Galba as his successor, and anticipated the announcement daily. But Piso was chosen, dashing Otho’s hopes, and causing him to resort to force, prompted not only by feelings of resentment but also by his mounting debts. He declared that frankly he would have to declare himself bankrupt, unless he became emperor. . . . When the moment was finally ripe, . . . his friends hoisted him on their shoulders and acclaimed him Emperor. Everyone they met joined the throng, as readily as if they were sworn accomplices and a part of the conspiracy, and that is how Otho arrived at his headquarters, amidst cheering and the brandishing of swords. He at once sent men to kill Galba and Piso. . . .

Meanwhile the army in Germany had sworn allegiance to Vitellius. When the news reached Otho he persuaded the Senate to send a deputation, advising the soldiers to maintain peace and order, since an emperor had already been chosen. However he also sent envoys with letters and personal messages, offering to share power with Vitellius, and marry his daughter. With civil war clearly inevitable, on the approach of Vitellius’s advance guard, who had marched on Rome led by their generals, . . . Otho began his campaign vigorously, and indeed too hastily. . . .

His army won three engagements, but of a minor nature, firstly in the Alps, then near Placentia, and finally at a place called Castor’s, and were ultimately defeated in a decisive and treacherous encounter at Betriacum (on the 14th April). . . . After this defeat, Otho resolved to commit suicide, more from feelings of shame, which many have thought justified, and a reluctance to continue the struggle with such high cost to life and property, than from any diffidence or fear of failure shown by his soldiers. . . . On waking at dawn (on the 16th of April, AD69), he promptly dealt himself a single knife-blow in the left side of his chest, and first concealing and then showing the wound to those who rushed in at the sound of his groaning, he breathed his last. . . . Otho was thirty-six years old when he died, on the ninety-second day of his reign. . . .

Neither his bodily form nor appearance suggested great courage. He is said to have been of medium height, bandy-legged and splay-footed, though as fastidious as a woman in personal matters. He had his body-hair plucked, and wore a toupee to cover his scanty locks, so well-made and so close-fitting that its presence was not apparent.
Blindado
VitelliusDenVesta.jpg
1av Vitellius42 views69

Denarius
Portrait, right, A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP TR P
Vesta std., PONT MAX

RIC 107

According to Suetonius: Lucius’s son Aulus, the future emperor, was born on the 24th of September 15AD, or according to some authorities on the 7th, during the consulship of Drusus Caesar and Norbanus Flaccus. . . . His boyhood and early youth were spent on Capreae (Capri) among Tiberius’s creatures, he himself being marked by the nickname of ‘Spintria’ (sex-token) throughout his life, and suspected of having secured his father’s first promotion to office by surrendering his own chastity. As he grew older, though contaminated by every kind of vice, Vitellius gained and kept a prominent place at court, winning Caligula’s friendship by his devotion to chariot-racing and Claudius’s by his love of dice. With Nero he was even closer. . . .

Honoured, as these emperors’ favourite, with high office in the priesthood, as well as political power, he governed Africa (under Nero, in 60/61AD) as proconsul, and was then Curator of Public Works (in 63AD), employing a contrasting approach, and with a contrasting effect on his reputation. In his province he acted with outstanding integrity over two successive years, since he served as deputy also to his brother who succeeded him (61/62AD) yet during his administration of the City he was said to have stolen various temple offerings and ornaments, and substituted brass and tin for the gold and silver in others. . . .

Contrary to all expectations, Galba appointed Vitellius to Lower Germany (in 68AD). Some think it was brought about by Titus Vinius, whose influence was powerful at that time, and whose friendship Vitellius had previously won through their mutual support for the ‘Blues’ in the Circus. But it is clear to everyone that Galba chose him as an act of contempt rather than favour, commenting that gluttons were among those least to be feared, and Vitellius’s endless appetite would now be able to sate itself on a province. . . .

He entered Rome to the sound of trumpets, surrounded by standards and banners, wearing a general’s cape, sword at his side, his officers in their military cloaks also, and the men with naked blades. With increasing disregard for the law, human or divine, he then assumed the office of High Priest on the anniversary of the Allia (18th July), arranged the elections for the next ten years, and made himself consul for life. . . .

Vitellius’s worst vices were cruelty and gluttony. . . . By the eighth month of his reign (November 69AD) the legions in Moesia and Pannonia had repudiated Vitellius, and sworn allegiance to Vespasian despite his absence, following those of Syria and Judaea who had done so in Vespasian’s presence. . . .

The vanguard of Vespasian’s army had now forced its way into the Palace, unopposed, and the soldiers were ransacking the rooms, in their usual manner. They hauled Vitellius, unrecognised, from his hiding place, asked his name and where the Emperor might be. He gave some lying answer, but was soon identified, so he begged for safe custody, even if that meant imprisonment, claiming he had important information for Vespasian regarding his security. However his arms were bound behind him and a noose flung over his head, and he was dragged along the Sacred Way to the Forum, amid a hail of mockery and abuse, half-naked, with his clothes in tatters. His head was held back by the hair, like a common criminal and, with a sword-point under his chin so that he was forced to look up and reveal his face, he was pelted with filth and dung, denounced as arsonist and glutton, and taunted with his bodily defects by the crowd. For, Vitellius was exceptionally tall, and his face was usually flushed from some drinking bout. He had a huge belly, too, and one thigh crippled by a blow from a four-horse chariot which struck him when he was in attendance on Caligula who was driving. At last, after being tormented by a host of cuts from the soldiers’ swords, he was killed on the Gemonian Stairs, and his body dragged with a hook to the Tiber.
1 commentsBlindado
VespDenSalus.jpg
1aw Vespasian44 views69-79

Denarius
Laureate head, right, IMP CAES VESP AVG CEN
Salus seated left with patera, SALVS AVG

RIC 513 (C2)

Suetonius wrote: The Flavians seized power, and the Empire, long troubled and adrift, afflicted by the usurpations and deaths of three emperors, at last achieved stability. True they were an obscure family, with no great names to boast of, yet one our country has no need to be ashamed of. . . . Vespasian was born in the Sabine country, in the little village of Falacrinae just beyond Reate (Rieti), on the 17th of November 9 AD in the consulship of Quintus Sulpicius Camerinus and Gaius Poppaeus Sabinus, five years before the death of Augustus. He was raised by his paternal grandmother Tertulla on her estate at Cosa. . . .

Under Claudius, he was sent to Germany (in 41 AD) to command a legion, thanks to the influence of Narcissus. From there he was posted to Britain (in 43 AD), where partly under the leadership of Aulus Plautius and partly that of Claudius himself, he fought thirty times, subjugating two powerful tribes, more than twenty strongholds, and the offshore island of Vectis (the Isle of Wight). This earned him triumphal regalia, and a little later two priesthoods and the consulship (in 51 AD) which he held for the last two months of the year. . . . He won, by lot, the governorship of Africa (in 63 AD), ruling it soundly and with considerable dignity. . . .

An ancient and well-established belief became widespread in the East that the ruler of the world at this time would arise from Judaea. This prophecy as events proved referred to the future Emperor of Rome, but was taken by the Jews to apply to them. They rebelled, killed their governor, and routed the consular ruler of Syria also, when he arrived to restore order, capturing an Eagle. To crush the rebels needed a considerable force under an enterprising leader, who would nevertheless not abuse power. Vespasian was chosen, as a man of proven vigour, from whom little need be feared, since his name and origins were quite obscure. Two legions with eight divisions of cavalry and ten cohorts of auxiliaries were added to the army in Judaea, and Vespasian took his elder son, Titus, along as one of his lieutenants. . . .

Yet Vespasian made no move, though his follower were ready and eager, until he was roused to action by the fortuitous support of a group of soldiers unknown to him, and based elsewhere. Two thousand men, of the three legions in Moesia reinforcing Otho’s forces, despite hearing on the march that he had been defeated and had committed suicide, had continued on to Aquileia, and there taken advantage of the temporary chaos to plunder at will. Fearing that if they returned they would be held to account and punished, they decided to choose and appoint an emperor of their own, on the basis that they were every bit as worthy of doing so as the Spanish legions who had appointed Galba, or the Praetorian Guard which had elected Otho, or the German army which had chosen Vitellius. They went through the list of serving consular governors, rejecting them for one reason or another, until in the end they unanimously adopted Vespasian, who was recommended strongly by some members of the Third Legion, which had been transferred to Moesia from Syria immediately prior to Nero’s death. . . .

Vespasian, an unheralded and newly-forged emperor, as yet lacked even a modicum of prestige and divine majesty, but this too he acquired. . . . Returning to Rome (in 70 AD) attended by such auspices, having won great renown, and after a triumph awarded for the Jewish War, he added eight consulships (AD 70-72, 74-77, 79) to his former one, and assumed the censorship. He first considered it essential to strengthen the State, which was unstable and well nigh fatally weakened, and then to enhance its role further during his reign. . . .
2 commentsBlindado
03382z00.jpg
315. Quintillus109 viewsQuintillus, August or September - October or November 270 A.D.

Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus (d. 270) was brother of the Roman Emperor Claudius II, and became the Emperor himself in 270.

Historia Augusta reports that he became Emperor in a coup d'état. Eutropius reports Quintillus to have been elected by soldiers of the Roman army immediately following the death of his brother. The choice was reportedly approved by the Roman Senate. Joannes Zonaras however reports him elected by the Senate itself.

Records however agree that the legions which had followed Claudius in campaigning along the Danube were either unaware or disapproving of Quintillus' elevation. They instead elevated their current leader Aurelian to the rank of Augustus. Historia Augusta reports Aurelian to have been chosen by Claudius himself as a successor, apparently in a deathbed decision.

The few records of Quintillus' reign are contradictory. They disagree on the length of his reign, variously reported to have lasted as few as 17 days and as many as 177 days (about six months). Records also disagree on the cause of his death. Historia Augusta reports him murdered by his own soldiers in reaction to his strict military discipline. Jerome reports him killed, persumably in conflict with Aurelian. John of Antioch and Joannes Zonaras reported Quintillus to have committed suicide by opening his veins and bleeding himself to death. John reports the suicide to have been assisted by a physician. Claudius Salmasius pointed that Dexippus recorded the death without stating causes. All records however agree in placing the death at Aquileia.

Quintillus was reportedly survived by his two sons.

Historia Augusta reports Claudius and Quintillus having another brother named Crispus and through him a niece, Claudia. who reportedly married Eutropius and was mother to Constantius Chlorus. Historians however suspect this account to be a genealogical fabrication to flatter Constantine the Great.

Surviving Roman records considered Quintillus a moderate and capable Emperor. He was seen as a champion of the Senate and thus compared to previous Emperors Servius Sulpicius Galba and Publius Helvius Pertinax. All three were highly regarded by Senatorial sources despite their failure to survive a full year of reign.

Bronze antoninianus, RIC 58, C-47, S 3246, EF, 3.37g, 19.9mm, 180o, Mediolanum mint, obverse IMP QVINTILLVS AVG, radiate and draped bust right; reverse MARTI PACI, Mars holding olive branch and spear, P in ex; found in England; Ex Forum
1 commentsecoli
galba_RIC267.jpg
68-69 AD - GALBA AE sestertius - struck July 68- Jan. 69 AD88 viewsobv: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG (laureate & draped bust right)
rev: S P Q R OB CIV SER in oak wreath
ref: RIC I 267; C.289 (4frcs!)
mint: Rome
25.58gms, 33mm
Scarce (RIC), Rare (in really)

A rare orichalcum sestertius of Servius Sulpicius Galba (reigned 8 June 68 – 15 January 69)
1 commentsberserker
galba denar.jpg
68-69 AD - GALBA AR denarius - struck July 68- Jan. 69 AD56 viewsobv: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG (laureate head right)
rev: DIVA AVGVSTA (A woman dressed in the stola and long robe, holding a patera and hasta)
ref: RIC I 186, C.8 (10frcs)
3.20gms, 17,5mm
Rare

Galba, who was grently indebted to Livia (wife of Augustus), on which account he held her memory in gratitude, and caused her image to be struck on his coins.
1 commentsberserker
Nero AE Sestertius.jpg
706a, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.73 views6, Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D. AE setertius, Date: 66 AD; RIC I 516, 36.71 mm; 25.5 grams; aVF. Obverse: IMP NERO CAESAR AVG PONT MAX TR POT PP, Laureate bust right; Reverse: S C, ROMA, Roma seated left, exceptional portrait and full obverse legends. Ex Ancient Imports.

NERO (54-68 A.D.)

It is difficult for the modern student of history to realize just how popular Nero actually was, at least at the beginning of his reign. Rome looked upon her new Emperor with hope. He was the student of Seneca, and he had a sensitive nature. He loved art, music, literature, and theatre. He was also devoted to horses and horse racing—a devotion shared by many of his subjects. The plebs loved their new Emperor. As Professor of Classics Judith P. Hallett (University of Maryland, College Park) says, “It is not clear to me that Nero ever changed or that Nero ever grew-up, and that was both his strength and his weakness. Nero was an extraordinarily popular Emperor: he was like Elvis” (The Roman Empire in the First Century, III. Dir. Margaret Koval and Lyn Goldfarb. 2001. DVD. PBS/Warner Bros. 2003).

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
The five Julio-Claudian emperors are very different one from the other. Augustus dominates in prestige and achievement from the enormous impact he had upon the Roman state and his long service to Rome, during which he attained unrivaled auctoritas. Tiberius was clearly the only possible successor when Augustus died in AD 14, but, upon his death twenty-three years later, the next three were a peculiar mix of viciousness, arrogance, and inexperience. Gaius, better known as Caligula, is generally styled a monster, whose brief tenure did Rome no service. His successor Claudius, his uncle, was a capable man who served Rome well, but was condemned for being subject to his wives and freedmen. The last of the dynasty, Nero, reigned more than three times as long as Gaius, and the damage for which he was responsible to the state was correspondingly greater. An emperor who is well described by statements such as these, "But above all he was carried away by a craze for popularity and he was jealous of all who in any way stirred the feeling of the mob." and "What an artist the world is losing!" and who is above all remembered for crimes against his mother and the Christians was indeed a sad falling-off from the levels of Augustus and Tiberius. Few will argue that Nero does not rank as one of the worst emperors of all.

The prime sources for Nero's life and reign are Tacitus' Annales 12-16, Suetonius' Life of Nero, and Dio Cassius' Roman History 61-63, written in the early third century. Additional valuable material comes from inscriptions, coinage, papyri, and archaeology.


Early Life
He was born on December 15, 37, at Antium, the son of Cnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbusand Agrippina. Domitius was a member of an ancient noble family, consul in 32; Agrippina was the daughter of the popular Germanicus, who had died in 19, and Agrippina, daughter of Agrippa, Augustus' closest associate, and Julia, the emperor's daughter, and thus in direct descent from the first princeps. When the child was born, his uncle Gaius had only recently become emperor. The relationship between mother and uncle was difficult, and Agrippina suffered occasional humiliation. But the family survived the short reign of the "crazy" emperor, and when he was assassinated, it chanced that Agrippina's uncle, Claudius, was the chosen of the praetorian guard, although there may have been a conspiracy to accomplish this.

Ahenobarbus had died in 40, so the son was now the responsibility of Agrippina alone. She lived as a private citizen for much of the decade, until the death of Messalina, the emperor's wife, in 48 made competition among several likely candidates to become the new empress inevitable. Although Roman law forbade marriage between uncle and niece, an eloquent speech in the senate by Lucius Vitellius, Claudius' closest advisor in the senatorial order, persuaded his audience that the public good required their union. The marriage took place in 49, and soon thereafter the philosopher Seneca [[PIR2 A617]] was recalled from exile to become the young Domitius' tutor, a relationship which endured for some dozen years.

His advance was thereafter rapid. He was adopted by Claudius the following year and took the name Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar or Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, was preferred to Claudius' natural son, Britannicus, who was about three years younger, was betrothed to the emperor's daughter Octavia, and was, in the eyes of the people, the clear successor to the emperor. In 54, Claudius died, having eaten some poisoned mushrooms, responsibility for which was believed to be Agrippina's, and the young Nero, not yet seventeen years old, was hailed on October 13 as emperor by the praetorian guard.


The First Years of Rule
The first five years of Nero's rule are customarily called the quinquennium, a period of good government under the influence, not always coinciding, of three people, his mother, Seneca, and Sextus Afranius Burrus, the praetorian prefect. The latter two were allies in their "education" of the emperor. Seneca continued his philosophical and rhetorical training, Burrus was more involved in advising on the actualities of government. They often combined their influence against Agrippina, who, having made her son emperor, never let him forget the debt he owed his mother, until finally, and fatally, he moved against her.

Nero's betrothal to Octavia was a significant step in his ultimate accession to the throne, as it were, but she was too quiet, too shy, too modest for his taste. He was early attracted to Poppaea Sabina, the wife of Otho, and she continually goaded him to break from Octavia and to show himself an adult by opposing his mother. In his private life, Nero honed the musical and artistic tastes which were his chief interest, but, at this stage, they were kept private, at the instigation of Seneca and Burrus.

As the year 59 began, Nero had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday and now felt the need to employ the powers which he possessed as emperor as he wished, without the limits imposed by others. Poppaea's urgings had their effect, first of all, at the very onset of the year, with Nero's murder of his mother in the Bay of Naples.

Agrippina had tried desperately to retain her influence with her son, going so far as to have intercourse with him. But the break between them proved irrevocable, and Nero undertook various devices to eliminate his mother without the appearance of guilt on his part. The choice was a splendid vessel which would collapse while she was on board. As this happened, she swam ashore and, when her attendant, having cried out that she was Agrippina, was clubbed to death, Agrippina knew what was going on. She sent Nero a message that she was well; his response was to send a detachment of sailors to finish the job. When she was struck across the head, she bared her womb and said, "Strike here, Anicetus, strike here, for this bore Nero," and she was brutally murdered.

Nero was petrified with fear when he learned that the deed had been done, yet his popularity with the plebs of Rome was not impaired. This matricide, however, proved a turning point in his life and principate. It appeared that all shackles were now removed. The influence of Seneca and Burrus began to wane, and when Burrus died in 62, Seneca realized that his powers of persuasion were at an end and soon went into retirement. Britannicus had died as early as 55; now Octavia was to follow, and Nero became free to marry Poppaea. It may be that it had been Burrus rather than Agrippina who had continually urged that Nero's position depended in large part upon his marriage to Octavia. Burrus' successor as commander of the praetorian guard, although now with a colleague, was Ofonius Tigellinus, quite the opposite of Burrus in character and outlook. Tigellinus became Nero's "evil twin," urging and assisting in the performance of crimes and the satisfaction of lusts.


Administrative and Foreign Policy
With Seneca and Burrus in charge of administration at home, the first half-dozen years of Nero's principate ran smoothly. He himself devoted his attention to his artistic, literary, and physical bents, with music, poetry, and chariot racing to the fore. But his advisors were able to keep these performances and displays private, with small, select audiences on hand. Yet there was a gradual trend toward public performance, with the establishment of games. Further, he spent many nights roaming the city in disguise, with numerous companions, who terrorized the streets and attacked individuals. Those who dared to defend themselves often faced death afterward, because they had shown disrespect for the emperor. The die was being cast for the last phases of Nero's reign.


The Great Fire at Rome and The Punishment
of the Christians
The year 64 was the most significant of Nero's principate up to this point. His mother and wife were dead, as was Burrus, and Seneca, unable to maintain his influence over Nero without his colleague's support, had withdrawn into private life. The abysmal Tigellinus was now the foremost advisor of the still young emperor, a man whose origin was from the lowest levels of society and who can accurately be described as criminal in outlook and action. Yet Nero must have considered that he was happier than he had ever been in his life. Those who had constrained his enjoyment of his (seemingly) limitless power were gone, he was married to Poppaea, a woman with all advantages save for a bad character the empire was essentially at peace, and the people of Rome enjoyed a full measure of panem et circenses. But then occurred one of the greatest disasters that the city of Rome, in its long history, had ever endured.

The fire began in the southeastern angle of the Circus Maximus, spreading through the shops which clustered there, and raged for the better part of a week. There was brief success in controlling the blaze, but then it burst forth once more, so that many people claimed that the fires were deliberately set. After about a fortnight, the fire burned itself out, having consumed ten of the fourteen Augustan regions into which the city had been divided.

Nero was in Antium through much of the disaster, but his efforts at relief were substantial. Yet many believed that he had been responsible, so that he could perform his own work comparing the current fate of Rome to the downfall of Troy. All his efforts to assist the stricken city could not remove the suspicion that "the emperor had fiddled while Rome burned." He lost favor even among the plebs who had been enthusiastic supporters, particularly when his plans for the rebuilding of the city revealed that a very large part of the center was to become his new home.

As his popularity waned, Nero and Tigellinus realized that individuals were needed who could be charged with the disaster. It so happened that there was such a group ready at hand, Christians, who had made themselves unpopular because of their refusal to worship the emperor, their way of life, and their secret meetings. Further, at this time two of their most significant "teachers" were in Rome, Peter and Paul. They were ideal scapegoats, individuals whom most Romans loathed, and who had continually sung of the forthcoming end of the world.

Their destruction was planned with the utmost precision and cruelty, for the entertainment of the populace. The venue was Nero's circus near the Mons Vaticanus. Christians were exposed to wild animals and were set ablaze, smeared with pitch, to illuminate the night. The executions were so grisly that even the populace displayed sympathy for the victims. Separately, Peter was crucified upside down on the Vatican hill and Paul was beheaded along the Via Ostiensis. But Nero's attempt, and hope, to shift all suspicion of arson to others failed. His popularity even among the lower classes was irrevocably impaired.

[For a detailed and interesting discussion of Nero’s reign please see http://www.roman-emperors.org/nero.htm]

The End - Nero's Death and its Aftermath
Nero's and Tigellinus' response to the conspiracy was immediate and long-lasting. The senatorial order was decimated, as one leading member after another was put to death or compelled to commit suicide. The year 66 saw the suicides of perhaps the most distinguished victims of the "reign of terror," Caius Petronius and Thrasea Paetus. Petronius, long a favorite of Nero because of his aesthetic taste, had been an able public servant before he turned to a life of ease and indolence. He was recognized as the arbiter elegantiae of Nero's circle, and may be the author of the Satyricon. At his death, he left for Nero a document which itemized many of the latter's crimes. Thrasea, a staunch Stoic who had been for some years an outspoken opponent of Nero's policies, committed suicide in the Socratic manner. This scene is the last episode in the surviving books of Tacitus' Annals.

In the year 68, revolt began in the provinces. . . the end of Nero's reign became inevitable. Galba claimed the throne and began his march from Spain. Nero panicked and was rapidly abandoned by his supporters. He finally committed suicide with assistance, on June 9, 68, and his body was tended and buried by three women who had been close to him in his younger days, chief of whom was Acte. His death scene is marked above all by the statement, "Qualis artifex pereo," (What an artist dies in me.) Even at the end he was more concerned with his private life than with the affairs of state.

The aftermath of Nero's death was cataclysmic. Galba was the first of four emperors who revealed the new secret of empire, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than in Rome. Civil war ensued, which was only ended by the victory of the fourth claimant, Vespasian, who established the brief dynasty of the Flavians. The dynasty of the Julio-Claudians was at an end.

Nero's popularity among the lower classes remained even after his death.

. . . .

It is not excessive to say that he was one of the worst of Rome's emperors in the first two centuries and more of the empire. Whatever talents he had, whatever good he may have done, all is overwhelmed by three events, the murder of his mother, the fire at Rome, and his savage treatment of the Christians.

Precisely these qualities are the reasons that he has remained so well known and has been the subject of many writers and opera composers in modern times. These works of fiction particularly merit mention: Henryk Sienkiewicz's Quo Vadis, one of the finest works of the 1907 Nobel Laureate in Literature, and John Hersey's The Conspiracy. Nero unquestionably will always be with us.

Copyright (C) 2006, Herbert W. Benario.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.

1 commentsCleisthenes
GalbaAEAs.jpg
707a, Galba, 3 April 68 - 15 January 69 A.D.66 viewsGalba AE As, 68-69 AD; cf. SRC 727, 729ff; 27.85mm, 12g; Rome: Obverse: GALBA IMP CAESAR…, Laureate head right; Reverse: S P Q R OB CIV SER in oak wreath; gF+/F Ex. Ancient Imports.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Galba (68-69 A.D.)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary


Introduction
The evidence for the principate of Galba is unsatisfactory. The sources either concentrate on the personality of the man, thereby failing to offer a balanced account of his policies and a firm chronological base for his actions; or, they focus on the final two weeks of his life at the expense of the earlier part of his reign. As a result, a detailed account of his principate is difficult to write. Even so, Galba is noteworthy because he was neither related to nor adopted by his predecessor Nero. Thus, his accession marked the end of the nearly century-long control of the Principate by the Julio-Claudians. Additionally, Galba's declaration as emperor by his troops abroad set a precedent for the further political upheavals of 68-69. Although these events worked to Galba's favor initially, they soon came back to haunt him, ending his tumultuous rule after only seven months.

Early Life and Rise to Power
Born 24 December 3 BC in Tarracina, a town on the Appian Way, 65 miles south of Rome, Servius Galba was the son of C. Sulpicius Galba and Mummia Achaica. Galba's connection with the noble house of the Servii gave him great prestige and assured his acceptance among the highest levels of Julio-Claudian society. Adopted in his youth by Livia, the mother of the emperor Tiberius, he is said to have owed much of his early advancement to her. Upon her death, Livia made Galba her chief legatee, bequeathing him some 50 million sesterces. Tiberius, Livia's heir, reduced the amount, however, and then never paid it. Galba's marriage proved to be a further source of disappointment, as he outlived both his wife Lepida and their two sons. Nothing else is known of Galba's immediate family, other than that he remained a widower for the rest of his life.

Although the details of Galba's early political career are incomplete, the surviving record is one of an ambitious Roman making his way in the Emperor's service. Suetonius records that as praetor Galba put on a new kind of exhibition for the people - elephants walking on a rope. Later, he served as governor of the province of Aquitania, followed by a six-month term as consul at the beginning of 33. Ironically, as consul he was succeeded by Salvius Otho, whose own son would succeed Galba as emperor. Over the years three more governorships followed - Upper Germany (date unknown), North Africa (45) and Hispania Tarraconensis, the largest of Spain's three provinces (61). He was selected as a proconsul of Africa by the emperor Claudius himself instead of by the usual method of drawing lots. During his two-year tenure in the province he successfully restored internal order and quelled a revolt by the barbarians. As an imperial legate he was a governor in Spain for eight years under Nero, even though he was already in his early sixties when he assumed his duties. The appointment showed that Galba was still considered efficient and loyal. In all of these posts Galba generally displayed an enthusiasm for old-fashioned disciplina, a trait consistent with the traditional characterization of the man as a hard-bitten aristocrat of the old Republican type. Such service did not go unnoticed, as he was honored with triumphal insignia and three priesthoods during his career.

On the basis of his ancestry, family tradition and service to the state Galba was the most distinguished Roman alive (with the exception of the houses of the Julii and Claudii) at the time of Nero's demise in 68. The complex chain of events that would lead him to the Principate later that year began in March with the rebellion of Gaius Iulius Vindex, the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. Vindex had begun to sound out provincial governors about support for a rebellion perhaps in late 67 or early 68. Galba did not respond but, because of his displeasure with Neronian misgovernment, neither did he inform the emperor of these treasonous solicitations. This, of course, left him dangerously exposed; moreover, he was already aware that Nero, anxious to remove anyone of distinguished birth and noble achievements, had ordered his death. Given these circumstances, Galba likely felt that he had no choice but to rebel.

In April, 68, while still in Spain, Galba "went public," positioning himself as a vir militaris, a military representative of the senate and people of Rome. For the moment, he refused the title of Emperor, but it is clear that the Principate was his goal. To this end, he organized a concilium of advisors in order to make it known that any decisions were not made by him alone but only after consultation with a group. The arrangement was meant to recall the Augustan Age relationship between the emperor and senate in Rome. Even more revealing of his imperial ambitions were legends like LIBERTAS RESTITUTA (Liberty Restored), ROM RENASC (Rome Reborn) and SALUS GENERIS HUMANI (Salvation of Mankind), preserved on his coinage from the period. Such evidence has brought into question the traditional assessment of Galba as nothing more than an ineffectual representative of a bygone antiquus rigor in favor of a more balanced portrait of a traditional constitutionalist eager to publicize the virtues of an Augustan-style Principate.
Events now began to move quickly. In May, 68 Lucius Clodius Macer, legate of the III legio Augusta in Africa, revolted from Nero and cut off the grain supply to Rome. Choosing not to recognize Galba, he called himself propraetor, issued his own coinage, and raised a new legion, the I Macriana liberatrix. Galba later had him executed. At the same time, 68, Lucius Verginius Rufus, legionary commander in Upper Germany, led a combined force of soldiers from Upper and Lower Germany in defeating Vindex at Vesontio in Gallia Lugdunensis. Verginius refused to accept a call to the emperorship by his own troops and by those from the Danube, however, thereby creating at Rome an opportunity for Galba's agents to win over Gaius Nymphidius Sabinus, the corrupt praetorian prefect since 65. Sabinus was able to turn the imperial guard against Nero on the promise that they would be rewarded financially by Galba upon his arrival. That was the end for Nero. Deposed by the senate and abandoned by his supporters, he committed suicide in June. At this point, encouraged to march on Rome by the praetorians and especially by Sabinus, who had his own designs on the throne, Galba hurriedly established broad-based political and financial support and assembled his own legion (subsequently known as the legio VII Gemina). As he departed from Spain, he abandoned the title of governor in favor of "Caesar," apparently in an attempt to lay claim to the entire inheritance of the Julio-Claudian house. Even so, he continued to proceed cautiously, and did not actually adopt the name of Caesar (and with it the emperorship) until sometime after he had left Spain.

The Principate of Galba
Meanwhile, Rome was anything but serene. An unusual force of soldiers, many of whom had been mustered by Nero to crush the attempt of Vindex, remained idle and restless. In addition, there was the matter concerning Nymphidius Sabinus. Intent on being the power behind the throne, Nymphidius had orchestrated a demand from the praetorians that Galba appoint him sole praetorian prefect for life. The senate capitulated to his pretensions and he began to have designs on the throne himself. In an attempt to rattle Galba, Nymphidius then sent messages of alarm to the emperor telling of unrest in both the city and abroad. When Galba ignored these reports, Nymphidius decided to launch a coup by presenting himself to the praetorians. The plan misfired, and the praetorians killed him when he appeared at their camp. Upon learning of the incident, Galba ordered the executions of Nymphidius' followers. To make matters worse, Galba's arrival was preceded by a confrontation with a boisterous band of soldiers who had been formed into a legion by Nero and were now demanding legionary standards and regular quarters. When they persisted, Galba's forces attacked, with the result that many of them were killed.
Thus it was amid carnage and fear that Galba arrived at the capital in October, 68, accompanied by Otho, the governor of Lusitania, who had joined the cause. Once Galba was within Rome, miscalculations and missteps seemed to multiply. First, he relied upon the advice of a corrupt circle of advisors, most notably: Titus Vinius, a general from Spain; Cornelius Laco, praetorian prefect; and his own freedman, Icelus. Second, he zealously attempted to recover some of Nero's more excessive expenditures by seizing the property of many citizens, a measure that seems to have gone too far and to have caused real hardship and resentment. Third, he created further ill-will by disbanding the imperial corps of German bodyguards, effectively abolishing a tradition that originated with Marius and had been endorsed by Augustus. Finally, he seriously alienated the military by refusing cash rewards for both the praetorians and for the soldiers in Upper Germany who had fought against Vindex.

This last act proved to be the beginning of the end for Galba. On 1 January 69 ("The Year of the Four Emperors"), the troops in Upper Germany refused to declare allegiance to him and instead followed the men stationed in Lower Germany in proclaiming their commander, Aulus Vitellius, as the new ruler. In response, Galba adopted Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus to show that he was still in charge and that his successor would not be chosen for him. Piso, although an aristocrat, was a man completely without administrative or military experience. The choice meant little to the remote armies, the praetorians or the senate, and it especially angered Otho, who had hoped to succeed Galba. Otho quickly organized a conspiracy among the praetorians with the now-familiar promise of a material reward, and on 15 January 69 they declared him emperor and publicly killed Galba; Piso, dragged from hiding in the temple of Vesta, was also butchered.

Assessment
In sum, Galba had displayed talent and ambition during his lengthy career. He enjoyed distinguished ancestry, moved easily among the Julio-Claudian emperors (with the exception of Nero towards the end of his principate), and had been awarded the highest military and religious honors of ancient Rome. His qualifications for the principate cannot be questioned. Even so, history has been unkind to him. Tacitus characterized Galba as "weak and old," a man "equal to the imperial office, if he had never held it." Modern historians of the Roman world have been no less critical. To be sure, Galba's greatest mistake lay in his general handling of the military. His treatment of the army in Upper Germany was heedless, his policy towards the praetorians short sighted. Given the climate in 68-69, Galba was unrealistic in expecting disciplina without paying the promised rewards. He was also guilty of relying on poor advisors, who shielded him from reality and ultimately allowed Otho's conspiracy to succeed. Additionally, the excessive power of his henchmen brought the regime into disfavor and made Galba himself the principal target of the hatred that his aides had incited. Finally, the appointment of Piso, a young man in no way equal to the challenges placed before him, further underscored the emperor's isolation and lack of judgment. In the end, the instability of the post-Julio-Claudian political landscape offered challenges more formidable than a tired, septuagenarian aristocrat could hope to overcome. Ironically, his regime proved no more successful than the Neronian government he was so eager to replace. Another year of bloodshed would be necessary before the Principate could once again stand firm.

Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.


Cleisthenes
roman_emperor_otho.jpg
708a, Otho64 viewsOtho (69 A.D.)
John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction
In January 69 Otho led a successful coup to overthrow the emperor Galba. Upon advancing to the throne, he hoped to conciliate his adversaries and restore political stability to the Empire. These ambitions were never to be realized. Instead, our sources portray a leader never fully able to win political confidence at Rome or to overcome military anarchy abroad. As a result, he was defeated in battle by the forces of Vitellius, his successor, and took his own life at the conclusion of the conflict. His principate lasted only eight weeks.
Early Life and Career
Marcus Salvius Otho was born at Ferentium on 28 April 32 A. D. His grandfather, also named Marcus Salvius Otho, was a senator who did not advance beyond the rank of praetor. Lucius Otho, his father, was consul in 33 and a trusted administrator under the emperors Tiberius, Gaius and Claudius. His mother, Albia Terentia, was likely to have been nobly born as well. The cognomen "Otho" was Etruscan in origin, and the fact that it can be traced to three successive generations of this family perhaps reflects a desire to maintain a part of the Etruscan tradition that formed the family's background.
Otho is recorded as being extravagant and wild as a youth - a favorite pastime involved roving about at night to snare drunkards in a blanket. Such behavior earned floggings from his father, whose frequent absences from home on imperial business suggest little in the way of a stabilizing parental influence in Otho's formative years. These traits apparently persisted: Suetonius records that Otho and Nero became close friends because of the similarity of their characters; and Plutarch relates that the young man was so extravagant that he sometimes chided Nero about his meanness, and even outdid the emperor in reckless spending.
Most intriguing in this context is Otho's involvement with Nero's mistress, Poppaea Sabina, the greatest beauty of her day. A relationship between the two is widely cited in the ancient sources, but the story differs in essential details from one account to the next. As a result, it is impossible to establish who seduced whom, whether Otho ever married Poppaea, and whether his posting to Lusitania by Nero should be understood as a "banishment" for his part in this affair. About the only reliable detail to emerge is that Otho did indeed become governor of Lusitania in 59, and that he assumed the post as a quaestor, a rank below that of praetor or consul, the minimum usually required for the office. From here he would launch his initial thrust towards the imperial throne.
Overthrow of Galba
Nero's suicide in June 68 marked the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and opened up the principate to the prerogatives of the military beyond Rome. First to emerge was Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, who had been encouraged to revolt by the praetorians and especially by Nymphidius Sabinus, the corrupt and scheming praetorian prefect at Rome. By this time Otho had been in Spain for close to ten years. His record seems to have been a good one, marked by capable administration and an unwillingness to enrich himself at the expense of the province. At the same time, perhaps seeing this as his best chance to improve his own circumstances, he supported the insurrection as vigorously as possible, even sending Galba all of his gold and his best table servants. At the same time, he made it a point to win the favor of every soldier he came in contact with, most notably the members of the praetorian guard who had come to Spain to accompany Galba to Rome. Galba set out from Spain in July, formally assuming the emperorship shortly thereafter. Otho accompanied him on the journey.
Galba had been in Rome little more than two months when on 1 January 69 the troops in Upper Germany refused to declare allegiance to him and instead followed the men stationed in Lower Germany in proclaiming their commander, Aulus Vitellius, as the new ruler. To show that he was still in charge Galba adopted his own successor, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus, an aristocrat completely without administrative or military experience. The choice meant little to the remote armies, the praetorians or the senate and particularly angered Otho, who had hoped to succeed Galba. Otho quickly organized a conspiracy among the praetorians with promise of a material reward, and on 15 January 69 they declared him emperor and publicly killed Galba; Piso, dragged from hiding in the temple of Vesta, was also butchered. On that same evening a powerless senate awarded Otho the imperial titles.
Otho's Principate in Rome
It is not possible to reconstruct a detailed chronology of Otho's brief eight and a half weeks as princeps in Rome (15 January-15 March). Even so, Galba's quick demise had surely impressed upon Otho the need to conciliate various groups. As a result, he continued his indulgence of the praetorian guard but he also tried to win over the senate by following a strict constitutionalist line and by generally keeping the designations for the consulship made by Nero and Galba. In the provinces, despite limited evidence, there are some indications that he tried to compensate for Galba's stinginess by being more generous with grants of citizenship. In short, Otho was eager not to offend anyone.
Problems remained, however. The praetorians had to be continually placated and they were always suspicious of the senate. On the other hand, the senate itself, along with the people, remained deeply disturbed at the manner of Otho's coming to power and his willingness to be associated with Nero. These suspicions and fears were most evident in the praetorian outbreak at Rome. Briefly, Otho had decided to move from Ostia to Rome a cohort of Roman citizens in order to replace some of Rome's garrison, much of which was to be utilized for the showdown with Vitellius. He ordered that weapons be moved from the praetorian camp in Rome by ship to Ostia at night so that the garrison replacements would be properly armed and made to look as soldierly as possible when they marched into the city. Thinking that a senatorial counter-coup against Otho was underway, the praetorians stormed the imperial palace to confirm the emperor's safety, with the result that they terrified Otho and his senatorial dinner guests. Although the praetorians' fears were eventually calmed and they were given a substantial cash payment, the incident dramatically underscored the unease at Rome in the early months of 69.
Otho's Offensive against Vitellius
Meanwhile, in the Rhineland, preparations for a march on Rome by the military legions that had declared for Vitellius were far advanced. Hampered by poor intelligence gathering in Gaul and Germany and having failed to negotiate a settlement with Vitellius in early 69, Otho finally summoned to Italy his forces for a counterattack against the invading Vitellian army. His support consisted of the four legions of Pannonia and Dalmatia, the three legions of Moesia and his own imperial retinue of about 9,000. Vitellius' own troops numbered some 30,000, while those of his two marshals, Aulus Caecina Alienus and Fabius Valens, were between 15,000 and 20,000 each.
Otho's strategy was to make a quick diversionary strike in order to allow time for his own forces to assemble in Italy before engaging the enemy. The strategy worked, as the diversionary army, comprised of urban cohorts, praetorians and marines all from Rome or nearby, was successful in Narbonese Gaul in latter March. An advance guard sent to hold the line on the Po River until the Danubian legions arrived also enjoyed initial success. Otho himself arrived at Bedriacum in northern Italy about 10 April for a strategy session with his commanders. The main concern was that the Vitellians were building a bridge across the Po in order to drive southward towards the Apennines and eventually to Rome. Otho decided to counter by ordering a substantial part of his main force to advance from Bedriacum and establish a new base close enough to the new Vitellian bridge to interrupt its completion. While en route, the Othonian forces, strung out along the via Postumia amid baggage and supply trains, were attacked by Caecina and Valens near Cremona on 14 April. The clash, know as the Battle of Bedriacum, resulted in the defeat of the Othonian forces, their retreat cut off by the river behind them. Otho himself, meanwhile, was not present, but had gone to Brixellum with a considerable force of infantry and cavalry in order to impede any Vitellian units that had managed to cross the Po.
The plan had backfired. Otho's strategy of obtaining victory while avoiding any major battles had proven too risky. Realizing perhaps that a new round of fighting would have involved not only a significant re-grouping of his existing troops but also a potentially bloody civil war at Rome, if Vitellius' troops reached the capital, Otho decided that enough blood had been shed. Two weeks shy of his thirty-seventh birthday, on 16 April 69, he took his own life.
Assessment
To be sure, Otho remains an enigma - part profligate Neronian wastrel and part conscientious military commander willing to give his life for the good of the state. Our sources are at a loss to explain the paradox. Perhaps, like Petronius, he saw it was safer to appear a profligate in Nero's court? In the final analysis, Otho proved to be an organized and efficient military commander, who appealed more to the soldier than to the civilian. He also seems to have been a capable governor, with administrative talents that recalled those of his father. Nevertheless, his violent overthrow of Galba, the lingering doubts that it raised about his character, and his unsuccessful offensive against Vitellius are all vivid reminders of the turbulence that plagued the Roman world between the reigns of Nero and Vespasian. Regrettably, the scenario would play itself out one more time before peace and stability returned to the empire.
Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue
Edited by J.P.Fitzgerald, Jr.

Cleisthenes
VitelliusARdenariusVesta.jpg
709a, Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.42 viewsVITELLIUS AR silver denarius. RSC 72, RCV 2200. 19mm, 3.2 g. Obverse: A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; Reverse - PONT MAXIM, Vesta seated right, holding scepter and patera. Quite decent. Ex. Incitatus Coins. Photo courtesy of Incitatus Coins.

De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Vitellius (69 A.D.)

John F. Donahue
College of William and Mary


It is often difficult to separate fact from fiction in assessing the life and reign of Vitellius. Maligned in the ancient sources as gluttonous and cruel, he was also a victim of a hostile biographical tradition established in the regime of the Flavians who had overthrown him. Nevertheless, his decision to march against Rome in 69 was pivotal, since his subsequent defeat signalled the end of military anarchy and the beginning of an extended period of political stability under Vespasian and his successors.

Early Life and Career

Aulus Vitellius was born in September, 15 AD, the son of Lucius Vitellius and his wife Sestilia. One of the most successful public figures of the Julio-Claudian period, Lucius Vitellius was a three-time consul and a fellow censor with the emperor Claudius. Aulus seems to have moved with equal ease in aristocratic circles, successively winning the attention of the emperors Gaius, Claudius, and Nero through flattery and political skill.

Among his attested public offices, Vitellius was a curator of public works, a senatorial post concerned with the maintenance and repair of public buildings in Rome, and he was also proconsul of North Africa, where he served as a deputy to his brother, perhaps about 55 A. D. In addition, he held at least two priesthoods, the first as a member of the Arval Brethren, in whose rituals he participated from 57 A.D., and the second, as one of the quindecemviri sacris faciundis, a sacred college famous for its feasts.

With respect to marriage and family, Vitellius first wed a certain Petroniana, the daughter of a consul, sometime in the early to mid thirties A.D. The union produced a son, Petronianus, allegedly blind in one eye and emancipated from his father's control as a result of being named his mother's heir. Tradition records that Vitellius killed the boy shortly after emancipation amid charges of parricide; the marriage soon ended in divorce. A second marriage, to Galeria Fundana, daughter of an ex-praetor, was more stable than the first. It produced another son, who was eventually killed by the Flavians after the overthrow of Vitellius, as well as a daughter. Galeria is praised by Tacitus for her good qualities, and in the end it was she who saw to Vitellius' burial.

Rise to Power and Emperorship

Without doubt, the most fortuitous moment in Vitellius' political career was his appointment as governor of Lower Germany by the emperor Galba late in 68. The decision seemed to have caught everybody by surprise, including Vitellius himself, who, according to Suetonius, was in straitened circumstances at the time. The choice may have been made to reduce the possibility of rebellion by the Rhine armies, disaffected by Galba's refusal to reward them for their part in suppressing the earlier uprising of Julius Vindex. Ironically, it was Vitellius' lack of military achievement and his reputation for gambling and gluttony that may have also figured in his selection. Galba perhaps calculated that a man with little military experience who could now plunder a province to satisfy his own stomach would never become disloyal. If so, it was a critical misjudgement by the emperor.

The rebellion began on January 1, 69 ("The Year of the Four Emperors"), when the legions of Upper Germany refused to renew their oath of allegiance to Galba. On January 2, Vitellius' own men, having heard of the previous day's events, saluted him as emperor at the instigation of the legionary legate Fabius Valens and his colleagues. Soon, in addition to the seven legions that Vitellius now had at his command in both Germanies, the forces in Gaul, Britain, and Raetia also came over to his side. Perhaps aware of his military inexperience, Vitellius did not immediately march on Rome himself. Instead, the advance was led by Valens and another legionary general, Aulus Caecina Alienus, with each man commanding a separate column. Vitellius would remain behind to mobilize a reserve force and follow later.

Caecina was already one hundred fifty miles on his way when news reached him that Galba had been overthrown and Otho had taken his place as emperor. Undeterred, he passed rapidly down the eastern borders of Gaul; Valens followed a more westerly route, quelling a mutiny along the way. By March both armies had successfully crossed the Alps and joined at Cremona, just north of the Po. Here they launced their Batavian auxiliaries against Otho's troops and routed them in the First Battle of Bedriacum. Otho killed himself on April 16, and three days later the soldiers in Rome swore their allegience to Vitellius. The senate too hailed him as emperor.

When Vitellius learned of these developments, he set out to Rome from Gaul. By all accounts the journey was a drunken feast marked by the lack of discipline of both the troops and the imperial entourage. Along the way he stopped at Lugdunum to present his six-year-old son Germanicus to the legions as his eventual successor. Later, at Cremona, Vitellius witnessed the corpse-filled battlefield of Otho's recent defeat with joy, unmoved by so many citizens denied a proper burial.

The emperor entered Rome in late June-early July. Conscious of making a break with the Julio-Claudian past, Vitellius was reluctant to assume the traditional titles of the princes, even though he enthusiastically made offerings to Nero and declared himself consul for life. To his credit, Vitellius did seem to show a measure of moderation in the transition to the principate. He assumed his powers gradually and was generally lenient to Otho's supporters, even pardoning Otho's brother Salvius Titianus, who had played a key role in the earlier regime. In addition, he participated in Senate meetings and continued the practice of providing entertainments for the Roman masses. An important practical change involved the awarding of posts customarily held by freedmen to equites, an indication of the growth of the imperial bureaucracy and its attractiveness to men of ambition.

In other matters, he replaced the existing praetorian guard and urban cohorts with sixteen praetorian cohorts and four urban units, all comprised of soldiers from the German armies. According to Tacitus, the decision prompted a mad scramble, with the men, and not their officers, choosing the branch of service that they preferred. The situation was clearly unsatisfactory but not surprising, given that Vitellius was a creation of his own troops. To secure his position further, he sent back to their old postings the legions that had fought for Otho, or he reassigned them to distant provinces. Yet discontent remained: the troops who had been defeated or betrayed at Bedriacum remained bitter, and detachments of three Moesian legions called upon by Otho were returned to their bases, having agitated against Vitellius at Aquileia.

Flavian Revolt

The Vitellian era at Rome was short-lived. By mid-July news had arrived that the legions of Egypt under Tiberius Julius Alexander had sworn allegiance to a rival emperor, Titus Flavius Vespasianus, the governor of Judaea and a successful and popular general. Vespasian was to hold Egypt while his colleague Mucianus, governor of Syria, was to invade Italy. Before the plan could be enacted, however, the Danube legions, former supporters of Otho, joined Vespasian's cause. Under the leadership of Antonius Primus, commander of the Sixth legion in Pannonia, and Cornelius Fuscus, imperial procurator in Illyricum, the legions made a rapid descent on Italy.

Although his forces were only half of what Vitellius commanded in Italy, Primus struck first before the emperor could muster additional reinforcements from Germany. To make matters worse for the Vitellians, Valens was ill, and Caecina, now consul, had begun collaborating with the Flavians. His troops refused to follow his lead, however, and arrested him at Hostilia near Cremona. They then joined the rest of the Vitellian forces trying to hold the Po River. With Vitellius still in Rome and his forces virtually leaderless, the two sides met in October in the Second Battle of Bedriacum. The emperor's troops were soundly defeated and Cremona was brutally sacked by the victors. In addition, Valens, whose health had recovered, was captured while raising an army for Vitellius in Gaul and Germany; he was eventually executed.

Meanwhile, Primus continued towards Rome. Vitellius made a weak attempt to thwart the advance at the Apennine passes, but his forces switched to the Flavian side without a fight at Narnia in mid-December. At Rome, matters were no better. Vespasian's elder brother, Titus Flavius Sabinus, the city prefect, was successful in an effort to convince Vitellius to abdicate but was frustrated by the mob in Rome and the emperor's soldiers. Forced to flee to the Capitol, Sabinus was set upon by Vitellius' German troops and soon killed, with the venerable Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus set ablaze in the process. Within two days, the Flavian army fought its way into Rome. In a pathetic final move, Vitellius disguised himself in dirty clothing and hid in the imperial doorkeeper's quarters, leaning a couch and a mattress against the door for protection. Dragged from his hiding place by the Flavian forces, he was hauled off half-naked to the Forum, where he was tortured, killed, and tossed into the Tiber. The principate could now pass to Vespasian.

Assessment

Vitellius has not escaped the hostility of his biographers. While he may well have been gluttonous, his depiction as indolent, cruel, and extravagant is based almost entirely on the propaganda of his enemies. On the other hand, whatever moderating tendencies he did show were overshadowed by his clear lack of military expertise, a deficiency that forced him to rely in critical situations on largely inneffective lieutenants. As a result he was no match for his Flavian successors, and his humiliating demise was perfectly in keeping with the overall failure of his reign.

Copyright (C) 1999, John Donahue.
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VespasianPax_RICii10.jpg
710a, Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D.134 viewsSilver denarius, RIC II, 10, aVF, 3.5 g, 18mm, Rome mint, 69-71 AD; Obverse: IMP CAESA[R] VESPASIANV[S AV]G - Laureate head right; Reverse: COS ITER [T]R POT - Pax seated left holding branch and caduceus. Ex Imperial Coins.


De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.





Cleisthenes
Galba,_sitting_goddess_to_left.JPG
AE As, GALBA??? Rev. is a sitting godess left. sold21 viewsAntonivs Protti
12_Caesar_portraits.jpg
Antony & The 12 Caesars256 viewsA variation on my other virtual coin trays. This one includes a lifetime portrait of Julius Caesar. It's difficult choosing which coin to include in this set, in some cases I only had one (Galba, Otho) but others I had many more to choose from. I do have better portraits of some but I thought these had more interesting reverse types or portrait styles:

Marcus Antonius denarius
Julius Caesar denarius
Augustus denarius
Tiberius denarius
Caligula AE As
Claudius AE As
Nero Dupondius
Galba AE As
Otho Tetradrachm
Vitellius denarius
Vespasian denarius
Titus denarius
Domitian denarius

Image is clickable for larger size.
To see the coins individually see them in my gallery.
9 commentsJay GT4
sulpicius_Crawford312.1.jpg
C. Sulpicius C. f. Galba, Crawford 312/190 viewsC. Sulpicius C. f. Galba, gens Sulpicia.
AR - denarius serratus, 20mm, 3.67g
Rome, 106 BC
obv. Conjugate heads of the Di Penates, laureate, l.
D.P.P. before (abbreviation of Di Penates Publici)
rev. Two male figures standing vis-a-vis, both holding spears, the right one points with r. hand to a sow, laying between them l.
above N (control mark)
in ex. C.SVLPICI.C.F
Crawford 312/1; Sydenham 572; Sulpicia 1
rare, EF, struck slightly excentric

The rev. depicts the decovering of the white sow of Lavinium by Aeneas.
For more information look at the thread 'Coins of mythological interest'
1 commentsJochen
Sulpicius~0.jpg
C. Sulpicius C.f. (Galba) - AR denarius serratus10 views³moneyer probably not belonged to the patrician Galba family but to a Plebeian branch
³Sardinia or Massalia region
¹Rome
²103 BC
¹106 BC
2 jugate laureate heads of Dii Penates Publici left
D · P · P
Two soldiers (or Dii Penas Publici) standing facing each other, holding spears and pointing at sow which lies between them
C
C·SV(LP)ICI·C·F
¹Crawford 312/1, RSC I Sulpicia 1, SRCV I 189, Sydenham 572
²Mark Passehl - Roman moneyer & coin type chronology, 150 – 50 BC
³Mark Passehl
3,96g
ex Aurea numismatika

The Sulpicii came from Lavinium and both sides of coin are related to it.

Di Penates Publici were taken from Troy together with Palladium by Aeneas. When Aeneas fled from Troy Helenus, a son of Priamos, has predicted Aeneas, that he would built a new city where a white sow would cast 30 piglets. Aeneas prepared to sacrifice a pregnant white sow he has brought in his ship for this purpose, but the sow escaped and fled 24 stadiums in the inland, layed down under an oak-tree (or ilex-tree) and casted 30 white piglets. Because of that Aeneas knew that this prophecy too became true and he should built a city here. He sacrificed the 30 piglets and erected a shrine at this place. The new city he called Lavinium referring to Lavinia, daughter of king Latinus. The 30 piglets represented 30 years only after which his successors became the real owners of the new land.

At the same time story of white sow predicts foundation of another town:
River god Tiber speak to Aeneas in a dream:
"....
A sow beneath an oak shall lie along,
All white herself, and white her thirty young.
When thirty rolling years have run their race,
Thy son Ascanius, on this empty space,
Shall build a royal town, of lasting fame,
Which from this omen shall receive the name.
..."
Alba Longa was founded just 30 years after Lavinium and so the prophecy was fulfilled here too. The name Alba Longa is said to be derived from the white sow (meaning the long white). So Lavinium was the mothertown of Alba Longa and finely of Rome itself. On the Forum of Lavinium stood a bronze statue of the sow, its body was conserved by the priests in pickle.
(Jochen's coins of mythological interests)
Johny SYSEL
C__Sulpicius_C_f__Galba.jpg
C. SULPICIUS C.f. GALBA AR Serrate Denarius2 viewsOBVERSE: Conjoined laureate heads of the Dei Penates left
REVERSE: Two soldiers swearing oath over a sow; F above; C SVLPICI C F in ex
Struck at Rome, 106 BC
3.8g, 19mm
Cr312/1; Syd 572; Sulpicia 1
1 commentsLegatus
C__Sulpicius_C_f__Galba.JPG
C. Sulpicius C.f. Galba – Sulpicia-161 viewsROMAN REPUBLIC C. Sulpicius C.f. Galba. 106 BC. AR Serrate Denarius. Conjoined laureate heads of the Dei Penates left / Two soldiers swearing oath over a sow; Control Mark F above. Crawford 312/1; Syd 572; Sulpicia 1; RCV 189.1 commentsBud Stewart
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C. Sulpicius C.f. Galba, Denarius8 viewsC. Sulpicius C.f. Galba, Denarius

RRC 312/1
106 bc

Av: Jugate, laureate heads of Dei Penates l.; before, D P P,
Rv: Two male figures standing facing each other, each holding spear and pointing at sow which lies between them; above, L; in ex., C SVLPICI C [F].

Reverse depicts scene from Aeneid. According to the prophecy, in the place where a white sow casts 30 piglets under an oak tree, a new city shall be built (Lavinium); also, a new city called after the white sow shall be built by Ascanius 30 years later (Alba Longa). (Wikipedia)

Ex Bertolami Fine arts, Auction 24, Numismatics, London, 23.06.2016, #413
Norbert
00sulpgalba10.jpg
C.SULPICIUS C.f. GALBA.30 viewsAR denarius. 106 BC. 3,93 grs. Laureate heads of the Dei Penates conjoined left. D.P.P. before. / Two soldiers swearing oath over over sow.Letter N above. C.SVLPICI.C.F in exergue.
Craw 312/1. RSC Sulpicia 1.
EX Roma Numismatics. I.& L. Goldberg 59,lot 2304. Malter, Ridge collection, lot 1613.
benito
00sulpgalba10~0.jpg
C.SULPICIUS C.f. GALBA. 28 viewsAR denarius. 106 BC. 3,93 grs. Laureate heads of the Dei Penates conjoined left. D.P.P. before. / Two soldiers swearing oath over over sow.Letter N above. C.SVLPICI.C.F in exergue.
Craw 312/1. RSC Sulpicia 1.
I.& L. Goldberg 59,lot 2304. Malter, Ridge collection, lot 1613.
benito
CivilWarRIC12.jpg
Civil Wars RIC 12172 viewsCivil Wars 68-69 CE. AR Denarius (17.50 mm, 3.39 g). Spanish mint, April-June 68 CE.
O: BONI EVENTVS, Female bust right, wearing fillet; hair rolled and looped above neck
R: VICTORIA P R, Victory standing left on globe, holding wreath in right hand and palm in left
- BMCRE I 292 Note + Taf 50.2; P.-H. Martin, the anonymous coins of the year 68 AD (1974) 82 # 99 PL 9; E. P. Nicolas, De Néron à Vespasien (1979) 1308 No. 31; 1435 f 1456 # 107 Taf 14.107 B; RIC I² Nr. 12 (Spain, 68 n. Chr.) R5 (Group I). Evidently the second known. The above references are all to one example found in Münzkabinett Berlin.

Likely struck by Galba in Spain between April 6 and early June, 68 AD, that is, between the dates of his acceptance of the offer from Vindex and of his receiving news of his recognition by the Senate.

The civil wars at the end of Nero’s reign began with the revolt of the governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gaius Julius Vindex, probably around the beginning of March of AD 68. Vindex had claimed that he had a force of 100,000 men, and a substantial coinage was certainly needed to pay them.

Vindex offered the leadership of the revolt to Servius Sulpicius Galba, then governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, who was hailed imperator by the Spanish legions at Carthago Nova in April of the same year. The title was cautiously refused, but Galba did declare himself the legatus of the senate and people of Rome. Just a month later, Galba’s confidence would be shaken by the crushing defeat of Vindex near Besançon by the general Lucius Verginius Rufus, governor of Germania Superior. By 9 June Nero was dead, having taken his own life. Galba began his march to Rome, and his brief reign was underway.

Without an emperor to strike in the name of (save for that in honor of the “model emperor” of Roman history, Augustus) the coinage was struck with messages suiting the political climate. The coinage under Vindex possesses a more aggressive air that underscores the militant nature of his revolt, while Galba’s tends to be more constitutional and optimistic in tone. Originally struck in large numbers, as indicated by the number of types employed, the coins of the civil wars are all rare today, having been recalled after the final victory of Vespasian in 69 AD.
5 commentsNemonater
424G372Sulpicia.png
Cr 312/1 AR Denarius C. Sulpicius C.f. Galba21 views Rome, 106 BCE
o: Jugate heads of Dei Penates left, DPP before
r: Two soldiers swearing oath over sow, L above, C SVLPICI. C F in ex.
Crawford 312/1. Sulpicia 1
Serrated, 3.85g. (12h)
Penates were both personal and public gods, and this obverse emphasizes that these are the public form, "Publici", as it would be quite unusual to emphasize the private aspect of household gods. The oath scene on reverse likely refers to the founding myth of the white sow at Alba Longa in the Aeneid. The Sulpicii gens eventually culminated (and terminated) with the emperor Galba.
1 commentsPMah
10142v.jpg
Crawford 312/1, Roman Republic, C. Sulpicius Galba, Denarius serratus87 viewsRoman Republic (Rome mint 106 BC.), C. Sulpicius Galba.
AR Denarius serratus (3.90 g, 18-19 mm).
Obv.: D.P.P (abbreviation of Dei Penates Publici) , before jugate, laureate heads of Dei Penates l. .
Rev.: C. SVLPICI. C. F. Two male figures (the Dei Penates) standing facing each other, each holding spear in l. hand and with r. hand pointing at sow which lies between them; above, control mark C.
Crawford 312/1 . Syd. 572 . Bab. Sulpicia 1 .

Crawford interprets this type as Aeneas landing in Lanuvium (home of Sulpicia gens) with the Penates and the subsequent miracle of the white sow that foretold the founding of Alba Longa. (David Sear, RCV 2000).

The reverse of this coin shows the sow that led Aeneas to the place, where he founded Lavinium, the mother city of Alba Longa. The cult of the Penates was closely connected with Lavinium as the Romans believed that these godheads were brought first to Lavinium by Aeneas before they came to Rome. The Penates belonged to the original gods of Rome and were not imported from the Etruscans or Greeks. The original Roman religion personified all events connected with growing, harvesting and processing the products of the field. The Penates were responsible for protecting the larder in the house of every family. There also existed Penates for the whole of Rome. They were kept at the temple of Vesta together with the palladium, the statue of Athena coming from Troy, and the holy fire. Only once a year, on June 9, the married women in Rome were allowed to see them. They came barefoot on that day to sacrifice fruits and cake.

my ancient coin database
2 commentsArminius
Domitian_RIC_V957.JPG
Domitian (as Caesar), 69 - 81 AD47 viewsObv: CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS, laureate head of Domitian facing right.

Rev: COS V, helmeted horseman galloping right, his right hand is extended and trailing behind him.

Note: The reverse type might have been inspired by the coinage of Galba.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, 77 - 78 AD

3.38 grams, 18.6 mm, 135°

RIC IIi Vespasian 957, RSC 49, S2638, VM 10/1

Ex: FORVM
3 commentsMatt Inglima
D851.jpg
Domitian RIC-85173 viewsAR Cistophorus, 9.99g
Rome mint (for Asia), 95 AD
Obv: IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P XIIII IMP XXII; Head of Domitian, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: COS XVII CENS P P P; Aquila between two standards, one surmounted by a banner, the other by a hand; G in exergue
RIC 851 (C). BMC 253. RSC 94. RPC 873 (8 spec.). BNC -.
Ex NFC Coins, eBay, 18 April 2018.

A small issue of cistophori were struck by Domitian in 95. Style and die axis identify Rome as the home mint. Curiously, K. Butcher and M. Ponting's metal analysis reveal they were struck from a different stock of metal than contemporary denarii, possibly from recycled older denarii. The traditional military type of aquila and standards is the most commonly encountered reverse from the series. It is copied from coins struck for Nero and Galba. The 'G' in exergue may be the mark of an officina.

Struck in good late style.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
Nero_37.jpg
E74 viewsNero AE As

Attribution: RIC I 313, Rome
Date: AD 65
Obverse: NERO CAESAR AVG GERM IMP laureate head l.
Reverse: Victory advancing l. holding shield with “ S P Q R” inscribed, S-C in fields
Size: 26 mm
Weight: 12.3 grams
(Bust of Nero: Museo Nazionale, Rome)

“He was about the average height, his body marked with spots and malodorous, his hair light blond…His health was good for though indulging in every kind of riotous excess, he was ill but three times in all during the fourteen years of his reign.” –Seutonius Life of Nero LI

Upon the death of Claudius in AD 54, 16 year-old Nero was accepted as the next emperor. At first, he pampered the senate, made financial promises to the praetorian guard, and generally appeared to be headed in the direction of the superior reign of the divine Augustus. Problems soon became evident upon the poisoning of Britannicus, Claudius’ son. The murder of Nero’s mother, Agrippina, in AD 59 was the single most notoriously sordid act of the emperor’s entire reign. Still, he was noted for numerous other disdainful exploits as well. Nero became infatuated with Poppaea, the wife of a close friend, Marcus Otho. He had Otho appointed governor of Lusitania and soon began an affair with Poppaea. His marriage to Octavia, of course, was a problem as well, so Nero had her exiled on the island of Pandateria in AD 62. There she was accused of adultery and subsequently killed not long after. Sadly, in AD 65, while throwing a temper tantrum, Nero kicked a pregnant Poppaea to death. He did remarry again, but eventually became lovers with the boy Sporus who resembled Poppaea.

“Rumour had it that he used to roam the streets after dark, visiting taverns with his friends, mugging people in the street, attacking women, and thieving from shops and stalls. He was also accused of abusing married women and freeborn boys.” – from Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (1995)

Nero’s reign is marked by a time of financial bleeding of the imperial coffers. His “projects” and excesses were so vast, that the emperor needed to find money wherever he could. One of his most heinous rampages saw him coercing wealthy citizens to will their possessions and fortunes to him prior to forcing them to commit suicide. The Great Fire of AD 64, which started in the neighborhood of the Circus Maximus and spread rapidly to 10 of Rome’s 14 regions, brought the emperor’s popularity further down as tensions reached the boiling point. This is partially due to the fact that he diverted the blame for the fire in the direction of an emerging religious “cult”, the Christians (who were persecuted unmercifully). It is said that he even tied some Christians to posts and had them tarred and lit to illuminate his parties in the royal gardens. Later several conspiracies were unraveled and quelled, but in the end, Nero pushed his luck too far. The revolts of Vindex, Rufus, and Galba were the beginning of the end for the emperor. He was abandoned by his guards and found himself alone at the palace. One of his freedmen, Phaon, led him out of the city to a villa. There Nero committed suicide by stabbing himself in the neck (although his private secretary Epaphroditus finished the job). His last words were, “What an artist the world is losing!” He died in AD 68 at age 30.
4 commentsNoah
EB0394_scaled.JPG
EB0394 Galba / PVBLICA LIBERTAS5 viewsGalba, AE As, 68-69 AD
Obv: [IMP SER GALBA CAES AVG TR P], Laurate head right
Rev: S-C PVBLICA LIBERTAS (not LIBERTAS PVBLICA), Libertas standing left, draped, holding pileus in right hand and sceptre in left hand.
References: cf. RIC I 309.
Diameter: 30mm, Weight: 11.453 grams.
EB
EB0588_scaled.JPG
EB0588 Galba / Kratesis12 viewsGalba, Billon Tetradrachm of Alexandria.
Obv: ΛOYK ΛIB ΣOYΛΠ ΓAΛBA KAIΣ ΣEB AYT, laureate head right, LA (year 1 = 68 AD) before.
Rev: KPA-TH-ΣIΣ, Kratesis standing facing, head left, wearing chiton, Nike offering wreath in her extended right hand, trophy of captured arms in her left hand.
References: Dattari 311.
Diameter: 25.5mm, Weight: 11.04 grams.
EB
EB0597_scaled.JPG
EB0597 Galba / Eirene12 viewsGalba Billon Tetradrachm of Alexandria. Year 1 = 68 AD.
Obv: (ΛOYK) ΛIB (ΣOYΛΠ ΓAΛBA) KAIΣ ΣEB AV, laureate head right, LA before.
Rev: EI ΡH NH, bust of Eirene right, caduceus behind shoulder.
References: Milne 309; RPC 5328.
Diameter: 27mm, Weight: 9.53 grams.
EB
EB0598_scaled.JPG
EB0598 Galba / Eirene10 viewsGalba Billon Tetradrachm of Alexandria. Year 1 = 68 AD.
Obv: (ΛOYK ΛIB ΣOYΛΠ ΓAΛBA KAIΣ ΣEB AV), laureate head right, LA before.
Rev: (EI ΡH) NH, bust of Eirene right, caduceus behind shoulder.
References: Milne 309; RPC 5328.
Diameter: 25mm, Weight: 11.89 grams.
EB
EB1025_scaled.JPG
EB1025 Galba / Pax13 viewsGalba 68-69 AD, AE dupondius.
Obverse: IMP SER GALBA CAES AVG TRP, laureate head right.
Reverse: PA--X AV--GVST S--C, Pax standing left, holding branch and cornucopia.
References: RIC I 370; BMCRE 124; Cohen 155.
Diameter: 29mm, Weight: 14.13g.
Ex: Superior Stamp & Coin.
1 commentsEB
Galba_1.jpg
Egypt, Alexandria, AD 068/069, Galba36 viewsGalba
Egypt, Alexandria
Billon-Tetradrachme, year2, AD 68-69
Obv.: ΣEPOYI ΓAΛBA AYTO KAIΣ ΣEBA, Laureate head right LB=year2
Rev.: AΛEΞANΔPEA, Draped bust of Alexandria right, wearing elephant's skin; simpulum before.
Billon, 12.79g, 24.3mm
Köln 226; Dattari 301; Milne 348; Emmett 170; RPC I 5341
Ex dionysos numismatik
shanxi
Galba_02.jpg
Egypt, Alexandria, AD 068/069, Galba, Eirene7 viewsGalba
Egypt, Alexandria
Billon-Tetradrachme, year2, AD 68-69
Obv.: [ΣEPOYI ΓAΛ]BA AYTO KAIΣ ΣE[BA], Laureate head right LB=year2
Rev.: [EIPHN]H - Laureate and veiled bust of Eirene right; caduceus over shoulder, star before.
Billon, 12.34g, 23.7mm
Ref.: Köln 229, RPC I 5343, Dattari 304, Milne 328, Emmett 171.
shanxi
alexandria_galba_Milne343.jpg
Egypt, Alexandria, Galba, Milne 34329 viewsGalba, AD 68-69
AE - Billon-tetradrachm, 23mm, 12.2g
AD 68/69 (year 2)
obv: SEROVI GALBA AV[TO KAIS SEBA]
Laureate head r.
below chin LB (year 2)
rev. ELEV - QERIA
Eleutheria (Libertas), stg. l., leaning on column, holding wreath in raised r. hand and sceptre and puff of garment in l. arm
in l. field simpulum
Milne 343; Dattari 310; SNG Copenhagen cf.152 (rev. with star);
Köln 233f.
rare, F+
Jochen
EGYPT,_Alexandria__Galba__AD_68-69__Æ_Obol.png
EGYPT, Alexandria. Galba. AD 68-69. (Æ 20) Obol.37 viewsEGYPT, Alexandria. Galba. AD 68-69. Æ Obol (max 21.5 mm, 3.8 gr ).
Obverse : Laureate head right.
Reverse : Canopic jar (Canopus of Osiris) with crowned ram head , L B (date) before.
Dated year 2 (AD 68/9)
Ref: BMC 16. 24, 204 RPC I 5352. aVF, Chocolate patina. Very rare.
The Sam Mansourati Collection.
2 commentsSam
othoRIC17.jpg
First_RIC 1754 viewsBoth left facing VICTORIA types are quite rare. Several of the Victory on globe reverse dies have the legend re-engraved, the original dies having been of Galba's VICTORIA PR reverse type. 2.75 gr, die-axis 6.jmuona
galba.jpg
galba35 viewsGalba, As, December 68 AD, Rome mint.
Obverse- SER SVLPI GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P, laureate head right.
Reverse SALVS AVGVSTI, S C, Salus standing right, leaning on column, feeding serpent from patera.
RIC I, 502 (R), 26-28 mm, 9.96 g. Very rare.
b70
za~0.jpg
GALBA48 viewsAR denarius. 69 AD. Laureate head right. IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG / Livia standing left, holding patera and scepter.DIVA AVGVSTA . RIC 186. RSC 55.
Ex I & L Goldberg.
benito
00galba.jpg
GALBA42 viewsAR denarius. 69 AD. Laureate head right. IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG / Livia standing left, holding patera and scepter.DIVA AVGVSTA . RIC 186. RSC 55.

benito
00053-Galba.jpg
Galba30 viewsGalba Dupondius
29 mm 14.02 gm
O: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG
Laureate and draped bust right
R:PAX AVGVST S C
Pax standing left, holding olive branch and cornucopia
2 commentsKoffy
00galba~2.jpg
GALBA129 viewsGALBA
AR denarius. 69 AD. Laureate head right. IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG / Livia standing left, holding patera and scepter.DIVA AVGVSTA . RIC 186. RSC 55.

He showed marked respect to Livia Augusta, to whose favor he owed great influence during her lifetime and by whose last will he almost became a rich man; for he had the largest bequest among her legatees, one of fifty million sesterces. But because the sum was designated in figures and not written out in words, Tiberius, who was her heir, reduced the bequest to five hundred thousand, and Galba never received even that. Suetonius 5.2
With this coin Galba wished to demonstrate continuity with the Julio-Claudian dinasty that had ruled for the last century, through his close friendship with Livia.



benito
GalbaDenarius.jpg
Galba199 viewsDenarius. Rome, A.D. 68. Bare head of Galba right. Rv. S P Q R/OB/C S in three lines within wreath. 3.46 grams. RIC 167. BMC 34 corr. (obv. incorrectly described). RSC 287.4 commentsNemonater
Galba_Alex_Tet.jpg
Galba11 viewsGalba
Billon Tetradrachm of Alexandria.
Year 1 = 68 AD.
ΛΟΥΚ ΛΙΒ ΣΟΥΛΠ ΓΑΛΒΑ ΚΑΙΣ ΣΕΒ, laureate head right, LA before / ΕΛΕΥ-ΘΕΡΙΑ, Eleutheria standing half-left, holding wreath and sceptre, and leaning on column.
Köln 220, milne 311; Emmett 172
Ex Nilus Coins
Sosius
013~3.JPG
Galba27 viewsQuinaire, Lugdunum (Lyon), 1,79 g, 14 mm.
A/ SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M T P, Tête laurée de Galba à droite, grènetis.
R/ VICTORIAE GALBAE AVG, la Victoire debout à gauche sur un globe, tenant une couronne et une palme, grènetis.
Gabalor
Galba.jpg
Galba34 viewsRoman Empire
Imperator Servius Galba Caesar Augustus
(Reign as 6th Emperor: June 8, 68-Jan. 15, 69)
(Born: Dec. 4th, 3 BC, Died Jan. 15th 69 [Age 71])


Obverse: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG, Head of Galba wearing laurel wreath and facing right

Reverse: SALVS GEN HVMANI, Salus standing facing left, stepping on globe, sacrificing over altar and holding rudder

Silver Denarius
Minted in Rome July 68-Jan. 69


Understanding the inscriptions:

IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG=Imperator Servius Galba Caesar Augustus
1 commentsSphinx357
galba.jpg
Galba26 viewsRoman Imperial, Galba (68-69 AD) AE As, Tarraco mint, 9.1g, 29mm

Obverse: SER GALBA IMP AVGVSTVS, Laureate head left, globe at point of head portrait.

Reverse: LIBERTAS PVBLICA S-C, Libertas standing left, holding pileus and sceptre.

Reference: RIC I 71

Ex: Holding History +photo

Not at Wildwinds.
Gil-galad
Galba~0.jpg
Galba94 viewsIMP SER GALBA AVG
Laureate head right

DIVA AVGVSTA
Livia standing left holding patera and sceptre

Rome, November 68 AD-January 69AD

RIC 150, BMC 5, RSC 52a

2.94g

Rare with this short obverse legend

Ex-Incitatus
5 commentsJay GT4
galb11_(1).JPG
Galba39 viewsGalba
AE25 Diobol
Alexandria, Egypt.
Obv. Laur. head left.
Rev. Bust of Isis right.
Dattari 320. Year 2 = 68/69 AD.
2 commentsRandygeki(h2)
2015-01-07_01_08_12-20.jpg
Galba2 viewsGalba AE As, minted between July 68-Jan 69 AD, 29mm, 10.94gm, RIC 291.Ancient Aussie
galbatet.jpg
Galba (68 - 69 A.D.)63 viewsAR Tetradrachm
SYRIA, Seleucis and Pieria. Antioch
O: AYTOKPATWP GALBA C KAICAP CEBACTOC, bare head right.
R: Eagle standing left, wreath in beak, on two laurel branches; palm to left, ETOYC B (date) below.
Antioch Mint
14.4g
26mm
RPC I 4198; Prieur 100; SNG Copenhagen 163
2 commentsMat
galbatet2.jpg
Galba (68 - 69 A.D.)33 viewsEgypt, Alexandria
Billon Tetradrachm
O: ΛOYK ΛIB ΣOYΛΠ ΓAΛBA KAIΣ ΣEB AV, laureate head right, LA (date) before, LA = 68 A.D.
R: ΡΩ-MH, helmeted, draped bust of Roma right, holding spear and shield.
23mm
13.6g
Milne 317, RPC 5330; Köln 223; Dattari (Savio) 314; K&G 17.6.
3 commentsMat
RS034-Roman-AE_as,_Galba_(ca_68-69_AD)-019700.JPG
GALBA (68-69 AD), AE as, DIVA AVGVSTA, Spanish (Tarraco?) mint, ca. 68 AD53 viewsObverse- SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG P M TR P P P, laureate head right.
Reverse- DIVA AVGVSTA, female figure (Livia?) standing left, holding patera and sceptre.
RIC 67, 28 mm, 11.6 g.
Ex-"king_radio" (eBay), UK, February, 2012.
Comments: Galba can be moderately tough. A lot of his coins (at least the ones within my budget) are pretty miserable looking. I thought this one was pretty decent for the price (which worked out to just a hair over $200 with the exchange rate). I liked it for the clear portrait and name. The almost black patina is not bad at all. The British seller was very friendly and easy to deal with- we ended up swapping several chatty emails.
2 commentslordmarcovan
TW-07.jpg
Galba (A.D. 68 - 69)23 viewsOrichalcum Sestertius, A.D. 68, Rome, 36mm, 25.24g, 180°, RIC I, 309, holed and filled.
Obv: IMP SER SVLP GALBA CAES AVG TR P. Laureate, draped bust right.
Rev: LIBERTAS PVBLICA. Libertas standing left, holding pileus and scepter; S C in field.
Marti Vltori
00560.jpg
Galba (RIC 329, Coin #560)8 viewsGalba, RIC 329 (Scarce), Copper AS, Rome, 68 AD.
Obv: IMP SER SVLP GALBA CAES AVG TR P Laureate head right.
Rev: S C Aquila perched left on thunderbolt between two
standards, all resting on a bar.
Size: 27.1mm 10.04g
MaynardGee
186_Galba_Alexandria.JPG
Galba - Alexandria6 viewsBI tetradrachm
29 Aug 68 - 15 Jan 69 AD
laureate head right
ΣEPOYI ΓAΛBA ΑYTOK KAIΣ ΣΕΒA
LB .... (second year of reign)
veiled bust of Eirene right; caduceus left; star right
EIPH_NH
Köln -; RPC I 5338; Dattari 304; Milne 327; Emmett 171
12,98g 24-23mm
Johny SYSEL
Galba.jpg
Galba - RIC 415 variant16 viewsGalba 68-69AD - Roman Imperial AS
Obverse: Galba. AE As. SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TRP, laureate head right
Reverse: PAX AVGVSTA, S-C, Pax standing half left holding branch and winged caduceus.
Weight: 12.43 gms Size: 27 mm
ID: RIC 415 var (As), Sear 2135 variant
Mint: Rome mint 68-69 AD
Notes: 1. Variation is bust type for this rev. legend (normally draped and laureate) and RIC 415 is a Duponius, not an AS
2. Although not pretty, I like this one for it's relative uniqueness
ickster
Galba_2.jpg
Galba - RIC-16157 viewsGalba Denarius 68 AD Rome (3.19 gm) IMP SER GALBA AVG, laureate head right / ROMA RENASCEN, Roma standing left holding Victory & transverse eagle tipped scepter. RIC 161, RSC 202.3 commentsBud Stewart
Galba.jpg
Galba AE AS92 viewsIMP SERV GALBA CAES AVG TR P?
Bare head of Galba right

VESTA SC
Vesta seated left holding Palladium and sceptre

July 68 - January 69 AD, Rome

10.18g

Thanks to Curtis Clay attribution:

Paris 186-187, both from the same die pair
Cohen 311
RIC 374, citing Glasgow 57
Jay GT4
Galba_2.jpg
GALBA AE Dupondius RIC 283, Pax26 viewsOBV: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG TR P Laureate head right
REV: PA X AVGVST Pax standing, head left, holding branch and cornucopia, S C in fields
13.2g, 27mm

Minted at Rome, June - August 68 AD
Legatus
Galba_Aequitas_491.jpg
Galba Aequitas RIC 49123 viewsGALBA, Æ As, Rome, December 68 AD, RIC I pg 255, 491, ACG 415, Cohen 7
OBV: IMP SER GALBA CAES TR P, Laureate head right
REV: AEQUITAS, S-C low to l. and r., Aequitas standing right, holding scales and sceptre

RARE
Romanorvm
Galba1.jpg
Galba Alexadria Tet10 viewsGalba Alexadria Tet, Struck 68 AD, 23.8mm, 12.83gm, Emmett 172.1 commentsAncient Aussie
Screen_Shot_2018-07-25_at_12_15_45_PM.png
Galba AR Denarius33 viewsGalba. AD 68-69. AR Denarius
(17mm, 3.51 g, 6h).
Spanish mint (Tarraco?).
Struck circa April-late AD 68.
Obv: GALBA IMP Laureate bust right, [globe at point of bust]
Rev: VIRTVS, Virtus standing left, holding Victory in extended right hand, cradling parazonium with left arm.
RIC I 31; RSC 333a. Fine, toned
Ex: CNG 417, Lot 427 March 28, 2018
Ex: CNG 425, Lot: 403. July 25, 2018

It certainly pays to do one's research. I saw this in an online auction and I was interested in it. First, it has one of those interesting small head portraits.

From Sutherland "Supplementum Galbianum" (1984)

"There was, curiously,
a noticeable tendency towards much smaller and more compact portrait-
heads, seen for example in RIC I', nos. 14, 20, 23a, 28a, 29, 29a, 30, 30a,
31 (PL. I. 15) and 32."

Second, it is attributed to a Spanish mint. third it has an interesting die link.

From Sutherland (1984)
RIC F, no. 29a (B.M. (1935), rev. S P Q R on shield in wreath) shares an obv.
die with no. 31 (Oxford, rev. Virtus).

Most importantly I just liked it. When I researched the coin before the hammer fell I found out that this coin was the only example in CoinArchives. However it was listed twice. Today's auction was listed as upcoming, but the same coin was also listed in a another sale from March 2018. There were no examples on WildWinds or Acsearch and only the Brtish museum example on OCRE.

All things considered; the rarity, the Virtus reverse (that is 3 I have now) and the interesting portrait, made this coin a must have.
So now I will be on the lookout for Galba denarii minted in Narbo or otherwise in Gaul, and well as those minted in Carthage.
orfew
Galba_RIC_62_new.jpg
Galba AR Denarius61 viewsGalba, 68-69 Denarius Tarraco (?) April to late 68, AR
19mm., 3.33g.
Obv: SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG PM TR P; Laureate head r.
Rev. SPQR / OB / C-S within oak wreath.
C 288. RIC 62.(R2)
From the M.J. Collection.
Ex: Naville Numismatics Live auction 49 Lot 439 May 12, 2019.
2 commentsorfew
Galba_AR_Denarius.jpg
Galba AR Denarius. SPQR OB CS in wreath50 viewsGalba Denarius. Rome mint, 68-69 AD. IMP SER GALBA AVG, bare head right / SPQR OB CS in three lines within oak wreath. RSC 287. RIC 170
18mm., 2,47g. _20317
Antonivs Protti
galba.jpg
Galba As35 viewsOBV: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG TR P
laureate bust right
REV: S-C to left and right of aquila on thunderbolt between two standards
28mm ,8.8g
RIC 428
1 commentsmiffy
007.jpg
Galba As100 viewsRIC II 496 (new) Rome, BMC 261a, Cohen 159
11.89 g, 28 mm
SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P, laureate head right
PAXS AVGVSTI S-C, Pax draped, standing half left, holding cornucopiae and torch, with which she is sets fire to a heap of arms on the ground.
Scarce
Rev. legend is PAXS (not just PAX) AVGVSTI S C, and she applies a torch to a pile of captured arms; obv. legend is without P M. Cat. no. 409 in Kraay's die study, RIC 496 in the new RIC (publ. 1984), BMC 261a, Cohen 159. Probably an As not a dupondius; only the metal color, and to some extent the weight, tell them apart. Belongs to Kraay's interesting Officina G (many spectacular types on the sestertii), which Mattingly in BMC wrongly regarded as posthumous.
(Many thanks to Mr. Curtis Clay for attribution and comments!)
8 commentsMark Z2
Galba_As_Libertas_Publica.jpg
Galba As Libertas Publica105 viewsObv.
IMP SER SVLP GALBA CAES AVG TR P
Laureate head right

Rev.
LIBERTAS PVBLICA
SC
Libertas standing left, holding spear and pileus
ancientdave
Galba_BI_tetradrachm.JPG
Galba BI tetradrachm of Alexandria, 68 AD26 viewsGalba
Egypt, Alexandria
BI tetradrachm – 68 AD
ΛOYKΛIB ΣOYΛΠ ΓAΛBA KAIΣ ΣEBAV, LA
Eleutheria standing l., w/ wreath and scepter
EΛEYΘEPIA
Emmett 172(1)

Ardatirion
Galba_Tet.jpg
Galba billon Tetradrachm84 viewsΛ OYKΛIBΣ OYΛ Π ΓAΛBA KAIΣ ΣEB AVT
laureate bust of Galba, right, LB (year 2) before

PΩMH
Helmeted, draped bust of Roma right, holding spear & sheild

Alexandria, September 68 AD-January 69 AD

13.44g

Scarce

RPC 5330; Emmett 174

Ex-ANE

In hand it has a wonderful dark consistent toning
1 commentsJay GT4
Galba.jpg
Galba denarius76 viewsGalba, denarius
RIC 167, RSC 287.
Rome mint, August-October 68 AD.
3.0 gr.
Obv. IMP SER GALBA AVG, his bare head right.
Rev. SPQR OB CS in three lines within oak wreath.

Another addition to my 12 Caesars. An attractive coin with a very strong portrait and the name fully readable. Good silver condition.
2 commentsMarsman
811014LG.jpg
Galba Denarius - Roma Renascens (RIC 28)68 viewsAR Denarius
Tarraco, Spain 68 AD
3.41g

Obv: Laureate bust of Galba (R)
IMP GALBA

Rev: ROMA RENASCENS
Roma walking right, holding Spear and Winged Victory.

RIC 28

Ex Dr. Michael Brandt, Klassisch Munzen
Ex MMAG, Basel (Basle) Fixed Price Listing 372 (October 1975), 23 (plate)
2 commentsKained but Able
Galba_RIC_189.jpg
Galba Denarius A.D. 69 RIC 189, RSC 55a, BMC 628 viewsIMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG, laureate and draped bust right / DIVA AVGVSTA, Livia standing left, holding patera & vertical sceptre.
Maximum Diameter: 17.0 mm
Weight: 2.82 g
1 commentsTheEmpireNeverEnded
Galba~0.jpg
Galba denarius Salus Gen Humani16 viewsPhiloromaos
Galba_3.jpg
GALBA Denarius, RIC 234, Victory31 viewsOBV: IMPSERGALBACAESARAVGPM - Laureate head right
REV: VICTORIAPR - Victory standing left on globe, holding wreath and palm
3.2g, 18mm

Minted at Rome, Oct-Nov 68 AD
Legatus
g1rpci5350.jpg
Galba diobol, RPC I 535022 viewsAlexandria mint, Galba diobol, 68-69 A.D. AE, 23mm 11.63g, RPC I 5350
O: ΣEPOYIΓAΛBA AYTOK KAIΣΣEBA, laureate head right
R: AΛEΞANΔPEA, draped bust of Serapis right, dated LB (year 2)
casata137ec
Galba dupondius~0.jpg
Galba dupondius33 viewsObv : SER GALBA [IMP] CAESAR AVG TR P, laureate and draped bust right.
Rev: [PAX] AVGVSTA, Pax standing left holding branch and caduceus, dividing [S]C.

Too bad for the crust, but I had better leave the coin untouched. There is a picture on Wildwinds of the same coin from the same obverse die : http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/ric/galba/RIC_0415-o.jpg
1 commentsGinolerhino
Galba_Hispania_RIC_I_21.jpg
Galba Hispania RIC I 2129 viewsGalba, Silver denarius, Tarraco Mint, April to late 68 AD, 18.5mm, 3.335g, die axis 180°, RIC I 21 (R2), RSC II 80, BMCRE I 174, BnF III 10, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, F,
OBV: GALBA IMP, laureate head right, globe at tip of neck
REV: HISPANIA, Hispania standing left, draped, poppy and two stalks of grain in extended right hand, two vertical spears and round shield behind in left hand. This is the first example of this type handled by Forum.

VERY RARE
EX: Forum Ancient Coins. Ex: Jyrki Muona Collection

On the death of Caligula, Galba refused the invitation of his friends to make a bid for the empire,
and loyally served Claudius. For the first half of Nero's reign he lived in retirement, until 61, when the emperor bestowed on him the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. In the spring of 68,
at the time of Julius Vindex' insurrection in Gaul, Galba was informed of Nero's intention to put him to death. Learning of Vindex's defeat and suicide Galba hesitated to claim the throne.
He took the title caesar only after Nero's suicide and after he was told that Nymphidius Sabinus, the Praetorian Prefect, had given him his favor.
This type was struck to for Hispania to thank the province for supporting his bid for the purple.
3 commentsSRukke
Screen_Shot_2018-05-06_at_5_18_39_PM.png
Galba RIC 000957 viewsGalba. 68-69 AD. Denarius, 3.50gg. (5h). Tarraco. Obv: GALBA - IM[PERATOR] Head laureate right on globe. Rx: LIB - [ERTAS] - RESTITVTA Libertas standing left, apparently emptying a cup and holding scepter. BM 198, pl. 54.3. RIC 9 (R2), pl. 24 (the BM spec.). Cf. Paris 12, pl.III (apparently no globe below bust). Cohen 133 (120 Fr.).
Ex: Dr. Jyrki Muona
Ex: Gemini XIV Lot 475, May 2018

I have 3 denarii of Galba with a 4th on the way. I purchased this one because I really liked the portrait. The bust is of high relief and seems to almost jump off of the coin. As you can read in the attribution, this coin was purchased from the Gemini auction held by Harlan Berk. Before that this coin was the property of a well known collector-Dr. Jyrki Muona. This is my second Galba denarius from his collection. The other one is in an earlier post on this site.

Another interesting fact about this coin is where it was minted. This coin was minted in Spain, specifically in Tarraco. Spanish mint denarii of Galba are sought after and actively collected. I think that one of the reasons for this has to do the interesting portraits on these coins.

Of course the reverse on this coin is also interesting. Though the full legend is not on the reverse, it was supposed to read "Libertas Restitvta" or Liberty Restored. The suicide of Nero led to a civil war. As the next emperor it was in Galba's interest to present as rosy a picture of the empire as possible. The restoration of liberty would have been a popular message with the roman populace.
3 commentsorfew
Unpublished_Galba_virtus.jpg
Galba RIC 0048a46 viewsGalba, AD 68-69. Denarius, Spain (Tarraco ?), 68. AR 3.25 g.
Obv: GALBA - IMPERTOR Laureate head r., globe at point of bust.
Rev. VIRTVS Virtus, wearing short tunica, standing l., holding parazonium with her l. hand, on her outstretched r. hand Victoria with palm branch and wreath.
RIC 48a (R3) Supplementum Galbianum, Quaderni Ticinesi XII Numismatica E Antichita Classiche 1984. Cf. BMC 341, 194v.; BN III, 36, 34v.; C. 210; RIC 30var. (all with IMP on obv.).
Very rare variant. Toned. Small chips on flan. Almost very fine
Provenance: Auction UBS, Zurich 49 (2000), 365.
Ex: “The Galba Collection”
Hess Divo Auction 333, Lot 100 November 30, 2017
Hess Divo Auction 334 Lot 107 May 29, 2018

Here is another rare denarius of Galba. For a while I thought it was an unpublished variant. It did not appear in RIC 1  (1984).I have to thank Dr. Jryki Muona for supplying the correct reference for me. It appeared in a paper by Sutherland in 1984 entitled Supplementum Galbianum. In this paper several previously unpublished coins of Galba including mine were added. My coin type was given the reference number RIC 48a. Other information including corrections and further information is given in the paper. This coin does not occur in the major museum collections. There is one in the Oxford collection and this is the coin used in the paper cited above. There is one other that was auctioned in 2004 by Gorny & Mosch. I have been unable to find any further examples.

For me the most notable quality of this coin is not the rarity (it is R3: 6-10 examples known in the collections examines for RIC), it is the amazing portrait. I have 4 coins of Galba and not one of the portraits is close to any of the others. There is a remarkable variation in portraits on Galba's denarii, especially considering the short reign of the emperor.

Where was this coin minted? It has the globe at the terminus of the bust. This would seem to indicate Taracco in Spain. However, after some research I have discovered that other mints may have used the globe terminus. In other words, if there is no globe it was not minted in Taracco, if it has the globe it may be Taracco. 

The reverse with Virtvs holding victory does appear on other coins of Galba. However, on the vast majority of these the legend "Vitvus" is on the left and not the right. I have seen 2 other types with "Virtvs" on the right. However, on one the bust has no globe terminus so it is not a Tarraco mint coin. On the other, the obverse legend is different and the coin is probably a product of the Carthage mint in Africa because of the distinctive portrait.

I am very happy to have acquired this coin. It is unusual, interesting, and has a great portrait as well as an interesting reverse.

2 commentsorfew
Galba_ric_105_denarius.jpg
Galba RIC 010576 viewsGalba. AD 68-69. AR Denarius (17mm, 3.15 g, 6h). Uncertain mint in Gaul (Narbo?).
Struck circa April-late autumn AD 68.
Obv: Laureate head right SER IMPERATOR GALBA
Rev:Concordia standing left, holding branch and cornucopia. CONCORDIA PROVINCIARUM
RIC I 105; RSC 34. Fine, toned, porous.
Ex Meister & Sonntag Quick Auction 2007 (25 March 2007), lot 214.
CNG E-auction Lot 353 September 5, 2018.
4 commentsorfew
galba_ric_193.jpg
Galba RIC 019391 viewsGalba AR denarius,  VF, Rome mint, ( 3.512g, 19.0mm,  180o), Nov 68 - Jan 69 A.D.; 
elegant style, light toning on nice surfaces, high-points flatly struck,
Obv: IMP SER GALBACAESAR AVG, laureate head right; 
Rev: HISPANIA (counterclockwise starting on left), Hispania advancing left, draped, poppy and two stalks of grain in extended right hand, round shield and two transverse spears in left hand;
RIC I 193 (R2), BMCRE I 16, RSC II 83, BnF III 89, Hunter I 1 var. (no CAESAR, Aug - Oct 68), SRCV I 2103 var. (same)
Ex: the Jyrki Muona Collection; Ex: Forum Ancient Coins


This is one of my favourite coins. I love the portrait on the obverse and the depiction of Hispania on the reverse. Galba was the first ruler in the 'year of the four emperors' in 69 CE.
3 commentsorfew
Galba_ric_236.jpeg
Galba RIC 023655 viewsGALBA, A.D. 68-69. AR Denarius (3.38 gms), Rome Mint, ca. A.D. July 68-January 69.
Obv: "IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG PM" Laureate bust of Galba facing right;
Rev:: Virtus standing facing, holding parazonium upwards and leaning on vertical spear.
NGC Ch F, Strike: 5/5 Surface: 4/5.
RIC-236
Provenance: From the Graywood Collection.



This denarius is quite rare. One aspect that makes it rare is the addition of "PM" in the obverse legend. Their are other examples similar coins without the "PM" that are somewhat more available than this one.

I was attracted to 2 aspects of this denarius. First was the portrait. Portraits of Galba vary widely across his denarii, but this one is quite unusual. It does not look like the portraits on most of his denarii. The other aspect that attracted me to this coin was the use of Virtus on the reverse. According to one expert, Virtus is female, so the figure on the reverse is the nude emperor Galba himself taking on the attributes of Virtus. Apparently, nude representations of the emperor are unusual on imperial coins.

5 commentsorfew
Galba RIC 510.JPG
Galba RIC 51020 viewsAE As, Rome mint, 68-69 AD
Obverse: SER SVLPI GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TRP, Laureate head right
Reverse: SC, Victory advancing left with wreath and palm.
RIC 510; Kray 412, obv Ax, rev pxvi
28mm, 9.4gm.
Jerome Holderman
Galba.jpg
Galba Sestertius12 viewsAE Sestertius
Obv: IMP SER SVLP GALBA CAES AVG TR P
Rev: Victory alighting r. holding wreath and palm, S - C in field

RIC 313
Tanit
Galba Sestertius.JPG
Galba Sestertius19 viewsSestertius Of Galba, 68-69 AD
Obverse : Laureate head right
Reverse: Victory advancing left
35mm, 22gm
Jerome Holderman
Galbasest.jpg
Galba Sestertius97 viewsSER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P
Laureate head left

CONCORD AVG SC
Concordia, seated left on low-backed chair, holding an olive branch

Rome October 68 AD

24.07g

BMC 55, RIC 381, Cohen 28, Sear 2115
2 commentsJay GT4
35091q00.jpg
Galba Sestertius RIC I 24589 viewsPurchased from Forum. 35091. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 245, BMCRE I 94, F, grainy, weight 20.650 g, maximum diameter 35.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 9 Jun - Aug 68 A.D.; obverse IMP SER GALBA AVG TR P, Laureate and draped bust right; reverse ROMA in exergue, Roma seated left on cuirass, vertical spear in right, left arm rests on shield set on helmet, S - C across fields; rare;cliff_marsland
Galba_Victory.JPG
Galba Victory20 viewsGalba Denarius, 17mm, 2.8g, 68 - 69 AD
OBV: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG, laureate and draped bust right
REV: VICTORIA PR, Victory on globe left holding wreath and palm
RIC 217, BMC 49, RSC 328, SEAR 5 - 2110

SCARCE
Romanorvm
20171113_183250.jpg
Galba, Alexandria, Billon-Tetradrachme, year2, AD 68-6928 viewsObv.: ΣEPOYI ΓAΛBA AYTO KAIΣ ΣEBA, Laureate head right LB=year2
Rev.: AΛEΞANΔPEA, Draped bust of Alexandria right, wearing elephant's skin; simpulum before.
Billon, 23mm, 12.7 grams
Köln 226; Dattari 301; Milne 348; Emmett 170; RPC I 5341
1 commentsCanaan
Galba_RIC_167.JPG
Galba, 68 - 69 AD43 viewsObv: IMP SER GALBA AVG, bare head of Galba facing right.

Rev: SPQR / OB / CS in three lines within oak wreath.

Silver Denarius, Rome mint, Aug. - Oct. 68 AD

3.06 grams, 18.3 mm, 180°

RIC I 167, RSC 287, S2109, VM 28
2 commentsSPQR Coins
61.jpg
Galba, AD 68-6956 viewsAE dupondius, 29.52mm (13.88 gm).

IMP SER SVLP GAL-BA CAES AVG TR P, laureate, draped bust right / PA-X AVGVSTA, S-C in field; Pax, draped, standing left, holding caduceus in left hand and branch in right. Rome mint, struck AD late summer 68.

RIC I, 323; BMCRE I, 132.
socalcoins
Galba_AE_As.jpg
Galba, AE-As, Late Summer AD 68. Rome. Rx./ Libertas29 viewsImperial Rome, Galba. AD 68 - 69. AE-As, struck late Summer AD 68. Rome. 8.80g. 4h. 26mm. IMP SER SVLP GALBA CAES AVG TR P, his laureate head rt. / LIBERTAS PVBLICA, Libertas standing lt., holding a pileus and sceptre, S-C in fields. C 129; RIC p. 248, 328 var. (bare head); BMCRE p. 333, 144.Antonivs Protti
0081-310np_noir.jpg
Galba, As - *90 viewsLugdunum mint, AD 68
SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG PON M TR P PP, Laureate head of Galba right
Rome seated left, SC in field
10,60 gr
Ref : Cohen #182, RIC -, see BM #248 (same obverse die), Gorny&Mosch auction 76, 22.04.1996, n° 405 and Müller auction 15, 19-20.09.1975, n° 152. (same dies)
Potator II
5647_5648.jpg
Galba, Denarius, VICTORIA P R19 viewsAR Denarius
Galba
Augustus: July, 68 - January, 69AD
Issued:
19.0 x 17.5mm 2.70gr
O: IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG; Laureate head, right.
R: VICTORIA P R; Victory standing left on globe, wreath upward in right hand, palm in left.
Rome Mint
RIC 217; RSC 328; BMC 49.
Aorta: B7, O13, R56, T78, M3.
Heritage Auctions Weekly World and Ancient Coin Auction, Auction 231746, Lot 63101. Ex. Nilus Coins.
11/16/17 11/24/17
1 commentsNicholas Z
galbse02-2.jpg
Galba, RIC 240, Sestertius of AD 68 (Roma)92 viewsÆ Sestertius (24.3g, Ø36mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 68.
Obv.: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG, laureate draped bust of Galba facing right.
Rev.: ROMA (ex.) S C (field), Roma, helmeted and draped, seated left on cuirass, holding vertical spear and leaning on shield.
RIC 240; BMCRE 88; Kraay 257 (officina D, obv.A55; rev.P104); Sear (Roman Coins and Values) 2119
ex G.Henzen (Netherlands, 1995)
broken flan chip restored at 8h (obv.) 10h (rev.)
3 commentsCharles S
galbse03-2.jpg
Galba, RIC 267, Sestertius of AD 68 (oak wraeth)38 viewsÆ Sestertius (26.4g, Ø34mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 68.
Obv.: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG, laureate draped bust of Galba facing right.
Rev.: S P Q R / OB / CIV SER in three lines within an oak wreath.
RIC 267 (S); Cohen 289; Sear (Roman Coins & their Values I) 2125; Foss (Roman Historical Coins) 74:15a
ex D.Ruskin (Oxford, 1997)

This type was issued to celebrate the recognition of Galba by the Senate in June 68. The legend stands for : SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS OB CIVES SERVATOS meaning: The Senate and the People of Rome to the Saving of the Citizens
Charles S
Galbdu01-2.jpg
Galba, RIC 285, Dupondius of AD 68 (Pax)31 viewsÆ Dupondius (13.4g, Ø28mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 68.
Obv.: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG TR P, laureate head of Galba facing right.
Rev.: PAX AVGVST (around) S C (field), Pax standing left, holding caduceus and cornucopiae.
RIC 285 (R); Sear (Roman Coins & their Values I) 2135
Charles S
Galbas02-2.jpg
Galba, RIC 302, As of AD 68 (legionary eagle between standards)25 viewsÆ As (10.2g, Ø28mm, 7h). Rome mint. Struck AD 68.
Obv.: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG TR P, laureate draped bust of Galba right.
Rev.: S C (field), Legionary eagle left on thunderbolt between two standards.
RIC 302; BMCRE 150; Sear (Roman Coins & their Values I) 2137
Charles S
Galbas01-2.jpg
Galba, RIC 370, As of AD 68-69 (Pax)30 viewsÆ As (11.6g, Ø27mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 68-69.
Obv.: IMP SER GALBA CAES AVG TR P, laureate head of Galba facing right.
Rev.: PAX AVGVST (around) S C (field) Pax standing left holding branch and cornucopiae.
RIC 370 (S); BMCRE 124; Sear (Roman Coins & their Values) 2135
Charles S
galbse04-2.jpg
Galba, RIC 387, Sestertius of AD 68-69 (Libertas)36 viewsÆ Sestertius (25.5g, Ø34mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 68-69.
Obv.: SER·GALBA·IMP·CAESAR·AVG TR P , laureate head of Galba facing right.
Rev.: LIBERTAS PVBLICA (around) S C (iield), Libertas standing left, holding pileus (liberty cap) and staff.
ex D.Ruskin (Oxford, 1995)
RIC 387; Cohen 108; Sear (Roman Coins & their Values I) 2134var
Charles S
Galbas03-2.jpg
Galba, RIC 79, As of Sept-Dec. 68, Spanish mint (Tarraco?)18 viewsÆ As (10,5g, Ø 18mm, 10h). Spanish mint (Tarraco?), struck Sept-Dec. 68 AD.
Obv.: SER GALBA IMP AVGVSTVS, laureate head left, globe at point of bust.
Rev.: QVADRAGENS REMISSAE, around, S C in ex., triumphal arch with two equestrian statues to left, three prisoners with hands tied behind their backs, advancing right, the foremost under the arch, second and third walking towards the arch, followed by officer.
RIC 079 (S); BMC 205 var. (obv. legend); BNC 40 var. (obv. legend); RCV 2136; RHC 75:20
Ex John Jencek, Oct., 2002
Charles S
GalbAs04-2.jpg
Galba, RIC 81, As of Sept-Dec. 68, Spanish mint (Tarraco?), 15 viewsÆ As (9.7g, Ø 18mm, 6h). Spanish mint (Tarraco?). Struck Sept-Dec. 68 AD.
Obv.: SER GALBA IMP [...AVGVSTVS?], laureate head right, globe at point of bust.
Rev.: QVADRAGENS REMISSAE around, S C in ex., triumphal arch with 2 equestrian statues, 3 prisoners followed by officer below.
RIC 81 (R) (in Wildwinds.com as RIC 80 var.)
Ex Walter C. Holt, April 2003

This is apparently an extremely rare coin. The portrait on this coin has suffered some damage, probably as damnatio memoriae following his murder at the hands of the Praetorians.

The reverse legend on this coin refers to the abolition of the 2½% (1/40th of 100) customs duty, a reward to Gaul and Spain for their support. According to Walter Holt, The relationship between captives and the remission of a tax is unclear. The identities of the captives on this type are unknown but they may refer to his predecessor Nero, Clodius Macer, his rival for the purple, and the fallen rebel Vindex, though their depiction as captives (as all are dead by now) causes some problems.
According to Clive Foss ("Roman Historical Coins"), the captives probably represent financial officials of Nero who plundered the province and denounced Galba.
Charles S
GALBA-1-ROMAN.jpg
Galba, RIC I-289 Rome31 viewsBrass Dupondius
Rome mint, 68 A.D.
29mm, 13.89g
RIC I-289

Obverse:
SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG
Laureate head left

Revere:
S P Q R
OB
CIV SER
Legend in three lines in
oak-wreath.
1 commentsrubadub
galbse05-2.jpg
Galba, RIC unlisted, Sestertius of AD 68-69 (Libertas)101 viewsÆ Sestertius (25.2g, Ø33mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 68-69.
Obv.: IMP SER GALBA CAES AVG P M TR P, laureate draped bust of Galba facing right.
Rev.: LIBERTAS PVBLICA (around) S C (field), Libertas standing left, holding pileus (liberty cap) and staff.
ex D.Ruskin (Oxford, 1997)

Not listed in RIC nor Cohen. Curtis Clay confirms that this is a new variety, giving the following additional information: "The obv. die is Kraay's A88, Aes of Galba pl. VII, known to him with rev. Victory holding Palladium, one spec., Paris = Giard 173, pl. XII = RIC 353. That's the only obv. die Kraay or RIC knew with this exact obv. legend and the laureate, draped bust. ... This LIBERTAS PVBLICA rev. die was apparently unknown to Kraay in any combination."
2 commentsCharles S
5168_5169.jpg
Galba, Tetradrachm, EIPHNH9 viewsBI Tetradrachm
Galba
Augustus: 68 - 69AD
Issued: 68AD
22.5mm 10.21gr
O: ΛΟΥΚ ΛΙΒ ΣΟΥΛΠ ΓΑΛΒΑ ΚΑΙΕ ΣΕΒΑ ΑΥΤ; Laureate head, right.
R: EIPHNH; Veiled bust of Eirene (Pax) right, caduceus over shoulder.
Exergue: LA, obverse right field. (LA = Regnal Year 1 = 68AD)
Alexandria, Egypt Mint
Koln 219; Milne 309; RPC 5328; Geissen 219; Dattari 302.
bronzemat
8/14/17 8/18/17
Nicholas Z
EM062_AS_Galba.JPG
Galba: 68/69 AD41 viewsAE As; Rome Mint
Obv. - bare head right, IMP.SER.GALBA.CAES.PM.TR.P
Rev. - Libertas standing left, holding pileus and sceptre, S / C either side; LIBERTAS / PUBLICA
10.60 grams
27.2 mm
1 commentscmcdon0923
EM061_AS_Galba.JPG
Galba: 68/69 AD37 viewsAE As; Rome Mint
Obv. - bare head right, IMP.SER.GALBA.CAES.AVG.PM.TR.P
Rev. - Libertas standing left, holding pileus and sceptre, S / C either side; LIBERTAS / PUBLICA
11.18 grams
cmcdon0923
isis F.jpg
Isis on an Alexandrian diobol of Galba226 viewsAlexandria, AE diobol of Galba, year 2 (= 68-69 AD), Isis bust r.
Emmett 179(2), Geissen 241-242, BMC 202-203.
Not a tremendously rare coin, or in spectacularly good condition, but a portrait of a real, strong-minded young person, who seems to say "hello" to me every time I hold the coin.
- Britannicus
Britannicus
Year2Shekel.jpg
Judaea, First Revolt Shekel, Year 2127 viewsJudaea, First Jewish War AR Shekel. Dated year 2 (AD 67/8)
O: Hebrew script read from right to left SKL ISRAL “Shekel of Israel”, the date Shin Bet, "Year Two" of the revolution, above Omer cup with beaded rim
R: Hebrew script YRUSLIM H KDOSA “Jerusalem the Holy” around sprig of three pomegranates.

This coin was minted during times of great upheaval in Judaea as well as the rest of the Roman empire.

As Jewish factions were fighting for control in Jerusalem, General Vespasian's armies invaded Galilee in 67 CE with 60,000 men as they began the effort to quell the rebellion started a year earlier. Vespasian captured the commander of Galilee, Josephus ben Matthias, in the little mountain town of Jotapata, which fell after a fierce siege of 47 days. It was the second bloodiest battle of the revolt, surpassed only by the sacking of Jerusalem, and the longest except for Jerusalem and Masada.

Driven from Galilee, Zealot rebels and thousands of refugees arrived in Judea, causing even greater political turmoil in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, back in Rome in 68 CE, Nero commits suicide, plunging the Empire into a civil war. Galba, Otho and Vitellius would assume the purple till Vespasian, leaving the battle in Judaea to Titus, brought the matter to a conclusion in 69.
6 commentsNemonater
RPCMallosXXXXb.jpg
MallusXXXX58 viewsAs (?), a unique coin from Cilicia, Mallus. The flan is bevelled - not known from Mallus otherwise - suggesting Antiochian influence. Similar to Antiochus IV group 2 & 3 coins (sensu Butcher), which also have bevelled flans and resemble coins of Galba and Otho from Antioch. The general of the Eastern army, Vespasianus and the Syrian legate Mucianus swore allience with Otho at the time. This was done for tactical reasons most likely. 8.51 gr, max 25 mm, die-axis 12.
The coin is published in Tuukka Talvio´s Festschrift and a pdf of the article will be soon available as a Forum resource.
Another coin minted with same dies has appeared. Salem Alshdaifat has interpreted the legends partly differently, as they are less legible in that specimen. However, he has come to the same general conclusion about the attribution of the coin independently.
jmuona
marc_antony_denar_legXVI.jpg
MARC ANTONY legionary denarius - 32-31 BC61 viewsobv: ANT AVG III VIR R P C (praetorian galley right)
rev: LEG XVI (Legio XVI Gallica - the legion from Gaul) (legionary eagle between two standards)
ref: Cr544/31, RSC 48, Albert1732 (100eur)
3.35g, 17mm

This legion was founded in 41 or 40 by Octavian, who needed it to put an end to Sextus Pompeius' occupation of Sicily. This legio also took part in the war of the first Marcomanni, against king Maroboduus in Czechia in 6 AD. They fought against German tribes: in the winter of 40/41, Servius Sulpicius Galba (the future emperor) overcame the Chatti. As the part of the army of Germania Inferior (led by Vitellius), XVI Gallica surrendered, at Bonn in April 70, and were renamed XVI Flavia Firma by Vespasianus.
berserker
OthoPax.jpg
Marcus Salvius Otho126 viewsAD 69 January 15 to mid-April. 20mm, 3.35 g. Rome mint.
O: IMP M OTHO C[AESA]R AVG TR P, Bare head right
R: PAX ORBIS TERRARVM, Pax standing left, holding olive branch and caduceus.
- RIC I 4; RSC 3.

Otho assumed the title of Pont Max on March 9, 69. This type was therefore likely struck in the first two of his three month reign. Mattingly observed that PAX ORBIS TERRARVM could have been Otho's cry to counter the "Salus Generis" and "Pax P R" of the Galban faction of the civil wars.

Long before there was Metta World Peace, there was Otho. While his earlier denarii took features from Nero's coinage and Plutarch says Otho took Nero's name, signing imperial documents "Nero Otho", this is much less offensive than the fact that Nero took Otho's wife.

For some very interesting reading on the style and composition of Otho denarii, see http://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Denarii%20of%20Otho
4 commentsNemonater
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-iSWNaNWHrCepxN-Nero_Altar.jpg
Nero (Augustus) Coin: Bronze AS4 viewsNERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM PM PP - Laureate head left
PROVIDENT SC - Altar
Exergue:



Mint: Balkan mint (Perinthus?) (64-66 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 10.33g / 27mm / 12
Rarity: Scarce
References:
RPC I 1761
RIC I 440 (1st edition)
Acquisition/Sale: donnalouise67 eBay

From CNG:
Recent scholarship suggests that this rare issue of aes coinage with Latin legends was struck at Perinthus. The style is quite distinct from the two western issues of Rome and Lugdunum, and there is nothing in common with the Latin issues of Antioch or Corinth. Provenance, when known, is almost always in the northwest Balkan area. In addition, the coins are frequently encountered countermarked with Galban stamps (GAL KAI and GALBA) that were used to countermark provincial Perinthan issues.
Gary W2
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-JD3YHug3rb2-Nero_Neptune.jpg
Nero (Augustus) Coin: Bronze AS4 viewsNERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG - Laureate head right
(NO LEGEND) SC - Neptune standing left, holding trident and dolphin; S C to either side.
Exergue:



Mint: Balkan mint (Perinthus?) (64-66 AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 7.95g / 29mm / 12
Rarity: Scarce
References:
RIC I (old edition) 441
RPC I 1760
Acquisition/Sale: donnalouise67 eBay

From CNG:
Recent scholarship suggests that this rare issue of aes coinage with Latin legends was struck at Perinthus. The style is quite distinct from the two western issues of Rome and Lugdunum, and there is nothing in common with the Latin issues of Antioch or Corinth. Provenance, when known, is almost always in the northwest Balkan area. In addition, the coins are frequently encountered countermarked with Galban stamps (GAL KAI and GALBA) that were used to countermark provincial Perinthan issues.
Gary W2
NeroStatiliaMessalinaGalbaI.jpg
Nero and Statilia Messalina Galba countermark93 viewsNero & Statilia Messalina, Æ27 as, Galba ctmk., 10.54g Nicaea, Bythinia,
O: NERWN K[LAU]DIOS KAISAR SEBASTOS GE, laureate head left, rectangular countermark GALB[A].
R: ME[SSALEIN]A [GYNE SEBASTOY] Statilia Messalina as Securitas seated right.
Unique mule - Obverse die RPC 2057, Reverse die RPC 2061; Listed in Wildwinds as RPC 2061cf, countermark Howgego 591

Statilia Messalina was the third and last wife of Nero, empress from 66-68. Her great beauty and intelligence kept her alive during some of the most turbulent years of the early empire.

After several failed attempts to strangle his first wife, Claudia Octavia, to death, Nero divorced her for barrenness and she was forced into suicide. Nero kicked his second wife, Poppaea Sabina who was pregnant at the time, to death. Going into a deep depression (Women, can't live with them, can't live without them!) he found comfort in his new bride, Statilia Messalina. All it took was the forced suicide of her husband and Nero was able to have her all to himself.

She must have been a most clever woman as she survived the revolution and civil war that followed, even being betrothed to Otho before he too met an untimely end. Suetonius reports that of the two letters Otho wrote the night before he committed suicide, one of them was to Statilia.
1 commentsNemonater
othoreplica2a.jpg
RIC 8 replica28 viewsThis box contained the three replicas: Galba, Otho, Vitellius-jmuona
TheCivilWarsComp.jpg
Roman Civil Wars 68-6991 viewsNero, Vindex, Galba, Otho, Vitellius x2 and Vespasian x38 commentsNemonater
Civil_Wars_BonusEvent.jpg
Roman Civil Wars, Revolt of Galba, Governor of Spain19 viewsSilver denarius, Tarraco(?) mint, Apr - Jun 68 A.D.
O: BON EVENT, young female head (Bonus Eventus) right, fillet around forehead.
R: ROM RENASC, Roma standing right in military garb, Victory on globe in right hand, eagle-tipped scepter over left shoulder in left, implying the restoration of the Republic.
- RIC I 9 (R4), RSC II 396, BMCRE I 9, SRCV I 2072.

Galba lived in Tarraco for eight years. This coin was issued by Galba as governor of Spain in revolt against Nero. The obverse is copied from Republican denarii struck in 62 B.C. by the moneyer L. Scribonius Libo.
2 commentsNemonater
galba.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE - GALBA15 viewsGalba Billon Tetradrachm of Roman Alexandria. Dated year 1 = 68 AD. Billon Tetradrachm, RPC 5326. Milne 322, 13.81gm, 24mm, VF.; obverse LOUK LIB COULP GALBA KAIS CEB AVT, laureate head right, LA (date) before; reverse ALEXAN-DPEA, draped bust of Alexandria right, wearing elephant's skin headdress.
dpaul7
Galba.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba178 viewsGalba 68-69 A.D.

Obv: IMP SER GALBA AVG
Rev: DIVA AVGVSTA
RIC 4
2 commentsBarry
00galba~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba95 viewsAR denarius. 69 AD. Laureate head right. IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG / Livia standing left, holding patera and scepter.DIVA AVGVSTA . RIC 186. RSC 55.
1 commentsbenito
galba-denarius.jpg
Roman Empire, Galba denarius, Gaul mint153 viewsGalba AR Denarius. Gaul, Narbo? (68-69 A.D.)
SER GALBA IMPERATOR - Laureate head right
VICTORIA P R - Victory standing facing on globe, holding wreath and palm
RIC 111
Ex. Gorny & Mosch, ex. Stacks and Bowers
5 commentsHolding_History
Galba_3~0.jpg
Roman Empire, GALBA Denarius, RIC 234, Victory39 viewsOBV: IMPSERGALBACAESARAVGPM - Laureate head right
REV: VICTORIA PR - Victory standing left on globe, holding wreath and palm
3.2g, 18mm

Minted at Rome, Oct-Nov 68 AD
Legatus
Galba.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba Orichalcum AS42 viewsSER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P, laureate head right / LIBERTAS AVGVS S-C, Liberty standing left with pileus & scepter. RIC 295 (?). 12.6 grams

*There is some confusion over this coins RIC (Roman Imperial Coin) number. It appears that it should be RIC 295, as suggested by a curator at the British Museum, but it has been suggested that it could be RIC 460a. This confusion has arisen due to the missing part of the reverse legend. RIC 295 would mean that the missing part would read AVGVS, whereas RIC 460a would have PUBLICA. We cannot be sure until we see another coin similar which has the same die, which can tell us what the other half of the missing reverse legend is.*
Stuart Francis
Galba_ses.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba, AE Sestertius, RIC 256189 viewsMint: Roma between the beginning of August and the end of September 68 AD.
Dimensions:35mm/25,13grms, Réf: RIC 256
Obverse: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG
Head right,laurate,bust draped of Galba.
Revers: S-C
Victory on left with palm branch and"palladium"
RRR
6 commentsmoneta romana
galba.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba, AR denarius123 views2 commentsOptimus
Galba_ric_236~0.jpeg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba, AR Denarius75 viewsGALBA, A.D. 68-69. AR Denarius
(3.38 gms),
Rome Mint, ca. A.D. July 68-January 69..
Obv: "IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG PM" Laureate bust of Galba facing right;
Rev:: Virtus standing facing, holding parazonium upwards and leaning on vertical spear.
NGC Ch F, Strike: 5/5 Surface: 4/5.
RIC-236
Provenance: From the Graywood Collection.
Coin depicted in the Wildwinds.com database.
3 commentsorfew
Galba_RIC_9.jpg
Roman Empire, Galba, AR Denarius48 viewsGalba. 68-69 AD. Denarius, 3.50gg. (5h). Tarraco.
Obv: GALBA - IM[PERATOR] Head laureate right on globe.
Rx: LIB - [ERTAS] - RESTITVTA Libertas standing left, apparently emptying a cup and holding scepter.
BM 198, pl. 54.3. RIC 9 (R2), pl. 24 (the BM spec.). Cf. Paris 12, pl.III (apparently no globe below bust). Cohen 133 (120 Fr.). VF.
Ex Jyrki Muona Collection.
Ex Gemini XIV April 2018 Lot 475
1 commentsorfew
galbaf.JPG
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba, Denarius16 viewsDenarius, 68-69 (Rome).
Obv: IMPSERGALBAAVG - Bare head right.
Rev: No legend - Wreath, SPQR/OB/CS within.
anthivs
bpJ1K1GalbaDen.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba, Rare, Jul 68-Jan 69 AD.169 viewsObv: IMP SER GALBA AVG
Bare head, right.
Rev: SPQR/OB/C S
Legend in three lines within wreath.
Denarius 3.4 gm 18 mm Mint: Rome RIC 167
Comment: Struck in recognition of Galba by the Senate. C S expands to CIVES SERVATOS.
Massanutten
Galba obv and rev.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba, RIC 14528 viewsGalba
AR Denarius
Rome Mint. 68 A.D.
Obv: SER GALBA AVG - Laureate head right.
Rev/Exergue: IMP - Galba on horse rearing right, bare headed and in military dress, hand raised.
Ref: RIC 145. Cohen 97. VM 13/1b. RSC 93.
seraphic
galba_ric_193~0.jpg
Roman Empire, Galba, RIC 19395 viewsGalba AR denarius,  VF, Rome mint, ( 3.512g, 19.0mm,  180o), Nov 68 - Jan 69 A.D.; 
elegant style, light toning on nice surfaces, high-points flatly struck,
Obv: IMP SER GALBACAESAR AVG, laureate head right; 
Rev: HISPANIA (counterclockwise starting on left), Hispania advancing left, draped, poppy and two stalks of grain in extended right hand, round shield and two transverse spears in left hand;
RIC I 193 (R2), BMCRE I 16, RSC II 83, BnF III 89, Hunter I 1 var. (no CAESAR, Aug - Oct 68), SRCV I 2103 var. (same)
Ex: the Jyrki Muona Collection; Ex: Forum Ancient Coins
3 commentsorfew
GALBA-1-ROMAN~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Galba, RIC I-289 Rome223 viewsBrass Dupondius
Rome mint, 68 A.D.
29mm, 13.89g
RIC I-289

Obverse:
SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG
Laureate head left

Revere:
S P Q R
OB
CIV SER
Legend in three lines in
oak-wreath.

Don't know if this is BoT worthy, but this is one of my favorites
1 commentsrubadub
galbse05-2~0.jpg
Roman Empire, Galba, unrecorded sestertius of AD 68-69 190 viewsÆ Sestertius (25.2g, Ø33mm, 6h). Rome mint. Struck AD 68-69.
Obv.: IMP SER GALBA CAES AVG P M TR P, laureate draped bust of Galba facing right.
Rev.: LIBERTAS PVBLICA (around edge) S C (in field), Libertas standing left, holding pileus (liberty cap) and staff.
ex D.Ruskin (Oxford, 1997)

Not listed in RIC nor Cohen. Curtis Clay confirms that this is a new variety, giving the following additional information: "The obv. die is Kraay's A88, Aes of Galba pl. VII, known to him with rev. Victory holding Palladium, one spec., Paris = Giard 173, pl. XII = RIC 353. That's the only obv. die Kraay or RIC knew with this exact obv. legend and the laureate, draped bust. ... This LIBERTAS PVBLICA rev. die was apparently unknown to Kraay in any combination."


1 commentsCharles S
7__Auréus_Néron~0.jpg
ROMAN EMPIRE, Nero, AV Aureus, A.D.66-6764 views- Auréus, Néron, Rome, 66-67
Avers : IMP NERO CAESAR - AVGVSTVS Tête laurée de Néron à droite.
Revers : IVPPITER - CVSTOS Jupiter trônant à gauche, tenant un foudre de la main droite et un sceptre long de la gauche.
Cohen 120 | RIC 63

Monetary reform 64 allowed to restore state finances while supporting the people of the Empire the price thereof. This year 64 is marked by the Great Fire of Rome and its consequences, including the persecution against Christians in the city. The following year, it was the discovery of the conspiracy of Piso, the death of Seneca and Lucan. In 66 Tiridates king of Armenia was inducted in Rome. Nero then went to Greece, where he performed on stage and proclaimed "Freedom of Greece." Excess the Emperor cause at the beginning of the year 68 a wave of discontent which culminated in the rebellion of Vindex in Gaul, Galba and Otho Spain. Nero is declared a public enemy by the Senate. He committed suicide on June 9 not to fall alive into the hands of his enemies.
1 commentsbgaut
79667q00.jpg
Roman Empire, Otho, Denarius CERES AVG 109 viewsSH79667. Silver denarius, Muona Otho 10b; Butcher-Ponting-Muona 6; ANSCD 1958.217.1; BnF III 1; RIC I 1 (7 spec. known, all minted with the same die-pair), Nice VF, the best portrait and most attractive of the seven known specimens, light rose toning, a few light marks and spots of porosity, Rome mint, weight 3.272g, maximum diameter 17.5mm, die axis 180o, 9 Mar - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TRP, bare head right; reverse CERES AVG, Ceres standing left, grain-ears raised in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection

This is the rarest Otho denarius type and one of the rarest 1st century Roman denarii. Only two museums, Paris and ANS, hold examples. A further specimen was found in archeological context in Denmark in 1990s. Besides these, four additional specimens are known. This coin has the best portrait and is clearly the most attractive of the seven known. Jyrki Muona obtained it in 2002 at the NYINC from Glenn Woods.

Otho minted three separate issues. The first and second issues followed Galba's standard of 90% silver. Otho's third issue was debased to 80% silver. All coins of the third issue share the reverse legend PONT MAX, perhaps to make it easy to distinguish the debased coins. One might think our rare coin is simply a reverse legend error for Otho's third issue, PONT MAX Ceres type. However, as Butcher et al. have shown, this is not the case. If CERES AVG was a simple reverse legend error, the flan would be 80% silver. This CERES AVG type was struck on second issue 90% silver flans, probably during planning for the third issue, and perhaps only for testing. The type was apparently not distributed, and was withdrawn, and melted when it was decided to debase the coinage and use the PONT MAX legend. It appears a small number were released, most likely by mistake.
4 commentsJoe Sermarini
Screenshot_2018-11-14_17_24_03.png
Roman Imperial, Galba, AE As. Added to the Wildwinds site.11 viewsTarraco 68 A.D. 9.64g - 30.4mm, Axis 12h.

Obv: SER GALBA IMP AVGVSTVS - Laureate head right, globe at point of bust.

Rev: LIBERTAS PVBLICA / S-C - Libertas draped, standing left holding pileus and vertical rod.

RIC I 70.
scarli
Screenshot_2018-11-27_19_09_47.png
Roman Imperial, Galba, Augustus, Orichalcum Dupondius.7 viewsRome 68-69 A.D. 13.12g - 28.8mm, Axis 6h.

Obv: SER GALBA IMP CAES AVG TR P - Laureate head right.

Rev: PAX AVGVSTA / S-C - Pax standing left, holding branch and cornucopiae.

RIC I 414.
Christian Scarlioli
1680732l.jpg
ROMAN REPUBLIC, P. Sulpicius Galba, AR Denarius - Crawford 406/120 viewsRome, The Republic.
P. Sulpicius Galba, 69 BCE.
AR Denarius (3.85g;18mm).
Rome mint.

Obverse: Veiled head of Vesta facing right; S.C. behind.

Rev: Priestly implements, i.e. knife, culullus and axe; P GALB in exergue; AE-CVR in fields.

References: Crawford 406/1; Sydenham 839; BMCRR 3517-8; Sulpicia 7.

Provenance: Ex Student and Mentor Collection [NAC 83 (20 May 2015) Lot 356]; ex Münzen und Medaillen Auction 52 (19-20 June 1975), Lot 378.

Galba issued these coins by special Senatorial decree while he held the office of Curule Aedile. The type selection suggests that he was also a Pontifex at this time, as the reverse depicts the priestly implements used in ritual sacrifice and often included on coins struck by members of the priestly college. The Senatorial decree, represented by “S.C.” on the obverse may have been related to grain distribution, though this is conjectural. Among other duties, Curule Aediles were responsible for maintenance and distribution of the public grain supply.
1 commentsCarausius
00galba~1.jpg
Roman, GALBA210 views2 commentsbenito
galba-obv+rev-sest.jpg
Roman, GALBA SESTERTIUS.402 viewsGalba 68-69 AD Bronze Sesterce. A true classic head of Galba, powerful and Roman with all the Republican virtues. Beatifull natural patina. Purchased Leu 1980. Ex Sartige 1938 and dating back to the beginning of 1900's

Coins to fall in love with www.petitioncrown.com
11 commentssunwukong
fond2.jpg
Roman, Galba's "scareface"335 viewsMaster's portrait of the emperor Galba on sestertius.

2 commentsmoneta romana
Vespasian r103-o.jpg
Roman, Vespasian576 viewsI love this portrait! The sneer/scowl seems so real!

TITVS FLAVIVS VESPASIANVS, born in 9 AD to Vespasia Polla and Flavius Sabinus, entered public service and was serving as Governor of Judaea in 68 when Nero committed suicide. The eastern legions resented the quick succession of Nero, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, since the Rhine legions had caused it all. In July of 69 the eastern legions proclaimed Vespasian, and the legions of Illyricum followed. Vitellius was killed on December 20, 69 and Vespasian reigned mildly for the next ten years. He died of illness on June 23, 79, was succeeded by his older son Titus, and was deified by the Senate.
4 commentsjimwho523
Rome_Germ_RIC107xxB.jpg
Rome_Germ_RIC10717 viewsThis coin was cut for metal enrichment studies like the one in the Galba gallery.jmuona
RPC2403.jpg
RPC-2403-Vespasian105 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 12.56g
Alexandria mint, 69 AD
Obv: AYT TIT ΦΛAYI OYEΣΠAΣIAN KAIΣ; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r., date LA before neck
Rev: PΩ-MH; Roma standing l., with spear and shield
RPC 2403 (9 spec.).
Ex Roma E16, 28 February 2015, lot 268.

The first coins struck for Vespasian anywhere in the empire are those dated "Year 1" (LA) from Alexandria Egypt. The two legions stationed there under the Prefect Tiberius Julius Alexander were the first to declare him emperor. According to Tacitus - "The first move to convey imperial status to Vespasian took place at Alexandria. This was due to the eagerness of Tiberius Alexander, who caused his legions to swear allegiance to the new emperor on 1 July" (Hist 2.79). The year 1 coins were struck between 1 July and 28 August. The obverse legend of these first coins lack the title Augustus (sebastos). However, those dated Year 2 (29 August 69 - 28 August 70) include the title, which is strong evidence that Vespasian did not immediately adopt it during the first two months of his reign. Vespasian did not arrive in Alexandria until December, so the Alexandrian die engravers probably had no idea of the new emperor's appearance. Vespasian's portrait on this coin is far removed from the more traditional bald, "straining" appearance we are used to. It is interesting to note this tetradrachm was struck nearly 6 months before the senate in Rome recognised Vespasian as emperor and the first imperial coins in his name were struck there.

Roma had previously been featured on the Alexandrian coinage of Galba, although as a bust and not the standing figure seen here.

A hefty coin in hand with an unusually "pinched" portrait and interesting reverse.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
RPC2424sm.jpg
RPC-2424-Vespasian88 viewsAR Tetradrachm, 12.17g
Alexandria mint, 70-71 AD
Obv: AYTOK KAIΣ ΣEBA OYVEΣΠAΣIANOY; Head of Vespasian, laurerate, r., date LΓ before neck
Rev: PΩ-MH; Roma standing l., with spear and shield
RPC 2424 (0 spec.).
Ex eBay, 7 March 2018.

A rare regnal year 3 Roma reverse. Only two specimens cited in RPC, none listed in the major collections. Roma had previously been featured on the Alexandrian coinage of Galba, although as a bust and not the standing figure seen here.

In good Alexandrian style with honest wear.
6 commentsDavid Atherton
ric10smaller.jpg
Second_RIC 1069 viewsThis coin was reportedly found in North Africa together with denarii of Clodius Macer and Galba. Although gorgeous in my view, it too had to find another keeper at one stage. Luckily it found someone who really cares. The reverse die is a bit worn and there is a flan crack, but the obverse is something else...1 commentsjmuona
othozuz.JPG
Second_RIC 10_zuz22 viewsBaar Kochba revolt "denarius", originally a SECVRITAS Otho Rome mint coin. On the lower left of the obverse one can see the name clearly and on the other side remnants of the original reverse legend "..CV RI T..." as well as the wreath held by Secvritas are visible. The common host coins the zuz were struck on are denarii of Trajan, Vespasian and Domitian; Titus, Nerva, Nero and Galba being less frequent. Otho is distinctly rare and a restruck Vitellius I have not seen.
It is fun to try to figure out the original type.
jmuona
Den_CSulpicioGalba.jpg
Serrate Denarius C. Sulpicius C.f. Galba - Cr. 312/192 viewsC. Sulpicius C.f. Galba. 106 BC. AR Serrate Denarius. obv.: Conjoined laureate heads of the Dei Penates left. Rev.: Two soldiers swearing oath over a sow; F above.
Gr. 3,9 mm. 18x19,2 - Cr. 312/1, Grueber 1314 (91 B.C.), Sear 189
1 commentsMaxentius
Sulpicia_1.jpg
Sulpicius Galba56 viewsObv: The conjoined, laureate heads of the Dei Penates facing left; D. P. P. before.

Rev: Two male figures standing facing each other, both hold spears and are pointing at a sow which likes between them; control letter I above, C SVLPICI C F in exergue.

Silver Denarius Serratus, Rome mint, 106 BC

3.8 grams, 19 mm, 315°

RSC Sulpicia 1, S189
3 commentsSPQR Matt
galbaric7.JPG
Tarraco_RIC723 views1 commentsjmuona
12_Caesars.jpg
The 12 Caesars + One Virtual tray423 viewsAfter seeing Potator's image of his 12 Caesar's I was inspired to do my own (of course including Mark Antony! While compiling my list I realized I'm missing a Julius Caesar portrait so a non portrait had to fill in. It's difficult choosing which coin to include in this set, in some cases I only had one (Galba) but others I had many more to choose from (Flavians). I do have better portraits of some but I thought these had more interesting types:

Marcus Antonius denarius
Julius Caesar denarius
Augustus denarius
Tiberius denarius
Caligula AE As
Claudius AE As
Nero Dupondius
Galba AE As
Otho Tetradrachm
Vitellius denarius
Vespasian denarius
Titus denarius
Domitian denarius

Image is clickable for larger size.
To see the coins individually see them in my gallery.
13 commentsJay GT4
The_12_Caesars_opt.jpg
The Twelve Caesars90 viewsA denarius of each of the first 12 Caesars: Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian2 commentsLegatus
XII_CAESARS.JPG
THE TWELVE CAESARS103 views First Row
1: Julius Caesar, RSC 39
2: Augustus, RIC 51
3: Tiberius, RIC 26
4: Caligula (plated), RIC 18

Second Row
5: Claudius (plated), RIC 39
6: Nero, RIC 47
7: Galba, RIC 167
8: Otho, RIC 8

Third Row
9: Vitellius, RIC 66
10: Vespasian, RIC 334
11: Titus, RIC 206
12: Domitian, RIC 173

To see individual coins with descriptions, click links below

Imperators through the Julio-Claudian Emperors
Civil War through Flavian Dynasty
4 commentsSPQR Coins
12_Caesars.jpg
THE TWELVE CAESARS110 viewsFirst Row
(Click on an Emperor's name to see the full description of the coin)
1: Julius Caesar
2: Augustus
3: Tiberius
4: Caligula

Second Row
(Click on an Emperor's name to see the full description of the coin)
5: Claudius
6: Nero
7: Galba
8: Otho

Third Row
(Click on an Emperor's name to see the full description of the coin)
9: Vitellius
10: Vespasian
11: Titus
12: Domitian
8 commentsSPQR Matt
Titus_RIC_II_089.jpg
Titus RIC II 008927 viewsTitus. 79-81 A.D. AR Denarius. Rome Mint 79-80 A.D. (3.13g, 19.5m, 6h). Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG PM, laureate head right. Rev: BONVS EVENTVS AVGVSTI, Bonus Eventus standing left with patera, corn ears, and poppies. RIC II 89, BMC 106, RSC 25.

This example is in great condition for my collection with complete and clear legends. Bonus Eventus was the divine personification of “good outcome” originally associated with agriculture, but later broadened. An early coin of Vespasian used this reverse (1375) from an unknown mint, and the reverse was among the earliest issues for Galba as well.
2 commentsLucas H
T215b.jpg
Titus RIC-21571 viewsÆ As, 9.73g
Rome mint, 80-81 AD
Obv: IMP T CAES VESP AVG P M TR P COS VIII; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, l.
Rev: AEQVITAS AVGVST; S C in field; Aequitas stg. l., with scales and rod
RIC 215 (C). BMC 204. BNC 207.
Ex eBay, 10 May 2019.

Titus produced a sizeable bronze issue in 80-81. He did not renew the consulship in 81, so it is difficult to pin down a precise date. Owing to the issue's large size it is likely many of the coins did indeed spill over into 81. Here we see a common Aequitas type from that large issue which was originally struck under Vespasian, who in turn copied it from Galba. Aequitas likely represents fairness in issuing out the corn dole.

Honest wear with a dark olive green patina.
5 commentsDavid Atherton
T516.jpg
Titus RIC-516147 viewsAR Cistophorus, 10.55g
Rome mint (for Asia), 80-81 AD
Obv: IMP TITVS CAES VESPASIAN AVG P M; Head of Titus, laureate, bearded, r.
Rev: Aquila between two standards, one surmounted by a banner, the other by a hand
RIC 516 (R). BMC 149. RSC 398. RPC 861 (4 spec.). BNC -.
Ex CNG E400, 28 June 2017, lot 609.

A small issue of Asian cistophori were struck under Titus in 80 or 81 AD. Style and the six o'clock die axis point to Rome as the likely mint. Two types were coined for Titus - Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and Aquila between two standards. These are the only coins of Titus that are identifiable as being struck after the fire of 80 since one of the types commemorates the restoration of the Capitoline Temple. The issue continued into Domitian's reign with the same two reverse types. The fact that Titus' cistophori are much rarer than those of Domitian may indicate they were struck near the end of Titus' reign in 81 rather than 80. The aquila between two standards copies similar reverse types from Nero's denarii and the bronze of Galba. The portraits on Titus' cistophori are in the same style as his pulvinaria denarii.

Struck in fine Roman style. Golden toned with hints of a rainbow hue.
11 commentsDavid Atherton
Vespasian-RIC-847.jpg
Vespasian86 viewsAR denarius
Weight: 3.52 g
76 AD
Obverse: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG / laureate head of Vespasian right
Reverse: COS VII / Eagle with wings spread, standing front on low garlanded base, head left
RIC 847

The reverse is possibly a reference to Mucianus death, which occured around the time the coin was minted. After the death of Galba (69), Mucianus and Vespasian (who was at the time in Iudaea) both swore allegiance to Otho, but when the civil war broke out Mucianus persuaded Vespasian to take up arms against Vitellius, who had seized the imperial throne...
4 commentsMarcus Lepidus
VESP MARS WALKING.JPG
Vespasian RIC 23170 viewsAR Denarius, 3.39g
Rome Mint, January - June 70 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: COS ITER TR POT; Mars, helmeted, naked except for cloak round waist, advancing r., holding spear in r., holding spear in r. hand, and aquila over l. shoulder in l.
RIC 23 (C). BMC 11. RSC 87. BNC 12.
Acquired from Tom Cederlind, July 2005.

Mars represented here may be a reference to the recent Judaean War or the Civil War.

What is interesting about this coin is the Galba like portrait on the obverse. Before Vespasian's arrival in Rome, the engravers must have been really struggling to come up with a portrait of him, hence the reworked Galba die.
1 commentsVespasian70
Vespasian_RIC_II_1339.jpg
Vespasian RIC II 133950 viewsVespasian. 69-79 A.D. uncertain Spanish mint, 69-70 A.D. (3.42g, 18.0mm, 0 h.). Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head left. Rev: LIBERTAS PVBLICA; Libertas stg. l. with pileus and rod. RIC II 1339 (R2).

A fairly scarce coin from a short run from an unknown mint, but tentatively assigned to Spain, perhaps Tarraco. This was a fairly common reverse under Galba from his Spanish mint, and the left facing portraits were common there as well.

This example is a bit off center and has some wear, but the coin maintains a good weight. The die axis is interesting as well at an unusual zero degrees.
Lucas H
Vespasian_529.jpg
Vespasian RIC II 155962 viewsVespasian 69-79 A.D. AR Denarius. Antioch Mint 72-73 A.D. (3.18g, 17.2mm, 6h). Obv: IMP CAES VESP AVG P M COS IIII, laureate head right. Rev: Vespasian standing right in quadriga with branch and sceptre. RIC II 1563, RPC II 1931, RCV 2279.

Commemorating the Judea Capta Triumphal parade, celebrated in 71 AD., this is one of the more rarely issued eastern denari of the Flavian reign. Typical of Antioch, this coin has a high relief portrait. This is issue formed part of the last issue of Vespasian’s denarii from the Syrian region. The suppression of the revolt in Judea was the highpoint of the Flavians' successes, and allowed Vespasian to have much needed coin from the plunder of the Second Temple in Jerusalum, coin that his predecessors, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius lacked as they assumed the purple.
5 commentsLucas H
V287sm.jpg
Vespasian RIC-28726 viewsÆ As, 9.19g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: AEQVITAS AVGVSTI; S C low in field; Aequitas stg. l., with scales and rod
RIC 287 (C). BMC 600. BNC 576.
Acquired from eBay, October 2019.

After the financial mess Nero had left the empire in and the heavy costs of the recent Civil War and Judaean revolt, restoring the state's finances were a top priority for Vespasian upon his accession. This Aequitas type struck during his great bronze issue of 71 proclaims the honest administration of public finances and that lapsed standards would be restored. Aequitas holding her scales and measuring rod was probably based on a cult image of the deity. She first shows up as an imperial virtue on the coinage under Galba, a virtue that Vespasian was eager to emulate. The type comes in two variants - one with S C in exergue and, as seen here, S C low in field.

Nice dark tan patina and well centred.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
V315a.jpg
Vespasian RIC-31574 viewsÆ As, 9.84g
Rome mint, 71 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS III; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PROVIDEN in exergue; S C in field; Altar
RIC 315 (R). BMC -. BNC -.
Acquired from Dr. Claus W. Hild, May 2019.

Originally, Tiberius struck the Provident altar type for Divus Augustus. The altar depicted is dedicated to Providentia, the personification of the emperor's divine providence. Although the type is commonly described as an altar, Marvin Tameanko has convincingly argued it is actually a sacellum, or small shrine. This popular type was later revived during the Civil War by Galba and Vitellius. Vespasian began striking it early in his reign both at Rome and Lyon, confining the type to the as issues. This example is the rare Rome mint variant with the unique abbreviated 'PROVIDEN' legend struck during the great bronze issue of 71. It is missing from the BM's extensive collection. The variant spellings can range the gamut from 'PROVID' to 'PROVIDENT'.

Well centred with a nice dark coppery patina.
3 commentsDavid Atherton
V1200_(2).jpg
Vespasian-RIC-120055 viewsÆ As, 11.19g
Lyon mint, 72 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS IIII; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.; globe at point of bust
Rev: PROVIDENT in exergue; S C in field; Altar
RIC 1200 (C). BMC 820. BNC -.
Ex Museum Surplus, May 2019.

Originally, Tiberius struck the Provident altar type for Divus Augustus. The altar depicted is dedicated to Providentia, the personification of the emperor's divine providence. Although the type is commonly described as an altar, Marvin Tameanko has convincingly argued it is actually a sacellum, or small shrine. This popular type was later revived during the Civil War by Galba and Vitellius. Vespasian began striking it early in his reign both at Rome and Lyon. This common example is from the latter mint, struck in 72.

Solid example with a rich dark brown patina.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
V1235.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-123542 viewsÆ As, 9.42g
Lyon mint, 77-78 AD
Obv: IMP CAES VESPASIAN AVG COS VIII P P; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.; globe at point of bust
Rev: PROVIDENT in exergue; S C in field; Garlanded Altar
RIC 1235 (C). BMC 846 var. BNC 848 var.
Acquired from Kölner, June 2019.

Late in Vespasian's reign the mint at Lyon (ancient Lugdunum) struck a fairly large issue of bronze at a time when the mint at Rome was winding down its own bronze production. Presumably this late issue was produced to address a shortage of bronze coinage in the Western provinces. Many of the types were recycled from earlier issues from both Rome and Lyon. The common PROVIDENT altar type was sometimes struck at Lyon with a decorative garland, as seen on this example. Although this variant is not rare, surprisingly it is missing from the BM collection. Although the type is commonly described as an altar, Marvin Tameanko has convincingly argued it is actually a sacellum, or small shrine. Originally, Tiberius struck the Provident altar type for Divus Augustus. It was later revived during the recent Civil War and was struck by both Galba and Vitellius.

Provenanced to an old 'South German collection from the 1920s to the 1950s'. Nice old cabinet tone.
2 commentsDavid Atherton
V1339.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-1339123 viewsAR Denarius, 3.07g
Uncertain Spanish mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: LIBERTAS PVBLICA; Libertas stg. l., with pileus and rod
RIC 1339 (R2). BMC 360. RSC 259. BNC -.
Ex Pecunem 39, 4 January 2016, lot 874.

Late in 69 during the waning stages of the Civil War, Spain began striking coins for Vespasian. Some of these Spanish issues may be earlier than those struck at Rome. The Libertas reverse was copied from the Spanish coinage of Galba and both he and Vitellius issued left facing portraits in the province. The metal analysis by K. Butcher and M. Ponting of this issue shows Spanish silver was used in its production, however, the location of the mint is a mystery. The coin's style is different than those traditionally attributed to Tarraco(?), so another mint must have been active in the province. Also of note, the style is very similar to those of RIC's Uncertain western mint group 2 denarii. The reverse type of Libertas was used by the various contenders during the Civil War to show they were rescuing the Roman people from 'tyranny'.

A wonderful portrait in similar style to the Spanish issues of Vitellius. Very rare.
8 commentsDavid Atherton
V1340.jpg
Vespasian-RIC-1340125 viewsAR Denarius, 3.15g
Uncertain Spanish mint, 69-70 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, l.
Rev: VICTORIA IMP VESPASIANI; Victory stg. l. on globe, with wreath and palm
RIC 1340 (R). BMC 362. RSC 630. BNC 30.
Ex Private Collection; acquired from Incitatus Coins, December 2012.

This early undated denarius of Vespasian is fairly rare and is minted in an eye appealing style. The mint itself is uncertain, but the reverse type of Victory and Globe under Vitellius at Tarraco and the prominence of left facing busts of Galba and Vitellius from there as well, suggests a Spanish location despite the different style between the series. Future die links will most likely clear the matter up. My hunch is that it is indeed Tarraco (as assigned in the BMCRE) and the style differences can be explained by different engravers working at the mint and/or the elapsed time between the issues. The Paris specimen (BNC 30) is attributed to Rome.

The coin is quite a beauty. The style is almost baroquely garish in its representation of Vespasian, luscious locks and all.

6 commentsDavid Atherton
ric1375.JPG
Vespasian-RIC-137585 viewsAR Denarius, 3.22g
Uncertain mint, 69-71 AD
Obv: IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG; Head of Vespasian, laureate, r.
Rev: PACIS EVENTVM; Bonus Eventus stg. l., with patera and poppy and corn ears
RIC 1375 (R2). BMC 422. RSC 295a. BNC -.
Ex Lucernae, eBay, August 2011.

This is an early denarius which cannot be assigned to any mint. The entire series it comes from is rare too, not to mention this is the only Bonus Eventus reverse struck for Vespasian (later Titus would issue one as Augustus). A similar Bonus Eventus was struck for Galba in Spain and the RIC speculates that an unknown Spanish mint maybe responsible for this type too. I acquired the coin from Spanish dealer, perhaps a coincidence? The BMCRE attributes this coin to Illyricum and the forces of Antonius Primus who were battling to secure Rome for Vespasian.

Wherever the coin was minted the style is indeed early because the engraver had no idea what Vespasian looked like. This is one of the most unVespasian-like portraits ever minted with the heavy brow, long neck, and full head of hair.

This is the best example I've seen of the type.

2 commentsDavid Atherton
SeverusAlexanderRIC70RSC325s.jpg
[1009a] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.83 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 70, RSC 325, S -, EF, Rome mint, 2.803g, 20.7mm, 0o, 227 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; Reverse: P M TR P VI COS II P P, Emperor standing left, sacrificing from patera in right over a tripod, scroll in left; cameo-like obverse with toned portrait and legend and bright fields, slightly frosty surfaces, details of head on reverse figure unstruck, slightly irregular flan. Ex FORVM.

In this year Ardashir invaded Parthia and established the Sassanid Dynasty, which claimed direct descent from Xerxes and Darius. The Eastern power grew stronger and the threat to the Romans immense.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother (Joseph Sermarini).

De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"But as Alexander was a modest and dutiful youth, of only seventeen years of age, the reins of government were in the hands of two women, of his mother Mamaea, and of Maesa, his grandmother. After the death of the latter, who survived but a short time the elevation of Alexander, Mamaea remained the sole regent of her son and of the empire." (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 6: Modern Library Edition, p. 130)

"As the imperial system developed, it disclosed its various arcana one by one. How much does the personality of the ruler matter? Less and less, it should seem. Be he boy, buffoon, or philosopher, his conduct may not have much effect on the administration. Habit and routine took over, with groups and grades of bureaucrats at hand to fill the posts." (Syme, Emperors and Biography, 146)

The passages quoted above emphasize two important aspects of the principate of Severus Alexander (or Alexander Severus), his youth and the influence of women during his reign. The significance of the latter invites brief discourse about the four women known as the "Severan Julias," whose origin was Syria. Julia Domna became the second wife of Septimius Severus and bore him two sons, the later emperors Caracalla and Geta. Her role in the administration of her husband was significant, which her expansive titulature, "mother of the camp and the senate and the country," reflected. Her sister, Julia Maesa, had two daughters, each of whom produced a son who was to become emperor. Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus, and shared his fate when he was assassinated. Julia Mamaea bore Alexander, who succeeded his cousin; he was very young and hence much under the control of grandmother and mother. For the first time in its imperial history, the empire of Rome was de facto, though not de iure, governed by women.

The literary sources, while numerous, are limited in value. Chief among them, at least in scope, is the biography in the Historia Augusta, much the longest of all the lives in this peculiar collection. Though purporting to be the work of six authors in the early fourth century, it is now generally considered to have been produced by one author writing in the last years of this century. Spacious in its treatment of the emperor and extremely favorable to him on the whole, it has little historical merit, seeming rather an extended work of fiction. It must be used with the utmost caution.

Herodian, whose history covered the period 180-238, was a contemporary of Severus Alexander, and his coverage of the latter's reign is extensive. Another contemporary, Dio Cassius, who was consul in 229 and whose judgments would have been most valuable, is unfortunately useless here, since his history survives only in abbreviated form and covers barely a page of printed text for the whole reign (Book 80). Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, the Epitome de Caesaribus, and other Latin sources are extremely brief, informing us of only the occasional anecdote. Christian writers make minimal contribution; legal texts offer much instruction, particularly those dealing with or stemming from Ulpian; coins, inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology help fill the gaps left by the literary sources.

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12½ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

His Principate; Grandmother, Mother, Ulpian
Having had no experience in government, the young emperor was largely dependent upon the two senior women in his life to guide his actions. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, may well have died as early as 223, so that his mother, Julia Mamaea, played the major role in the empire's administration from early on until the end. The only other figures who could rival her were the two Praetorian Prefects, both eminent jurists, Ulpian and Paulus, who are well-known to us because of the numerous citations of their legal views and administrative decisions preserved in the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Both were members of Alexander's consilium. Alexander attempted to restore some of the senate's prestige and functions, but with little success. He was even unable to protect Ulpian against the anger of the praetorians, who then murdered the jurist in 223.

Had his principate been peaceful, he might have developed into a significant emperor, certainly in comparison with his immediate predecessors. He was married once, in 225 to Sallustia Orbiana, who received the official titulature Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta, but she was banished to Libya two years later. Her father, L. Seius Sallustius, was perhaps raised to the rank of Caesar by Alexander and was put to death in 227 on a charge of attempted murder of the emperor. The only other recorded uprising against Alexander is that of Taurinus, who was hailed as Augustus but drowned himself in the Euphrates.

According to the HA life, Alexander was a "good" person, and his mother certainly attempted to guide him well, but much of the last decade of his reign was preoccupied with serious military threats against the empire's prestige, nay existence. In those dangerous circumstances, his abilities, which had not earlier been honed, proved inadequate.

Domestic Policy
Perhaps the greatest service which Alexander furnished Rome, certainly at the beginning of his reign, was the return to a sense of sanity and tradition after the madness and fanaticism of Elagabalus. He is said to have honored and worshipped a variety of individuals, including Christ. His amiability assisted his relationship with the senate, which gained in honor under him without any real increase in its power. Besides jurists in high office, literary figures were also so distinguished; Marius Maximus, the biographer, and Dio Cassius, the historian, gained second consulships, the former in 223, the latter in 229.

The emperor's building program made its mark upon the face of Rome. The last of the eleven great aqueducts, the aqua Alexandrina, was put into service in 226; he also rebuilt the thermae Neronianae in the Campus Martius in the following year and gave them his own name. Of the other constructions, perhaps the most intriguing are the Diaetae Mammaeae, apartments which he built for his mother on the Palatine.

The Persian and German Wars
The first great external challenge appeared in the east, where the Parthian dynasty, which had ruled the Iranian plateau and other large areas for centuries, and who for long had been one of Rome's great rivals, was overthrown by the Persian family of the Sassanids by 227. They aspired to restore their domain to include all the Asian lands which had been ruled in the glory days of the Persian Empire. Since this included Asia Minor as well as all other eastern provinces, the stage was set for continuing clashes with Rome.

These began late in the decade, with significant success early on for the Sassanids. But Rome gradually developed a defense against these incursions, and ultimately the emperor, with his mother and staff, went to the east in 231. There actual military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. Persia's early successes soon faded as Rome's armies brought their power and experience to bear. The result was an acceptance of the status quo rather than a settlement between the parties. This occurred in 233 and Alexander returned to Rome. His presence in the west was required by a German threat, particularly along the Rhine, where the tribes took advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war.

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26½ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus Alexander. A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario. Published on De Imeratoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/alexsev.htm . Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
SevAl.jpg
[1009b] Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D.110 viewsSilver denarius, RIC 19, S -, aF, Rome, 2.806g, 20.0mm, 0o, 223 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, laureate and draped bust right; reverse P M TR P II COS P P, Jupiter standing left cloak over arms, holding long scepter and thunderbolt. Nice portrait. Ex FORVM.

Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander was promoted from Caesar to Augustus after the murder of his cousin, Elagabalus. His reign was marked by great economic prosperity, and he enjoyed great success against the barbarian tribes. His mother Julia Mamaea was the real power in the empire, controlling her son's policies and even his personal life with great authority. Severus had an oratory where he prayed under the edict, written on the wall, "Do not unto others what you would not have done to yourself" and the images of various prophets including Mithras, Zoroaster, Abraham and Jesus. Mutinous soldiers led by Maximinus I murdered both Severus Alexander and his mother (Joseph Sermarini).


De Imeratoribus Romanis,
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Alexander Severus (A.D. 222-235)

Herbert W. Benario
Emory University

Introduction and Sources
"But as Alexander was a modest and dutiful youth, of only seventeen years of age, the reins of government were in the hands of two women, of his mother Mamaea, and of Maesa, his grandmother. After the death of the latter, who survived but a short time the elevation of Alexander, Mamaea remained the sole regent of her son and of the empire." (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 6: Modern Library Edition, p. 130)

"As the imperial system developed, it disclosed its various arcana one by one. How much does the personality of the ruler matter? Less and less, it should seem. Be he boy, buffoon, or philosopher, his conduct may not have much effect on the administration. Habit and routine took over, with groups and grades of bureaucrats at hand to fill the posts." (Syme, Emperors and Biography, 146)

The passages quoted above emphasize two important aspects of the principate of Severus Alexander (or Alexander Severus), his youth and the influence of women during his reign. The significance of the latter invites brief discourse about the four women known as the "Severan Julias," whose origin was Syria. Julia Domna became the second wife of Septimius Severus and bore him two sons, the later emperors Caracalla and Geta. Her role in the administration of her husband was significant, which her expansive titulature, "mother of the camp and the senate and the country," reflected. Her sister, Julia Maesa, had two daughters, each of whom produced a son who was to become emperor. Julia Soaemias was the mother of Elagabalus, and shared his fate when he was assassinated. Julia Mamaea bore Alexander, who succeeded his cousin; he was very young and hence much under the control of grandmother and mother. For the first time in its imperial history, the empire of Rome was de facto, though not de iure, governed by women.

The literary sources, while numerous, are limited in value. Chief among them, at least in scope, is the biography in the Historia Augusta, much the longest of all the lives in this peculiar collection. Though purporting to be the work of six authors in the early fourth century, it is now generally considered to have been produced by one author writing in the last years of this century. Spacious in its treatment of the emperor and extremely favorable to him on the whole, it has little historical merit, seeming rather an extended work of fiction. It must be used with the utmost caution.

Herodian, whose history covered the period 180-238, was a contemporary of Severus Alexander, and his coverage of the latter's reign is extensive. Another contemporary, Dio Cassius, who was consul in 229 and whose judgments would have been most valuable, is unfortunately useless here, since his history survives only in abbreviated form and covers barely a page of printed text for the whole reign (Book 80). Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, the Epitome de Caesaribus, and other Latin sources are extremely brief, informing us of only the occasional anecdote. Christian writers make minimal contribution; legal texts offer much instruction, particularly those dealing with or stemming from Ulpian; coins, inscriptions, papyri, and archaeology help fill the gaps left by the literary sources.

Early Life and Education
The future emperor was born in Arca Caesarea in Phoenicia on October 1, 208 although some sources put the date three years earlier (as Gibbon assumed, see above), the son of Gessius Marcianus, whose career advanced in the equestrian cursus, and of Julia Mamaea, niece of the then empress, Julia Domna, wife of Septimius Severus. He was raised quietly and well educated, at the instance of his mother. He came into the public eye only in 218, when, after Macrinus' murder of Caracalla and accession to the purple, he and his mother were declared hostes publici. In June of that year, Elagabalus defeated Macrinus and succeeded him as emperor. Alexander and Mamaea were soon rehabilitated. As his cousin's activities, religious, political, and personal, became increasingly unacceptable, Alexander was drawn ever more into public life. In mid 221, he assumed the toga virilis, was adopted by Elagabalus as a colleague, was granted the name Alexander, and elevated to the rank of Caesar. There had been talk that he was the illegitimate child of Caracalla, which won him support among the army, and this was confirmed, at least for public consumption, by his filiation in the official titulature back to Septimius. He was now styled Imp. Caes. M. Aurelii Antonini Pii Felicis Aug. fil., divi Antonini Magni Pii nepos, divi Severi pronepos M. Aurelius Alexander, nobilissimus Caesar imperi et sacerdotis, princeps iuventutis. The connection with Septimius Severus was crucial, since he was the only one of these predecessors who had been deified. Alexander was about 12½ years old. Less than a year later, on March 13, 222, with the murder of Elagabalus, Alexander was hailed as emperor by the army. He considered this date as his dies imperii. He became thereby the youngest emperor in Rome's history. He was immediately thereafter given the titles of Augustus, pater patriae, and pontifex maximus.

His Principate; Grandmother, Mother, Ulpian
Having had no experience in government, the young emperor was largely dependent upon the two senior women in his life to guide his actions. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, may well have died as early as 223, so that his mother, Julia Mamaea, played the major role in the empire's administration from early on until the end. The only other figures who could rival her were the two Praetorian Prefects, both eminent jurists, Ulpian and Paulus, who are well-known to us because of the numerous citations of their legal views and administrative decisions preserved in the Corpus Iuris Civilis. Both were members of Alexander's consilium. Alexander attempted to restore some of the senate's prestige and functions, but with little success. He was even unable to protect Ulpian against the anger of the praetorians, who then murdered the jurist in 223.

Had his principate been peaceful, he might have developed into a significant emperor, certainly in comparison with his immediate predecessors. He was married once, in 225 to Sallustia Orbiana, who received the official titulature Sallustia Barbia Orbiana Augusta, but she was banished to Libya two years later. Her father, L. Seius Sallustius, was perhaps raised to the rank of Caesar by Alexander and was put to death in 227 on a charge of attempted murder of the emperor. The only other recorded uprising against Alexander is that of Taurinus, who was hailed as Augustus but drowned himself in the Euphrates.

According to the HA life, Alexander was a "good" person, and his mother certainly attempted to guide him well, but much of the last decade of his reign was preoccupied with serious military threats against the empire's prestige, nay existence. In those dangerous circumstances, his abilities, which had not earlier been honed, proved inadequate.

Domestic Policy
Perhaps the greatest service which Alexander furnished Rome, certainly at the beginning of his reign, was the return to a sense of sanity and tradition after the madness and fanaticism of Elagabalus. He is said to have honored and worshipped a variety of individuals, including Christ. His amiability assisted his relationship with the senate, which gained in honor under him without any real increase in its power. Besides jurists in high office, literary figures were also so distinguished; Marius Maximus, the biographer, and Dio Cassius, the historian, gained second consulships, the former in 223, the latter in 229.

The emperor's building program made its mark upon the face of Rome. The last of the eleven great aqueducts, the aqua Alexandrina, was put into service in 226; he also rebuilt the thermae Neronianae in the Campus Martius in the following year and gave them his own name. Of the other constructions, perhaps the most intriguing are the Diaetae Mammaeae, apartments which he built for his mother on the Palatine.

The Persian and German Wars
The first great external challenge appeared in the east, where the Parthian dynasty, which had ruled the Iranian plateau and other large areas for centuries, and who for long had been one of Rome's great rivals, was overthrown by the Persian family of the Sassanids by 227. They aspired to restore their domain to include all the Asian lands which had been ruled in the glory days of the Persian Empire. Since this included Asia Minor as well as all other eastern provinces, the stage was set for continuing clashes with Rome.

These began late in the decade, with significant success early on for the Sassanids. But Rome gradually developed a defense against these incursions, and ultimately the emperor, with his mother and staff, went to the east in 231. There actual military command rested in the hands of his generals, but his presence gave additional weight to the empire's policy. Persia's early successes soon faded as Rome's armies brought their power and experience to bear. The result was an acceptance of the status quo rather than a settlement between the parties. This occurred in 233 and Alexander returned to Rome. His presence in the west was required by a German threat, particularly along the Rhine, where the tribes took advantage of the withdrawal of Roman troops for the eastern war.

In 234, Alexander and Julia Mammaea moved to Moguntiacum (Mainz), the capital of Upper Germany. The military situation had improved with the return of troops from the east, and an ambitious offensive campaign was planned, for which a bridge was built across the Rhine. But Alexander preferred to negotiate for peace by buying off the enemy. This policy outraged the soldiers, who mutinied in mid March 235 and killed the emperor and his mother. He had reached the age of 26½ years and had been emperor for almost precisely half his life. He was deified by the senate and received other posthumous honors. With the accession of Maximinus Thrax, the Severan dynasty came to an end.

Death and Evaluation
Tacitus' famous dictum about Galba, that he was properly considered capax imperii, capable of being emperor, until he showed, when emperor, that he was not, could never have been applied to Severus Alexander. A child when chance brought him to the principate, with only two recommendations, that he was different from Elagabalus and that he was part of the Severan family, he proved to be inadequate for the challenges of the time. Military experience was the prime attribute of an emperor now, which Alexander did not have, and that lack ultimately cost him his life. Guided by his mother and employing the services of distinguished men, he returned dignity to the imperial household and to the state. He did the best he could, but that best was not good enough in the early decades of the third century A.D., with the great threats from east and north challenging Rome's primacy and, indeed, existence.

Copyright (C) 2001, Herbert W. Benario. Published on De Imeratoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors; http://www.roman-emperors.org/alexsev.htm . Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CIIGRICV197unlistedvar.jpg
[1114a] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.58 viewsSilvered antoninianus, RIC V 197 var (pellet in exergue), aEF, 3.880g, 21.1mm, 0o, Antioch mint, 268 - 270 A.D.; Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right; Reverse: AEQVITAS AVG, Aequitas standing left, scales in right, cornucopia in left, • in exergue; full silvering, bold strike, excellent centering and eastern style, rare this nice; rare variety. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
CIIGRICV214.jpg
[1114b] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.53 viewsBronze antoninianus, RIC V 214, VF, 2.930g, 20.3mm, 180o, Antioch mint; Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, radiate bust right; Reverse: NEPTVN AVG, Neptune standing left, dolphin in right, trident in left hand, • in exergue; excellent centering. Ex FORVM.


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
ClaudiusIIGothicusRIC34.jpg
[1114c] Claudius II Gothicus, September 268 - August or September 270 A.D.51 viewsAntoninianus. RIC 34. Weight, Size. F. Rome mint. Obverse: IMP C CLAVDIVS AVG, Radiate, draped bust right; Reverse: FIDES EXERCI, Fides standing left, holding two standards. Ex Maridvnvm


De Imperatoribus Romanis
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors

Claudius II Gothicus (268-270)

Richard D. Weigel
Western Kentucky University

M. Aurelius Claudius, known to history as Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, was born in either Dalmatia or Illyria on May 10, probably in A.D. 213 or 214. Although the most substantive source on Claudius is the biography in the Scriptores Historiae Augustae (SHA), this account is riddled with fabrications and slanted with fawning praise for this particular emperor, who in the fourth century was viewed as an ancestor of Constantine's father and thus of the ruling imperial family. This biography, attributed to one Trebellius Pollio, must be read with extreme caution and supplemented with information from other sources, including Aurelius Victor, the Epitome de Caesaribus, Eutropius, Orosius, Zonaras, and Zosimus, as well as coins and inscriptions.

The SHA account describes Claudius as being tall, with fiery eyes, and so strong that he could knock out the teeth of man or beast with one punch. It also says that Trajan Decius rewarded him after Claudius demonstrated his strength while wrestling another soldier in the Campus Martius. The SHA author suggests that Claudius may have been descended from the Trojan King Ilus and even from Dardanus, son of Zeus and ancestor of the Trojan royal family, but these suggestions are very likely fabricated to further ennoble Claudius and his putative descendants, the family of Constantine. The SHA biography also includes false letters attributed to the emperors Trajan Decius, Valerian, and Gallienus, all attesting to their high opinions of Claudius. Reference is made in these letters to Claudius' service as tribune in an otherwise unattested legion V Martialis and also as general in command of Illyria, but these positions may also be fictitious. One can assume that Claudius had served for some time in the army, at least under Gallienus and perhaps also under several earlier emperors.

There is some evidence that Claudius was wounded in Gallienus' campaign to put down the revolt of Ingenuus and that he later served with Aureolus under Gallienus in the war with Postumus. By 268, when Gallienus took his troops into Italy to put down Aureolus' revolt, Claudius had emerged as heir-apparent to Gallienus and may also have been involved in the plot to assassinate the emperor. Aurelius Victor says that when Gallienus was killed by his own troops besieging Aureolus in Milan, Claudius as tribune was commanding the soldiers stationed at Ticinum, some twenty miles to the south, and that prior to dying Gallienus designated Claudius as his heir. Victor goes on to claim that after succeeding to the purple Claudius forced the Senate to deify Gallienus. The SHA account states that the soldiers mutinied after Gallienus' death and had to be quieted with a donative of twenty aurei each before settling down and accepting their new emperor. Once in power, Claudius quickly dealt with Aureolus, who surrendered and was killed almost immediately. The new emperor also demanded clemency for the supporters of Gallienus.

The story of Gallienus' deathbed selection of his successor is doubtful at best and is very likely an attempt to deflect blame for the assassination plot from Claudius. The suggestion that the new emperor pressured the Senate to deify Gallienus is more difficult to assess. It is true that securing divine status for one's predecessor is generally seen as a pious act (e.g. Antoninus Pius requesting deification of Hadrian) that reflects positively on the initiator and the story, recorded only in Aurelius Victor, could just be a fabrication used to build up Claudius' moral reputation. What is difficult to penetrate is the biased condemnation of Gallienus that particularly dominates the Latin sources. They make it hard to see why anyone would want to deify Gallienus and so the story seems out of place. However, deification of a predecessor could also be interpreted as the expected thing to do and the act could have fostered legitimacy of the new emperor and gained support from those who were still loyal to Gallienus so it may well have taken place.

The first major challenge facing the new emperor was that of the Alemanni, who had invaded Raetia and Italy. After an early defeat, Claudius replaced some irresponsible officers and soldiers, designated Aurelian as cavalry commander, and led the army to a decisive victory over the Alemanni. This victory earned Claudius the title of Germanicus Maximus and several of his coin-types appear to refer to victory over the Germans.

In 269 Claudius served as consul with Paternus. This year would also feature his major campaign against the Goths. There are indications that Spain separated itself from the Gallo-Roman Empire of Postumus and Tetricus and recognized Claudius, at least nominally, as emperor. In addition, rebellion within Gaul itself demonstrated the weakening of this independent state, although Claudius avoided engagement at Augustodunum and chose only to send a small force to protect Narbonese Gaul. While Claudius concentrated on protecting Roman territory against the Alemanni and Goths, Zenobia extended her Palmyrene Empire by taking Antioch, parts of Asia Minor, and most of Egypt. Although Eusebius and Sulpicius Severus portray the period between the reign of Valerian and that of Diocletian as a peaceful pause in the persecution of Christians, the Acts of the Martyrs does list some individuals allegedly martyred during Claudius II's reign.

The coins issued by Claudius II provide some limited insight into his reign. In addition to the standard "personified virtues" coins that are common with most emperors of the second and third centuries, Claudius struck coin-types proclaiming the security of the Empire (SECVRITAS PERPETVA and PAX AETERNA), the fidelity of the army (FIDES MILITVM), and military victories over the Germans and Goths (VICTORIA GERMAN and VICTORIAE GOTHIC). In addition, Claudius Gothicus' mints struck some other interesting and unusual coin-types. For example, Claudius is one of very few emperors who issued coins portraying the god Vulcan. These must have been limited issues because they are struck only by the Antioch mint and are very rare. The type shows Vulcan standing, with his special tools, the hammer and tongs, and features the unique inscription REGI ARTIS. A variant type with a similar image has been described as carrying another unique coin inscription, DEO CABIRO, and interpreted as depicting one of Vulcan's sons, the Cabiri, with the same tools. However, the existence of this variant type is doubtful. Although the reason for honoring Vulcan (and his sons?) with these coins is unclear, there may be a connection to the fact that the Cabiri were patron gods of Thessalonica who had protected that city against an attack by the Goths. Although a connection between Claudius Gothicus and the Cabiri as defenders against Gothic attacks is relatively attractive, it is weakened somewhat by the fact that Valerian and Gallienus had also issued coins with Vulcan in a temple so there may be some other reason for his reappearance on coins in this period.

Claudius II issued an unusual and scarce series of coins that features a pair of deities, who are presumably conservatores Augusti, on each reverse. The AETER AVG type depicts Apollo and Diana, who, as gods of the sun and moon, are associated with the concept of aeternitas. A type featuring Serapis and Isis is combined with a CONSER AVG inscription and one of Hercules and Minerva with one of CONSERVATORES AVG. Apollo and Diana are depicted with a SALVS AVG inscription, Aesculapius and Salus with one of SPES PVBLIC, and Vulcan and Minerva with VIRT AVG. The general message is that these deities will protect the future of the empire and the emperor.

Other unusual coin-types include MARS VLTOR, the god Augustus had honored with a temple for securing revenge for Caesar's assassination. This deity had appeared on Roman coins in the reigns of Galba and Severus Alexander. Claudius II also minted coins with rarely-seen NEPTVN AVG [see this reverse type in my collection] and SOL AVG types. The latter coin indicates some early interest in the god who would become so dominant a few years later on the coins of Aurelian, yet Claudius also used the INVICTVS AVG inscription that Gallienus had paired with an image of Sol with one of Hercules. ROMAE AETERNAE coin-types were fairly common in the mid-third century, but Claudius II issued an unusual variant type on an aureus that showed the goddess in her temple and echoed the SAECVLVM NOVVM images associated with Philip I. In addition, Claudius introduced a IOVI VICTORI reverse combined with the image normally paired with a IOVI STATORI inscription and a IOVI FVLGERAT reverse inscription, both of which had not been used by any of his predecessors. Andreas Alföldi suggested that Claudius' GENIVS SENATVS type signified improvement of the relationship between emperor and Senate following the senatorial hostility toward Gallienus.

Claudius Gothicus also produced coin-types with reverses of goddesses customarily found paired on coins with images of the Roman empresses. The deities portrayed include Ceres, Diana, Diana Lucifera, and Diana Victrix, Minerva, Venus, and the goddess naturally associated with the image of an empress, Juno Regina. One might suggest that Claudius issued these images because he had no empress with which to pair them, but an examination of other emperors' reigns during this period reveals that those emperors who did not issue coins bearing the empress' image also did not strike these particular goddess types. Although Ceres and Venus images are sometimes paired with an emperor's portrait, Diana Lucifera is rarely found on emperors' coins and Claudius II is the only emperor paired on coins with Juno Regina. In addition, Claudius was the first emperor to issue imperial coins that featured an isolated image of the exotic Egyptian goddess, Isis Faria.

Claudius II's short reign was vulnerable to internal as well as external attack. There may have been a revolt in 269-270 led by a Censorinus, although the date and even the existence of this usurper remain in doubt. The SHA includes him as the last of the "thirty tyrants" and lists a whole series of offices for him, including two consulships, but no other record exists to confirm such service. The SHA account states that he was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers, but soon afterwards killed by them because of his enforcement of strict discipline. His tomb is listed as being in Bologna, which may provide some idea of the location for the revolt. Henry Cohen dates the revolt to the beginning of the year 270, perhaps on the basis of a reference in the Epitome de Caesaribus, but suggests that coins attributed to Censorinus in earlier works may not exist.

The Gothic challenge in 269 proved to be the greatest that Claudius II would face. The Goths assembled a large invading force, reportedly amounting to 320,000 men transported on a fleet of at least 2,000 ships, and first attacked coastal cities along the Black Sea in Moesia. After passing into the Aegean the Goths besieged Thessalonica. At this point, in 269, Claudius left Rome to stop the invasion. The Goths then sent the larger segment of their troops on land toward the Danube, while the fleet took the remaining group to continue the naval attack on Aegean coastal cities. Claudius sent Aurelian's cavalry to Macedonia to protect Illyria from attack, while he commanded the forces blocking the route to the Danube. In the area of Doberus and Pelagonia, the Goths lost 3,000 men to Aurelian's cavalry. At Naissus in Moesia, Claudius' force succeeded in killing some 50,000 Goths. There were follow-up operations on both land and sea, but the Gothic War had essentially been won. Staving off the attacks of the Goths was a major contribution to the survival of the Roman Empire. It was a significant step leading to the subsequent success of Aurelian and the resurrection of the Empire under Diocletian and Constantine. When the Goths eventually succeeded in taking parts of the western Empire in the fifth century, their disruption to the course of civilization was likely much less violent than it would have been had they succeeded in the third century.

In addition to bad weather, a lack of supplies, and hunger, plague was a major factor in the defeat of the Goths. Many of the Gothic prisoners were either impressed into Roman military service or settled on farms as coloni. Claudius received the title Gothicus in recognition of his triumph over the Goths. At some point he had also been given the title Parthicus, but the unlikelihood of any conflict with the Parthians in his short reign makes this difficult to explain. Perhaps Damerau was correct in his suggestion that a Parthian unit may have been involved in one of the battles with the Palmyrenes, although on this front there were few achievements to claim. In any case, Claudius' victory over the Goths was short-lived. The emperor himself caught the plague and died at Sirmium early in 270. He was 56 years old. Claudius' brother, Quintillus, became emperor briefly before losing out to Aurelian. Claudius also had another brother, Crispus, and the SHA traces the link to Constantius through Crispus' daughter Claudia.

The Roman Senate showed its respect for Claudius Gothicus by setting up a gold portrait-shield in the Curia and by approving his deification. He was also honored with a golden statue in front of the great temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus and a silver statue set on a column on the Rostra.

In many ways, Claudius II received more adulation and honor in his Nachleben than he had during his lifetime. In the fourth century, attempts to link Constantine's family to Claudius resulted in the phrases of adoration and outright fabrication that dominate the SHA life and most of our other sources. Constantine even issued commemorative coins honoring Claudius. These carried inscriptions such as: DIVO CLAVDIO OPT[IMO] IMP[ERATORI], MEMORIAE AETERNAE, and REQVIES OPT[IMORVM] ME[RITORVM]. A tradition grew that changed the story of Claudius' death in some sources. In this version, Claudius, instead of dying from the plague, had actually performed a devotion, in response to an oracle found in the Sibylline Books, and sacrificed his life so that Rome could win the Gothic War. One of the most surprising things about the SHA account is that it ignores this more dramatic tradition and has Claudius simply dying from the plague.

One must, of course, reject the excessive claims of the SHA to the effect that Claudius II was "destined to rule for the good of the human race" and would, had he lived longer, "…by his strength, his counsel, and his foresight have restored to us the Scipios, the Camilli, and all those men of old." However, Claudius Gothicus was clearly a good emperor who made a significant contribution to protecting and restoring the Empire. In the third century there aren't too many emperors who merit such an assessment.

Copyright (C) 2001, Richard D. Weigel. Used by permission.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/claudgot.htm


Claudius II Gothicus was born in Illyricum around 215 A.D. Under Valerian and Gallienus he was recognized as a superb general. After the murder of Gallienus, Claudius Gothicus was proclaimed emperor and preceded to crush the Alemani tribe who had invaded Roman territory. Soon after an enormous horde of Goths poured into the empire. Against all advice, Claudius confronted the barbarians at Naissus in Upper Moesia. He fought a brilliant battle and annihilated them. Unfortunately for the empire, he died of plague after a reign of only two years (Joseph Sermarini, FORVM;
http://www.forumancientcoins.com/catalog/roman-and-greek-coins.asp?vpar=741&pos=0#Recovery%20of%20the%20Empire%20Coins).

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin754.jpg
[18H759a] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta49 viewsVespasian. 69-71 AD. AR Denarius;17mm, 3.28g; Hendin 759, RIC 15. Obverse: Laureate head right; Reverse: Jewess seated right, on ground, mourning below right of trophy, IVDAEA below. Ex Imperial Coins.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VesJudCapt.jpg
[18H759] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta173 viewsSilver denarius, Hendin 759, RIC 15, BM 35, RSC 226, S 2296, Fair, 2.344g, 17.0mm, 180o, Rome mint, 69-70 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse IVDAEA in exergue, Jewess, mourning, seated at right of trophy.

De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
VespasianJudaeaCaptaHendin779.jpg
[18H779] Vespasian, 1 July 69 - 24 June 79 A.D., Judaea Capta issue130 viewsOrichalcum dupondius, Hendin 779, RIC II 1160, BMCRE 809 (same dies), aVF, Lugdunum mint, 9.969g, 27.7mm, 180o, 71 A.D.; obverse IMP CAESAR VESPASIAN AVG COS III, radiate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse VICTORIA NAVALIS S C, Victory standing right on a prow, wreath in right, palm frond over should in left (Refers to a victory on the Sea of Galilee during the recapture of Judaea); rough; rare (R2). Ex FORVM.




De Imperatoribus Romanis:
An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (A.D. 69-79)

John Donahue
College of William and Mary

Introduction

Titus Flavius Vespasianus (b. A.D. 9, d. A.D. 79, emperor A.D. 69-79) restored peace and stability to an empire in disarray following the death of Nero in A.D. 68. In the process he established the Flavian dynasty as the legitimate successor to the Imperial throne. Although we lack many details about the events and chronology of his reign, Vespasian provided practical leadership and a return to stable government - accomplishments which, when combined with his other achievements, make his emperorship particularly notable within the history of the Principate.

Early Life and Career

Vespasian was born at Falacrina near Sabine Reate on 17 November, A.D. 9, the son of T. Flavius Sabinus, a successful tax collector and banker, and Vespasia Polla. Both parents were of equestrian status. Few details of his first fifteen years survive, yet it appears that his father and mother were often away from home on business for long periods. As a result, Vespasian's early education became the responsibility of his paternal grandmother, Tertulla. [[1]] In about A.D. 25 Vespasian assumed the toga virilis and later accepted the wearing of the latus clavus, and with it the senatorial path that his older brother, T. Flavius Sabinus, had already chosen. [[2]] Although many of the particulars are lacking, the posts typically occupied by one intent upon a senatorial career soon followed: a military tribunate in Thrace, perhaps for three or four years; a quaestorship in Crete-Cyrene; and the offices of aedile and praetor, successively, under the emperor Gaius. [[3]]

It was during this period that Vespasian married Flavia Domitilla. Daughter of a treasury clerk and former mistress of an African knight, Flavia lacked the social standing and family connections that the politically ambitious usually sought through marriage. In any case, the couple produced three children, a daughter, also named Flavia Domitilla, and two sons, the future emperors Titus and Domitian . Flavia did not live to witness her husband's emperorship and after her death Vespasian returned to his former mistress Caenis, who had been secretary to Antonia (daughter of Marc Antony and mother of Claudius). Caenis apparently exerted considerable influence over Vespasian, prompting Suetonius to assert that she remained his wife in all but name, even after he became emperor. [[4]]

Following the assassination of Gaius on 24 January, A.D. 41, Vespasian advanced rapidly, thanks in large part to the new princeps Claudius, whose favor the Flavians had wisely secured with that of Antonia, the mother of Germanicus, and of Claudius' freedmen, especially Narcissus. [[5]] The emperor soon dispatched Vespasian to Argentoratum (Strasbourg) as legatus legionis II Augustae, apparently to prepare the legion for the invasion of Britain. Vespasian first appeared at the battle of Medway in A.D. 43, and soon thereafter led his legion across the south of England, where he engaged the enemy thirty times in battle, subdued two tribes, and conquered the Isle of Wight. According to Suetonius, these operations were conducted partly under Claudius and partly under Vespasian's commander, Aulus Plautius. Vespasian's contributions, however, did not go unnoticed; he received the ornamenta triumphalia and two priesthoods from Claudius for his exploits in Britain. [[6]]

By the end of A.D. 51 Vespasian had reached the consulship, the pinnacle of a political career at Rome. For reasons that remain obscure he withdrew from political life at this point, only to return when chosen proconsul of Africa about A.D. 63-64. His subsequent administration of the province was marked by severity and parsimony, earning him a reputation for being scrupulous but unpopular. [[7]] Upon completion of his term, Vespasian returned to Rome where, as a senior senator, he became a man of influence in the emperor Nero's court. [[8]] Important enough to be included on Nero's tour of Greece in A.D. 66-67, Vespasian soon found himself in the vicinity of increasing political turbulence in the East. The situation would prove pivotal in advancing his career.

Judaea and the Accession to Power

In response to rioting in Caesarea and Jerusalem that had led to the slaughter in the latter city of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, Nero granted to Vespasian in A.D. 66 a special command in the East with the objective of settling the revolt in Judaea. By spring A.D. 67, with 60,000 legionaries, auxiliaries, and allies under his control, Vespasian set out to subdue Galilee and then to cut off Jerusalem. Success was quick and decisive. By October all of Galilee had been pacified and plans for the strategic encirclement of Jerusalem were soon formed. [[9]] Meanwhile, at the other end of the empire, the revolts of Gaius Iulius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, and Servius Sulpicius Galba , governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, had brought Nero's reign to the brink of collapse. The emperor committed suicide in June, A.D. 68, thereby ensuring chaos for the next eighteen months, as first Galba and then Marcus Salvius Otho and Aulus Vitellius acceded to power. Each lacked broad-based military and senatorial support; each would be violently deposed in turn. [[10]]

Still occupied with plans against Jerusalem, Vespasian swore allegiance to each emperor. Shortly after Vitellius assumed power in spring, A.D. 69, however, Vespasian met on the border of Judaea and Syria with Gaius Licinius Mucianus, governor of Syria, and after a series of private and public consultations, the two decided to revolt. [[11]] On July 1, at the urging of Tiberius Alexander, prefect of Egypt, the legions of Alexandria declared for Vespasian, as did the legions of Judaea two days later. By August all of Syria and the Danube legions had done likewise. Vespasian next dispatched Mucianus to Italy with 20,000 troops, while he set out from Syria to Alexandria in order to control grain shipments for the purpose of starving Italy into submission. [[12]] The siege of Jerusalem he placed in the hands of his son Titus.

Meanwhile, the Danubian legions, unwilling to wait for Mucianus' arrival, began their march against Vitellius ' forces. The latter army, suffering from a lack of discipline and training, and unaccustomed to the heat of Rome, was defeated at Cremona in late October. [[13]] By mid-December the Flavian forces had reached Carsulae, 95 kilometers north of Rome on the Flaminian Road, where the Vitellians, with no further hope of reinforcements, soon surrendered. At Rome, unable to persuade his followers to accept terms for his abdication, Vitellius was in peril. On the morning of December 20 the Flavian army entered Rome. By that afternoon, the emperor was dead. [[14]]

Tacitus records that by December 22, A.D. 69, Vespasian had been given all the honors and privileges usually granted to emperors. Even so, the issue remains unclear, owing largely to a surviving fragment of an enabling law, the lex de imperio Vespasiani, which conferred powers, privileges, and exemptions, most with Julio-Claudian precedents, on the new emperor. Whether the fragment represents a typical granting of imperial powers that has uniquely survived in Vespasian's case, or is an attempt to limit or expand such powers, remains difficult to know. In any case, the lex sanctioned all that Vespasian had done up to its passing and gave him authority to act as he saw fit on behalf of the Roman people. [[15]]

What does seem clear is that Vespasian felt the need to legitimize his new reign with vigor. He zealously publicized the number of divine omens that predicted his accession and at every opportunity he accumulated multiple consulships and imperial salutations. He also actively promoted the principle of dynastic succession, insisting that the emperorship would fall to his son. The initiative was fulfilled when Titus succeeded his father in A.D. 79.[[16]]

Emperorship

Upon his arrival in Rome in late summer, A.D. 70, Vespasian faced the daunting task of restoring a city and a government ravaged by the recent civil wars. Although many particulars are missing, a portrait nevertheles emerges of a ruler conscientiously committed to the methodical renewal of both city and empire. Concerning Rome itself, the emperor encouraged rebuilding on vacated lots, restored the Capitol (burned in A.D. 69), and also began work on several new buildings: a temple to the deified Claudius on the Caelian Hill, a project designed to identify Vespasian as a legitimate heir to the Julio-Claudians, while distancing himself from Nero ; a temple of Peace near the Forum; and the magnificent Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre), located on the site of the lake of Nero 's Golden House. [[17]]

Claiming that he needed forty thousand million sesterces for these projects and for others aimed at putting the state on more secure footing, Vespasian is said to have revoked various imperial immunities, manipulated the supply of certain commodities to inflate their price, and increased provincial taxation. [[18]] The measures are consistent with his characterization in the sources as both obdurate and avaricious. There were occasional political problems as well: Helvidius Priscus, an advocate of senatorial independence and a critic of the Flavian regime from the start, was exiled after A.D. 75 and later executed; Marcellus Eprius and A. Alienus Caecina were condemned by Titus for conspiracy, the former committing suicide, the latter executed in A.D. 79.
As Suetonius claims, however, in financial matters Vespasian always put revenues to the best possible advantage, regardless of their source. Tacitus, too, offers a generally favorable assessment, citing Vespasian as the first man to improve after becoming emperor. [[19]] Thus do we find the princeps offering subventions to senators not possessing the property qualifications of their rank, restoring many cities throughout the empire, and granting state salaries for the first time to teachers of Latin and Greek rhetoric. To enhance Roman economic and social life even further, he encouraged theatrical productions by building a new stage for the Theatre of Marcellus, and he also put on lavish state dinners to assist the food trades. [[20]]

In other matters the emperor displayed similar concern. He restored the depleted ranks of the senatorial and equestrian orders with eligible Italian and provincial candidates and reduced the backlog of pending court cases at Rome. Vespasian also re-established discipline in the army, while punishing or dismissing large numbers of Vitellius ' men. [[21]]
Beyond Rome, the emperor increased the number of legions in the East and continued the process of imperial expansion by the annexation of northern England, the pacification of Wales, and by advances into Scotland and southwest Germany between the Rhine and the Danube. Vespasian also conferred rights on communities abroad, especially in Spain, where the granting of Latin rights to all native communities contributed to the rapid Romanization of that province during the Imperial period. [[22]]

Death and Assessment

In contrast to his immediate imperial predecessors, Vespasian died peacefully - at Aquae Cutiliae near his birthplace in Sabine country on 23 June, A.D. 79, after contracting a brief illness. The occasion is said to have inspired his deathbed quip: "Oh my, I must be turning into a god!" [[23]] In fact, public deification did follow his death, as did his internment in the Mausoleum of Augustus alongside the Julio-Claudians.

A man of strict military discipline and simple tastes, Vespasian proved to be a conscientious and generally tolerant administrator. More importantly, following the upheavals of A.D. 68-69, his reign was welcome for its general tranquility and restoration of peace. In Vespasian Rome found a leader who made no great breaks with tradition, yet his ability ro rebuild the empire and especially his willingness to expand the composition of the governing class helped to establish a positive working model for the "good emperors" of the second century.

Bibliography

Since the scholarship on Vespasian is more comprehensive than can be treated here, the works listed below are main accounts or bear directly upon issues discussed in the entry above. A comprehensive modern anglophone study of this emperor is yet to be produced.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Flaviani, 2 vols. Rieti, 1983.

Atti congresso internazionale di studi Vespasianei, 2 vols. Rieti, 1981.

Bosworth, A.B. "Vespasian and the Provinces: Some Problems of the Early 70s A.D." Athenaeum 51 (1973): 49-78.

Brunt, P. A. "Lex de imperio Vespasiani." JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

D'Espèrey, S. Franchet. "Vespasien, Titus et la littérature." ANRW II.32.5: 3048-3086.

Dudley, D. and Webster, G. The Roman Conquest of Britain. London, 1965.

Gonzalez, J. "The Lex Irnitana: A New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

Grant, M. The Roman Emperors: A Biographical Guide to the Rulers of Rome, 31 B.C. - A.D. 476. New York, 1985.

Homo, L. Vespasien, l'Empereur du bons sens (69-79 ap. J.-C.). Paris, 1949.

Levi, M.A. "I Flavi." ANRW II.2: 177-207.

McCrum, M. and Woodhead, A. G. Select Documents of the Principates of the Flavian Emperors Including the Year of the Revolution. Cambridge, 1966.

Nicols, John. Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae. Wiesbaden, 1978.

Scarre, C. Chronicle of the Roman Emperors. The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome. London, 1995.

Suddington, D. B. The Development of the Roman Auxiliary Forces from Caesar to Vespasian, 49 B.C. - A.D. 79. Harare: U. of Zimbabwe, 1982.

Syme, R. Tacitus. Oxford, 1958.

Wardel, David. "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol." Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

Wellesley, K. The Long Year: A.D. 69. Bristol, 1989, 2nd ed.


Notes

[[1]] Suet. Vesp. 2.1. Suetonius remains the major source but see also Tac. Hist. 2-5; Cass. Dio 65; Joseph. BJ 3-4.

[[2]] Suetonius (Vesp. 2.1) claims that Vespasian did not accept the latus clavus, the broad striped toga worn by one aspiring to a senatorial career, immediately. The delay, however, was perhaps no more than three years. See J. Nicols, Vespasian and the Partes Flavianae (Wiesbaden, 1978), 2.

[[3]] Military tribunate and quaestorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3; aedileship: ibid., 5.3, in which Gaius, furious that Vespasian had not kept the streets clean, as was his duty, ordered some soldiers to load him with filth;,they complied by stuffing his toga with as much as it could hold. See also Dio 59.12.2-3; praetorship: Suet. Vesp. 2.3, in which Vespasian is depicted as one of Gaius' leading adulators, an account consistent with Tacitus' portrayal (Hist 1.50.4; 2.5.1) of his early career. For a more complete discussion of these posts and attendant problems of dating, see Nicols, Vespasian, 2-7.

[[4]] Marriage and Caenis: Suet. Vesp. 3; Cass. Dio 65.14.

[[5]] Nicols, Vespasian, 12-39.

[[6]] Suet. Vesp. 4.1 For additional details on Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see D. Dudley and G. Webster, The Roman Conquest of Britain (London, 1965), 55 ff., 98.

[[7]] Concerning Vespasian's years between his consulship and proconsulship, see Suet. Vesp. 4.2 and Nicols, Vespasian, 9. On his unpopularity in Africa, see Suet. Vesp. 4.3, an account of a riot at Hadrumentum, where he was once pelted with turnips. In recording that Africa supported Vitellius in A.D. 69, Tacitus too suggests popular dissatisfaction with Vespasian's proconsulship. See Hist. 2.97.2.

[[8]] This despite the fact that the sources record two rebukes of Vespasian, one for extorting money from a young man seeking career advancement (Suet. Vesp. 4.3), the other for either leaving the room or dozing off during one of the emperor's recitals (Suet. Vesp. 4.4 and 14, which places the transgression in Greece; Tac. (Ann. 16.5.3), who makes Rome and the Quinquennial Games of A.D. 65 the setting; A. Braithwaite, C. Suetoni Tranquilli Divus Vespasianus, Oxford, 1927, 30, who argues for both Greece and Rome).

[[9]] Subjugation of Galilee: Joseph. BJ 3.65-4.106; siege of Jerusalem: ibid., 4.366-376, 414.

[[10]] Revolt of Vindex: Suet. Nero 40; Tac. Ann. 14.4; revolt of Galba: Suet. Galba 10; Plut. Galba, 4-5; suicide of Nero: Suet. Nero 49; Cass. Dio 63.29.2. For the most complete account of the period between Nero's death and the accession of Vespasian, see K. Wellesley, The Long Year: A.D. 69, 2nd. ed. (Bristol, 1989).

[[11]] Tac. Hist. 2.76.

[[12]] Troops in support of Vespasian: Suet. Vit. 15; Mucianus and his forces: Tac. Hist. 2.83; Vespasian and grain shipments: Joseph. BJ 4.605 ff.; see also Tac. Hist. 3.48, on Vespasian's possible plan to shut off grain shipments to Italy from Carthage as well.

[[13]] On Vitellius' army and its lack of discipline, see Tac. Hist. 2.93-94; illness of army: ibid., 2.99.1; Cremona: ibid., 3.32-33.

[[14]] On Vitellius' last days, see Tac. Hist. 3.68-81. On the complicated issue of Vitellius' death date, see L. Holzapfel, "Römische Kaiserdaten," Klio 13 (1913): 301.

[[15]] Honors, etc. Tac. Hist. 4.3. For more on the lex de imperio Vespasiani, see P. A. Brunt, "Lex de imperio Vespasiani," JRS (67) 1977: 95-116.

[[16]] Omens: Suet. Vesp. 5; consulships and honors: ibid., 8; succession of sons: ibid., 25.

[[17]] On Vespasian's restoration of Rome, see Suet. Vesp. 9; Cass. Dio 65.10; D. Wardel, "Vespasian, Helvidius Priscus and the Restoration of the Capitol," Historia 45 (1996): 208-222.

[[18]] Suet. Vesp. 16.

[[19]] Ibid.; Tac. Hist. 1.50.

[[20]] Suet. Vesp. 17-19.

[[21]] Ibid., 8-10.

[[22]] On Vespasian's exploits in Britain, see esp. Tac., Agricola, eds. R. M. Ogilvie and I. A. Richmond (1967), and W. S. Hanson, Agricola and the Conquest of the North (1987); on the granting of Latin rights in Spain, see, e.g., J. Gonzalez, "The Lex Irnitana: a New Copy of the Flavian Municipal Law." JRS 76 (1986): 147-243.

[[23]] For this witticism and other anecdotes concerning Vespasian's sense of humor, see Suet. Vesp. 23.

Copyright (C) 1998, John Donahue. Published on De Imperatoribus Romanis, an Online Encyplopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families.
http://www.roman-emperors.org/vespasia.htm
Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
 
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