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Galba
Galba
(English: /ˈsɜːrviəs sʌlˈpɪʃəs ˈɡælbə/;; Latin: Servius Sulpicius Galba
Galba
Caesar Augustus;[2] 24 December 3 BC – 15 January 69 AD) was Roman emperor
Roman emperor
for seven months from 68 to 69. The governor of Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis
at the time of the rebellion of Julius Vindex in Gaul, he seized the throne following Nero's suicide. Born into a wealthy family, Galba
Galba
was a capable military officer during the first half of the first century AD. He retired during Nero's reign but was later granted the governorship of Hispania Tarraconensis. Taking advantage of the defeat of Vindex's rebellion and Nero's suicide, he became emperor with the support of the Praetorian Guard. Galba
Galba
was the oldest emperor to date and his physical weakness and general apathy led to his being dominated by favourites. Unable to gain popularity with the people or maintain the support of the Praetorian Guard, Galba
Galba
was killed by Otho, who rebelled when Galba passed him over as his successor. He was the first emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors, and the last to be born in the first century BC.

Contents

1 Origins and family life

1.1 Public service

2 Emperor (June 68)

2.1 Rule 2.2 Military mutiny on the frontier 2.3 Assassination (January 69)

3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

6.1 Primary sources 6.2 Secondary sources

Origins and family life[edit] He was born as Servius Sulpicius Galba
Galba
near Terracina, "on the left as you go towards Fundi" in the words of Suetonius.[3] Through his paternal grandfather ("more eminent for his learning than for his rank — for he did not advance beyond the grade of praetor" and who "published a voluminous and painstaking history", and, according to Suetonius, predicted his rise to power),[4] he was descended from Servius Sulpicius Galba. Galba's father attained the consulship, and although he was short, hunchbacked and only an indifferent speaker, was an industrious pleader at the bar. His mother was Mummia Achaica, the granddaughter of Lutatius Catulus (cos. 78 BC) and great-granddaughter of Lucius Mummius Achaicus. They only had one other child, an elder son called Gaius who left Rome after squandering the greater part of his estate, and committed suicide because Tiberius
Tiberius
dishonored him by preventing him from taking part in the allotment of the provinces in his year. His father married a second wife, Livia
Livia
Ocellina, a distant kinswoman of the empress Livia. She later adopted Galba, so he took her names, remaining Lucius Livius Ocella Sulpicius Galba
Galba
until becoming emperor. His was a noble family, and he was a man of great wealth, but was unconnected by birth and only very, very remotely by adoption with any of the first six Caesars. In his early years he was regarded as a youth of remarkable abilities, and it is said that both Augustus
Augustus
and Tiberius
Tiberius
prophesied his future eminence (Tacitus, Annals, vi. 20; Suet. Galba 4; Dio 57.19.4). His wife, Aemilia Lepida, however, was connected by the marriages of some of her relatives to some of the Julii-Claudii. They had two sons, probably Gaius and Servius (most likely Livius Ocella Galba), who died during their father's life. The elder son was born circa 25 AD. Hardly anything is known about his life as he died young. He was engaged to his step-sister Antonia Postuma, but they never wed, which leads modern historians to believe that he died during this time. Their engagement is dated to 48, and that is generally believed to be his time of death. The date of birth of the younger son occurred later than 25 but before 30. This Galba
Galba
outlived his older brother. He was a quaestor in 58, but he was never seen in politics after that. His time of death is generally believed to be around 60 AD. Galba
Galba
Minor was never married and had no children.[5] Additionally, Suetonius's description of Galba
Galba
was that "In sexual matters he was more inclined to males, and then none but the hard bodied and those past their prime".[6] This seems to be the only case in Roman history where a named individual male is stated to prefer adult males.[7] Public service[edit] He became Praetor
Praetor
in 20, and consul in 33; he earned a reputation in the provinces of Gaul, Germania, Africa and Hispania
Hispania
for his military capability, strictness and impartiality. On the death of Caligula, he 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
Hispania
Tarraconensis. In the spring of 68, Galba
Galba
was informed of Nero's intention to put him to death, and of the insurrection of Julius Vindex in Gaul. He was at first inclined to follow the example of Vindex, but the defeat at Vesontio (Besançon) and suicide[8] of the latter renewed Galba's hesitation. It was said that the courtier Calvia Crispinilla was behind his defection from Nero.[9] The news that Nymphidius Sabinus, the Praetorian Prefect, had given him his favour revived Galba's spirits. Until now, he had only dared to call himself the legate of the senate and Roman people; after Nero's suicide, he assumed the title of Caesar, and marched straight for Rome. Following Nero's death, Nymphidius Sabinus sought to seize power prior to the arrival of Galba, but he could not win the loyalty of the Praetorian guard and was killed. Upon Galba's approach to the city in October, he was met by soldiers presenting demands; Galba
Galba
replied by killing many of them. Emperor (June 68)[edit]

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Rule[edit]

Galba
Galba
- Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon

Galba's primary concern during his brief reign was restoring state finances, and to this end he undertook a number of unpopular measures, the most dangerous was his refusal to pay the praetorians the reward promised in his name. Galba
Galba
scorned the notion that soldiers should be "bribed" for their loyalty. He was notoriously cruel throughout the Empire; according to the historian Suetonius, Galba
Galba
levied massive taxes against areas that were slow to receive him as Emperor.[10] He also sentenced many to death without trial, and rarely accepted requests for citizenship.[10] He further disgusted the populace by his meanness and dislike of pomp and display. Aged 69 at the time he became emperor, he would be the oldest person to become emperor until Gordian I
Gordian I
in 238. Advanced age destroyed his energy, and he was entirely in the hands of favourites.[10] Three of these — Titus
Titus
Vinius, who became Galba's colleague as consul, Cornelius Laco, the commander of the Praetorian Guard, and Galba's freedman Icelus Marcianus — were said to virtually control the emperor.[10] The three were called "The Three Pedagogues" because of their influence on Galba. All this made the new emperor gravely unpopular. During the later period of his provincial administration, Galba
Galba
was indolent and apathetic, but this was due either to a desire not to attract Nero's notice or to the growing infirmities of age. Tacitus says all pronounced him worthy of the empire, until he became emperor ("omnium consensū cāpax imperiī nisi imperāsset"). As Pharaoh of Egypt, Galba
Galba
adopted the titulary Autokrator Servios Galbas (“Emporer Servius Galba”).[11] Military mutiny on the frontier[edit] On 1 January 69, two legions in Germania
Germania
Superior refused to swear loyalty to Galba. They toppled his statues, demanding that a new emperor be chosen. On the following day, the soldiers of Germania Inferior also rebelled and took the decision of who should be the next emperor into their own hands, proclaiming the governor of the province, Vitellius, as Emperor. This outbreak of revolt made Galba
Galba
aware of his own unpopularity and of the general discontent. In order to check the rising storm, he adopted as his heir and successor L. Calpurnius Piso. The populace regarded the choice of successor as a sign of fear and the Praetorians were indignant, because the usual donative was not forthcoming. Furthermore, M. Salvius Otho, who was expecting to be adopted, was alienated by the choice of Piso. Assassination (January 69)[edit] While Otho
Otho
had governed Lusitania
Lusitania
and was one of Galba's earliest supporters, he was disappointed at the selection of Piso and entered into communication with the discontented Praetorians, who hailed him as their emperor on 15 January 69. Galba
Galba
at once set out to meet the rebels, though he was so feeble that he had to be carried in a litter. According to Suetonius, Galba
Galba
prior to his death had put on a linen corset—although remarking that it had little protection against so many swords.[12] He was met by a troop of Otho's cavalry and was killed near Lacus Curtius. One guard, centurion Sempronius Densus, died defending him. Piso was killed shortly afterwards. According to Plutarch, during Galba's last moments he offered his neck, and said, "Strike, if it be for the good of the Romans!" After his death, Galba's head was brought to Otho, who gave it to his camp followers who paraded and mocked it—the camp followers' mocking was their angry response to a remark by Galba
Galba
that his strength was unimpaired. The head was then bought by a freedman so he could throw it on the place where his former master had been executed on Galba's orders. Galba's steward buried both head and trunk in a tomb by the Aurelian
Aurelian
Road. See also[edit]

Sulpicia (gens) Galba
Galba
(Suessiones)

Notes[edit]

This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (February 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

^ Galba's regal name has an equivalent meaning in English as "Commander Servius Galba
Galba
Caesar, the Emperor". ^ Classical Latin spelling and reconstructed Classical Latin pronunciation:

SERVIVS SVLPICIVS GALBA CAESAR AVGVSTVS IPA: [ˈsɛr.wi.ʊs sʊɫˈpɪ.ki.ʊs ˈgaɫ.ba ˈkae̯.sar au̯ˈgʊs.tʊs]

^ Suetonius
Suetonius
Tranquillus, The Lives Of The Caesars ^ Suetonius, 4 ^ The following quote is NOT in Suetonius
Suetonius
and has been removed to a footnote until the citation can be corrected and/or verified. ... Suetonius
Suetonius
mentions that " Galba
Galba
Minor had discovered his father's affair with a male slave and threatened to tell his step-mother, which led to death of him." ^ Suetonius, Galba, 22 ^ Richlin, The Garden of Priapus: Sexuality and Aggression in Roman Humor, Oxford, 1992 ^ Plutarch
Plutarch
Galba
Galba
6.4 ^ "Calvia Crispinilla". Women of History. A Bit of History. Retrieved June 11, 2012.  ^ a b c d Suetonious. The Twelve Caesars. Penguin. pp. 242–254. ISBN 978-0-14-045516-8.  ^ "Galba". The Royal Titulary of Ancient Egypt. Retrieved March 13, 2018.  ^ Suetonius
Suetonius
"Galba" Chapter 19

References[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Galba, Servius Sulpicius (emperor)". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Galba

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Galba.

Primary sources[edit]

Galba.net: researching Galba's heritage Life of Galba
Galba
(Suetonius; English translation and Latin original) Life of Galba
Galba
(Plutarch; English translation) Cassius Dio, Book 63

Secondary sources[edit]

Galba
Galba
at RomansOnline Biography at De Imperatoribus Romanis

Political offices

Preceded by Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, and Aulus Vitellius Consul of the Roman Empire 33 with Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Sulla
Felix Succeeded by Lucius Salvius Otho, and Gaius Octavius Laenas

Preceded by Nero Roman Emperor 68–69 Succeeded by Otho

Preceded by Gaius Bellicius Natalis, and Publius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus as Suffect consuls Consul of the Roman Empire with Titus
Titus
Vinius 69 Succeeded by Otho
Otho
II, and Lucius Salvius Otho
Otho
Titianus II

v t e

The works of Plutarch

Works

Parallel Lives Moralia Pseudo-Plutarch

Lives

Alcibiades
Alcibiades
and Coriolanus1 Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
and Julius Caesar Aratus of Sicyon
Aratus of Sicyon
/ Artaxerxes and Galba
Galba
/ Otho2 Aristides
Aristides
and Cato the Elder1 Crassus and Nicias1 Demetrius and Antony1 Demosthenes
Demosthenes
and Cicero1 Dion and Brutus1 Fabius and Pericles1 Lucullus
Lucullus
and Cimon1 Lysander
Lysander
and Sulla1 Numa and Lycurgus1 Pelopidas
Pelopidas
and Marcellus1 Philopoemen
Philopoemen
and Flamininus1 Phocion
Phocion
and Cato the Younger Pompey
Pompey
and Agesilaus1 Poplicola and Solon1 Pyrrhus and Gaius Marius Romulus
Romulus
and Theseus1 Sertorius and Eumenes1 Agis / Cleomenes1 and Tiberius
Tiberius
Gracchus / Gaius Gracchus Timoleon
Timoleon
and Aemilius Paulus1 Themistocles
Themistocles
and Camillus

Translators and editors

Jacques Amyot Arthur Hugh Clough John Dryden Philemon Holland Thomas North

1 Comparison extant 2 Four unpaired Lives

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

Diocletian
Diocletian
(whole empire) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) Diocletian
Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
Maximian
(West) with Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
Galerius
(East) and Licinius
Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
Constans
I Magnentius
Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus
Romulus
Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
Heraclius
and Tiberius
Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 27034761 LCCN: n50015482 ISNI: 0000 0001 0798 2658 GND: 118716166 SELIBR: 187868 SUDOC: 050608185 BNF: cb14893746x (data) ULAN: 50

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