Galba (/ˈsɜːrviəs sʌlˈpɪʃəs ˈɡælbə/; Latin: Servius Sulpicius Galba Caesar Augustus; 24 December 3 BC – 15 January 69 AD) was Roman emperor for seven months from 68 to 69. The governor of 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 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 was the oldest emperor to date when he became Emperor and his physical weakness and general apathy led to his being dominated by favorites. Unable to gain popularity with the people or maintain the support of the Praetorian Guard, 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.
Head Sculpture of Galba
|Emperor of the Roman Empire|
|Reign||9 June 68 – 15 January 69|
|Born||24 December 3 BC|
Near Terracina, Italy
|Died||15 January 69 (aged 71)|
|Dynasty||Year of the Four Emperors|
|Father||Gaius Sulpicius Galba|
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), 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 dishonored him by preventing him from taking part in the allotment of the provinces in his year. His father married a second wife, Livia Ocellina, a distant kinswoman of the empress Livia. She later adopted Galba, so he took her names, remaining Lucius Livius Ocella Sulpicius 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. Despite this, in his early years he was regarded as a youth of remarkable abilities, and it is said that both Augustus and 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, and 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 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 Minor was never married and had no children.
Additionally, Suetonius's description of Galba was that "In sexual matters he was more inclined to males, and then none but the hard bodied and those past their prime". This seems to be the only case in Roman history where a named individual male is stated to prefer adult males.
He became Praetor in 20, and consul in 33; he earned a reputation in the provinces of Gaul, Germania, Africa and Hispania for his military capability, strictness and impartiality in judging disputes. 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 Tarraconensis.
In the spring of 68, 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 of the latter renewed Galba's hesitation. It was said that the courtier Calvia Crispinilla was behind his defection from Nero.
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 replied by killing many of them.
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 scorned the notion that soldiers should be "bribed" for their loyalty. He was notoriously cruel throughout the Empire; according to the historian Suetonius, Galba levied massive taxes against areas that were slow to receive him as Emperor.
He also sentenced many to death without trial, and rarely accepted requests for citizenship. He further disgusted the populace by his meanness and dislike of pomp and display. Aged 70 at the time he became emperor, he would be the oldest person to become emperor until the 81 year old Gordian I in 238. Due to his advanced age, he had little energy and was entirely in the hands of favourites.
Three of these — 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. 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 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 adopted the titulary Autokrator Servios Galbas (“Emperor Servius Galba”).
On 1 January 69, two legions in 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 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.
While Otho had governed 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 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 prior to his death had put on a linen corset—although remarking that it had little protection against so many swords. He was met by a troop of Otho's cavalry and was killed near Lacus Curtius. One guard, centurion Sempronius Densus, died defending him. According to Plutarch, during Galba's last moments he offered his neck, and said, "Strike, if it be for the good of the Romans!" Piso was killed shortly afterwards. Titus Vinius tried to run away, calling out that Otho had not ordered him killed, but was run through with a spear. Cornelius Laco was banished to an island where he was later murdered by soldiers of Otho. Icelus Martianus was also executed 
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 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 Road.
Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus,
and Aulus Vitellius
| Consul of the Roman Empire
with Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix
Lucius Salvius Otho,
and Gaius Octavius Laenas
| Roman Emperor
Gaius Bellicius Natalis, and
Publius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus
as Suffect consuls
| Consul of the Roman Empire
with Titus Vinius
Otho II, and
Lucius Salvius Otho Titianus II
Aemilia Lepida is the name of several ancient Roman women belonging to the gens Aemilia. The name was given to daughters of men belonging to the Lepidus branch of the Aemilius family. The first Aemilia Lepida to be mentioned by Roman historians was the former fiancée of the younger Cato. Subsequent Aemiliae are known because of their marriages.Galba (gastropod)
Galba is a genus of small air-breathing freshwater snails, aquatic pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the family Lymnaeidae, the pond snails.The best-known species in the genus is Galba truncatula.
The genus Galba is known from the Jurassic to the Recent periods.Galba truncatula
Galba (Galba) truncatula is a species of air-breathing freshwater snail, an aquatic pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Lymnaeidae, the pond snails.Until recently, this species was known as Lymnaea truncatula.
Galba truncatula is the vector mainly involved in fascioliasis transmission to humans.Karol Galba
Dr Karol Galba (2 February 1921 – 15 November 2009) was football official, probably best known for being a linesman during the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.List of manuscripts in the Cotton library
This is an incomplete list of some of the manuscripts from the Cotton library that today form the Cotton collection of the British Library. Some manuscripts were destroyed or damaged in a fire at Ashbunham Housein 1731, and a few are kept in other libraries and collections.
Robert Bruce Cotton organized his library in a room 26 feet (7.9 m) long by six feet wide filled with bookpresses, each with the bust of a figure from classical antiquity on top. Counterclockwise, these were Julius Caesar, Augustus, Cleopatra, Faustina, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian. (Domitian had only one shelf, perhaps because it was over the door). In each press, each shelf was assigned a letter; manuscripts were identified by the bust over the press, the shelf letter, and the position of the manuscript (in Roman numerals) counting from the left side of the shelf. Thus, the Lindisfarne Gospels, Nero B.iv, was the fourth manuscript from the left on the second shelf (shelf B) of the press under the bust of Nero. For Domitian and Augustus, which had only one shelf each, the shelf letter was left out of the press-mark. The British Museum retained Cotton's press-marks when the Cotton collection became one of the foundational collections of its library, so manuscripts are still designated by library, bookpress, shelf, and number (even though they are no longer stored in that fashion). For example, the manuscript of Beowulf is designated Cotton MS Vitellius A.xv, and the manuscript of Pearl is Cotton MS Nero A.x.Lusitanian War
The Lusitanian War, called in Greek Pyrinos Polemos ("the Fiery War"), was a war of resistance fought by the Lusitanian tribes of Hispania Ulterior against the advancing legions of the Roman Republic from 155 to 139 BC. The Lusitanians revolted on two separate occasions (155 BC, and again in 146 BC) and were pacified. In 154 BC, a long war in Hispania Citerior, known as the Numantine War, was begun by the Celtiberians. It lasted until 133 and is an important event in the integration of what would become Portugal into the Roman and Latin-speaking world.
In 194 BC, war first broke out between the Romans and the Lusitanians, who were an autonomous people. By 179 BC, the Romans had mostly succeeded in pacifying the region and signed a peace treaty. In 155, a major revolt was reignited under the leadership of Punicus, who allied with the Vettones. Caesarus succeeded after Punicus's death. Another warlord, Caucenus, made war against the Romans in the region south of Tagus down to North Africa.
The praetor Servius Sulpicius Galba and the proconsul Lucius Licinius Lucullus arrived in 151 and began the process of subduing the local population. Galba betrayed the Lusitanian people he had invited to peace talks and had roughly 10,000 massacred in 150, thus ending the first phase of the war. This would be later proven to have been a costly mistake as the Lusitanians became embittered and began open warfare against Rome and its allies. Not only that, but future Lusitanian leader Viriathus had escaped alive from the massacre, having now developed a vendetta against Rome.
In 146 BC, the Lusitanians elected Viriathus leader, after he rescued a great number of Lusitanian warriors pinned down by a Roman Legion after reminding them of Rome's betrayal three years prior and convincing them not to accept any Roman offers. Preying upon the Legions' unwillingness to break formation, he succeeded in saving the entire band from massacre or capture, an incredible feat. Viriathus was to gain renown throughout the Roman world as a guerrilla fighter. In the words of Theodor Mommsen, "It seemed as if, in that thoroughly prosaic age, one of the Homeric heroes had reappeared." In 145, the general Quintus Fabius Maximus Aemilianus campaigned successfully against the Lusitanians, but failed in his attempts to arrest Viriathus. In 143 BC, Viriathus formed a league against Rome with several Celtic tribes, for resisting the Romans and getting revenge against them for the betrayal and massacre three years previously.
In 139 BC, Viriathus was killed in his sleep by three of his companions (they were Tartessians, Lusitanian allies), Audax, Ditalcus and Minurus. The three men had escaped by the time the Lusitanians discovered the death of their leader. Unable to avenge him they instead held feasts, gladiator battles and a grand funeral. These three men who had been sent as emissaries to the Romans had been bribed by Marcus Popillius Laenas into betraying their mission. The popular story of their fate has Roman general Servilius Caepio having them executed, declaring "Rome does not pay traitors."Martí Joan de Galba
Martí Joan de Galba (Valencian pronunciation: [maɾˈti dʒuˈan de ˈɣalβa]; died 1490) was once considered to be the co-author of the famous Valencian epic Tirant lo Blanch, which he worked on after the death of his friend, Joanot Martorell. But the nature of his contributions have been called into question, based on differences in the manuscript and the first printed edition by Nicolás Spindeler.
David H. Rosenthal, one of the two translators of the work into English, notes a consistency in the portions attributed to Galba; especially place-names and his familiarity with John Mandeville's Travels. However, the philologist, Joan Coromines, suggests that Galba's role was limited to copy editing; such as dividing the book into chapters.
Joan Roís de Corella has been cited as a more likely source for any substantive additions to the text.Maurizio Galbaio
Maurizio Galbaio (Latin: Mauricius Galba) (died 797) was the seventh traditional, but fifth historical, Doge of Venice from 764 to his death. He was the first great doge, who reigned for 22 years and set Venice on its path to independence and success.Nero
Nero (; Latin: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD) was the last Roman emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius and became Claudius' heir and successor. Like Claudius, Nero became emperor with the consent of the Praetorian Guard. Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, was likely implicated in Claudius' death and Nero's nomination as emperor. She dominated Nero's early life and decisions until he cast her off. Five years into his reign, he had her murdered.During the early years of his reign, Nero was content to be guided by his mother, his tutor Lucius Annaeus Seneca and his Praetorian prefect, Sextus Afranius Burrus. As time passed, he started to play a more active and independent role in government and foreign policy. During his reign, the redoubtable general Corbulo conducted a successful war and negotiated peace with the Parthian Empire. His general Suetonius Paulinus crushed a major revolt in Britain, led by the Iceni Queen Boudica. The Bosporan Kingdom was briefly annexed to the empire, and the First Jewish–Roman War began. Nero focused much of his attention on diplomacy, trade and the cultural life of the empire, ordering theatres built and promoting athletic games. He made public appearances as an actor, poet, musician and charioteer. In the eyes of traditionalists, this undermined the dignity and authority of his person, status, and office. His extravagant, empire-wide program of public and private works was funded by a rise in taxes that was much resented by the middle and upper classes. Various plots against his life were revealed; the ringleaders, most of them Nero's own courtiers, were executed.
In 68 AD Vindex, governor of the Gaulish territory Gallia Lugdunensis, rebelled. He was supported by Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. Vindex's revolt failed in its immediate aim, but Nero fled Rome when Rome's discontented civil and military authorities chose Galba as emperor. He committed suicide on June 9, 68 AD, when he learned that he had been tried in absentia and condemned to death as a public enemy, making him the first Roman Emperor to commit suicide. His death ended the Julio-Claudian dynasty, sparking a brief period of civil wars known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
Nero's rule is usually associated with tyranny and extravagance. Most Roman sources, such as Suetonius and Cassius Dio, offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of his personality and reign; Tacitus claims that the Roman people thought him compulsive and corrupt. Suetonius tells that many Romans believed that the Great Fire of Rome was instigated by Nero to clear the way for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea. According to Tacitus he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the fire and burned them alive, seemingly motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty. Some modern historians question the reliability of the ancient sources on Nero's tyrannical acts. A few sources paint Nero in a more favorable light. There is evidence of his popularity among the Roman commoners, especially in the eastern provinces of the Empire, where a popular legend arose that Nero had not died and would return. At least three leaders of short-lived, failed rebellions presented themselves as "Nero reborn" to enlist popular support.Otho
Otho (; Latin: Marcus Salvius Otho Caesar Augustus; 28 April 32 – 16 April 69 AD) was Roman emperor for three months, from 15 January to 16 April 69 AD. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors.
A member of a noble Etruscan family, Otho was initially a friend and courtier of the young emperor Nero until he was effectively banished to the governorship of the remote province of Lusitania in 58 AD following his wife Poppaea Sabina's affair with Nero. After a period of moderate rule in the province, he allied himself with Galba, the governor of neighbouring Hispania Tarraconensis, during the revolts of 68 AD. Accompanying Galba on his march to Rome, he aspired to succeed the aged emperor, but revolted and murdered Galba on being passed over for the succession.
Inheriting the problem of the rebellion of Vitellius, commander of the army in Germania Inferior, Otho led a sizeable force which met Vitellius' army at the Battle of Bedriacum. After initial fighting resulted in 40,000 casualties, and a retreat of his forces, Otho committed suicide rather than fight on and Vitellius was proclaimed emperor.Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 35
Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 35 (P. Oxy. 35) is a proclamation and list of emperors by an unknown author. It is written in the Greek language. The papyrus was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus, and is dated to the year 223. The text was published by Grenfell and Hunt in 1898.The list is generally accurate. It enumerates the Roman emperors along with the number of years each ruled, from Augustus to Decius. Galba is omitted.The manuscript was written on papyrus in the form of a sheet. The measurements of the fragment are 138 by 134 mm. The text is written in medium-sized cursive letters.Plutarch
Plutarch (; Greek: Πλούταρχος, Ploútarkhos, Koine Greek: [ˈplutarkʰos]; c. AD 46 – AD 120), later named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, (Λούκιος Μέστριος Πλούταρχος) was a Greek biographer and essayist, known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia.
He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were written in Greek, but intended for both Greek and Roman readers.Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus
Publius Sulpicius Galba Maximus (fl. late 3rd to early 2nd century BC) was a Roman military officer and Senator who was elected Roman consul twice, and appointed dictator once. He fought in the Second Punic War and the First and Second Macedonian Wars.Servius Sulpicius Galba (consul 144 BC)
Servius Sulpicius Galba was a consul of Rome in 144 BC.Servius Sulpicius Galba (praetor)
Servius Sulpicius Galba, praetor in 54 BC.
As legate of Julius Caesar's 12th Legion during his Gallic Wars, he defeated the Nantuates in 57 BC in the Battle of Octodurus.Servius Galba then had a dispute with Caesar over a debt, also felt his friendship with Caesar cost him the consular election in 49 BC. In 45 BC, Galba complained that the Senators were not given their proper respect. According to Suetonius, Caesar had an affair with Galba’s wife, which caused more anger.Later, angered by Caesar's opposition to his campaign for the consulship, Servius Galba joined the conspiracy with Brutus and Cassius, and was consequently condemned to death by the Pedian law. He was the great grandfather of the Roman Emperor of the same name.Spialia galba
Spialia galba, the Indian skipper or Indian grizzled skipper, is a hesperiid butterfly which is found in South Asia and parts of Southeast Asia.Sulpicia (gens)
The gens Sulpicia was one of the most ancient patrician families at Rome, and produced a succession of distinguished men, from the foundation of the Republic to the imperial period. The first member of the gens who obtained the consulship was Servius Sulpicius Camerinus Cornutus, in 500 BC, only nine years after the expulsion of the Tarquins, and the last of the name who appears on the consular list was Sextus Sulpicius Tertullus in AD 158. Although originally patrician, the family also possessed plebeian members, some of whom may have been descended from freedmen of the gens.Vitellius
Vitellius (; Latin: Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Augustus; 24 September 15 – 22 December 69 AD) was Roman Emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December 69 AD. Vitellius was proclaimed emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
Vitellius was the first to add the honorific cognomen Germanicus to his name instead of Caesar upon his accession; the latter name had fallen into disrepute in many quarters because of the actions of Nero.
His claim to the throne was soon challenged by legions stationed in the eastern provinces, who proclaimed their commander Vespasian emperor instead. War ensued, leading to a crushing defeat for Vitellius at the Second Battle of Bedriacum in northern Italy. Once he realised his support was wavering, Vitellius prepared to abdicate in favor of Vespasian but was executed in Rome by Vespasian's soldiers on 22 December 69.Year of the Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors, 69 AD, was a year in the history of the Roman Empire in which four emperors ruled in succession: Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian.The suicide of the emperor Nero in 68 was followed by a brief period of civil war, the first Roman civil war since Mark Antony's death in 30 BC. Between June of 68 and December of 69 Galba, Otho, and Vitellius successively rose and fell, the latter overlapping with the July 69 accession of Vespasian, who founded the Flavian dynasty. The social, military and political upheavals of the period had Empire-wide repercussions, which included the outbreak of the Revolt of the Batavi.