|Surviving under tyrants like Caligula or Nero was a difficult task if you belonged to the Roman upper class. They tended to consider prominent members of the Senate their rivals, and thus found need to dispose of them. Anyone who did not master the art of survival didn't last long. Galba mastered it, for a while. |
Galba was 73 when the governor of the province of Gallia Lugdunensis contacted him in the winter of 67/68. Gaius Iulius Vindex put himself at the forefront of those who no longer wanted to fund Nero’s massive extravagances.
Galba, 68-69. Denarius April to late 68.
Galba Sestertius, Rome 68-69
|When Nero learned about the rebellion of Vindex, he immediately assumed that Galba could become a threat. The murder attempt failed. It made clear to Galba that his tactics would not protect him from another assassination attempt by Nero. |
On April 2, 68, he stepped in front of the army on the forum of Cartagena. The army did what it was expected to do: it proclaimed Galba emperor. The Senate dismissed Nero on June 9, 68, and sentenced him to death. Galba was appointed his successor.
Galba, Aureus July 68-January 69
|Instead of concentrating on his army, Galba focused on the seriously depleted state coffers. He tried to recover the 2.2 billion sestertii Nero had given away as gifts. The tide was turning for Galba on January 1, 69, when all the legions were requested to renew the oath on the emperor.|
The Roman army on the Rhine refused. The legionaries were upset that Galba had not rewarded them for their support during the rebellion. Galba vainly tried to take up the fight. A bad decision. Galba was killed and more conflict followed. The eventful year 69 AD went down in Roman history as the 'Year of the Four Emperors'.