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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 1, Lot: 141. Estimate CHF8000. 
Closing Date: Tuesday, 5 May 2009. 
Sold For CHF9500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Galba. 68-69. Sestertius (Orichalcum, 24.87 g 6), Rome, circa October 68. SER GALBA IMP CAESAR AVG TR P Laureate and draped bust of Galba to right Rev. S P Q R / OB / CIV SER Legend in three lines within oak wreath. ACG 152. BMC 112. Cohen 295. RIC 405. A lovely coin with a fine portrait and an attractive, golden-brown ‘Tiber’ patina. Nearly extremely fine.

From the collection of Ph. S., ex Bank Leu 18, 5 May 1977, 303.

Servius Sulpicius Galba came from a high-ranking family and considerable wealth; he was well regarded by Augustus and Tiberius and was favored by Livia. He was consul in 33 and held military commands in Gaul, Germany, Africa and Spain; under Nero he came out of retirement to govern Hispania Tarraconensis. In 68 he rose against Nero and was ultimately successful, becoming emperor in June. While he seemed to have all the old-fashioned Roman virtues, he soon became widely unpopular because of the harsh measures he took to restore the state and the influence his equally unpopular favorites had over his policies. As a result the legions in Germany revolted under Vitellius and, at approximately the same time, M. Salvius Otho was chosen emperor by the Praetorians; Galba was murdered by soldiers on 15 January 69. The most damning description of him was given by Tacitus: “omnium consensu capax imperii nisi imperasset” “everyone thought him capable of ruling the empire until he did.”