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594482
594482.

Civil War. AD 68-69. AR Denarius (18mm, 3.52 g, 7h). Group I. Spanish mint, supporting Galba. LIBERTAS RESTITVTA, Draped bust of Libertas right / S P Q R on round shield within oak wreath. RIC I 27; AM 91; ACIP 4086 (Tarraco); CG 120.1 (this coin); Martin 91; Nicolas 56 and pl. XIII, 56 NA (same obverse die); RSC 431. Toned, minor porosity, reverse slightly off-center. Near VF. Rare.


Ex Christian Gollnow Collection; Vico 133 (15 November 2012), lot 2317.

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 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. But in another twist of fate, by 9 June, Nero was dead, having taken his own life. Galba began his march to Rome, and his brief reign was underway.

Coinage, of course, was needed during these precarious months of revolt and 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 issues struck under Vindex possess a more aggressive air that underscores the militant nature of his revolt, while Galba’s tend to be more constitutional and optimistic in tone.