Galba in Roman Biography

highly praised by Cicero. Galba, (Servius Sulpicius,) a Roman emperor, born in 3 or 4 B.C., of a noble family. He was consul under Tiberius in 33 A.D., and in the reign of Caligula commanded the army in Germany, where he acquired reputation for military skill. Claudius, having succeeded to the throne, appointed Galba Governor of Africa, in which post he obtained successes. He commanded an army in Spain at the death of Nero, 68 a.d. He was then proclaimed emperor by his own troops and the Praetorian guards, whose choice was confirmed by the senate. But he speedily lost the popular favour by his severity, parsimony, and impolitic measures. The army declared for Otho, and Galba was slain, after a reign of seven months, in 69 a.d. According to Tacitus, he would have been universally considered worthy to reign if he had never been emperor. See Plutarch, "Life of Galba;" Suetonius, "Galba;" Tacitus, "Annates;" Niebuhr, "History of Rome;" Franz Horn, "Historische Gemalde: Galba, Cftho und Vitellius," 1812.

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Galba in Wikipedia

Servius Sulpicius Galba (24 December 3 BC – 15 January 69), commonly known as Galba, was Roman Emperor for seven months from 68 to 69. Galba was the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, and made a bid for the throne during the rebellion of Julius Vindex. He was the first emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors. Origins and rise to power - He was born as Servius Sulpicius Galba near Terracina, "on the left as you go towards Fundi" in the words of Suetonius. 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", according to Suetonius), who predicted his rise to power (Suetonius, 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...

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Galba in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Servius Sulpicius, born in the reign of Augustus, of a patrician family. He served with distinction in Germany, and was afterwards proconsul, first in Africa, and subsequently in Hispania Tarraconensis, in which office he gained a reputation for justice and moderation. He was still in Spain when Iulius Vindex, the proconsul of Upper Gaul, rose against Nero. Galba joined Vindex, and Otho, governor of Lusitania, followed his example. The assembled multitudes saluted Galba as emperor and Augustus; but he declared that he was acting only as the lieutenant of the Senate and people of Rome, in order to put an end to the disgraceful tyranny of Nero. The Praetorian Guards soon after, having revolted against Nero, proclaimed Galba, and the Senate acknowledged him as emperor. Galba hastened from Spain to Rome, where he began by calling to account those favourites of Nero who had enriched themselves by proscriptions and confiscations and by the extraordinary prodigality of that emperor; but it was found that most of them had already dissipated their ill-gotten wealth. Galba, or, rather, the intimates who governed him, then proceeded against the purchasers of their property, and confiscations became again the order of the day. The new emperor, at the same time, exercised great parsimony in his administration, and endeavoured to enforce strict discipline among the soldiers, who had been used to the prodigality and license of the previous reign. Being past seventy years of age, Galba, on this and other accounts, soon became the object of popular dislike and ridicule, and revolts against him broke out in various quarters, several of which were put down and punished severely. Galba thought of strengthening himself by adopting Piso Licinianus, a young patrician of considerable personal merit, as Caesar and his successor; upon which Otho, who had expected to be the object of his choice, formed a conspiracy among the Guards, who proclaimed him emperor. Galba, unable to walk, caused himself to be carried in a litter, hoping to suppress the mutiny; but, at the appearance of Otho's armed partisans, his followers left him, and even the litter-bearers threw the old man down and ran away. Some of the legionaries came up and put Galba to death, after a reign of only seven months, counting from the time of Nero's death, A.D. 68. Galba was seventy-two years old when he was taken off. He was succeeded by Otho (Galba; Hist. i. 4 foll.; Dio Cass. lxiii. 29, lxiv. 1 foll.).

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