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.
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
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...
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.).