Reproduction Aureus of Galba - Livia
Obverse: Laureate head of Galba, facing right. Text around IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG (Imperator Servius Galba Augustus).
Reverse: Livia draped in long robe standing left holding a patera in extended right hand and vertical sceptre in left Text around DIVA AVGVSTA (The divine empress (Augusta)).
History: Born into a wealthy family, Galba held the positions of praetor, consul, and governor in various provinces. He took advantage of the defeat of Vindex's rebellion and Nero's suicide, and became emperor with the support of the Praetorian Guard in June 68 AD. Unable to gain popularity with the people or maintain the support of the Praetorian Guard, Galba was murdered in January 69 by Otho, who became emperor in his place. He was first emperor to die in the first civil war of the Roman Empire, known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
Of the highest rarity, the coinage of Galba presents a variety of portrait styles because he minted not only at Rome, but also in Spain, Gaul and North Africa.
The reverse of this aureus depicts the standing figure of Livia, who had been deified by her grandson Claudius in 42 AD, who acknowledged her title of Augusta. It is clear that Galba is advertising his famous attachment to the early Julio-Claudians, and specifically to the first empress Livia. In doing so he offers proof of his fitness to be emperor as the first non-Julio-Claudian. It was an appropriate message in this age of chaos and civil war.
Date: Rome mint, July 68 AD – January 69 AD