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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     24-40
Type:     Roman Imperial
Issuer:     Galba
Date Ruled:     A.D. 68-69
Metal:     Gold
Denomination:     Aureus
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     AD July 68 - January 69
Weight:     7.21 g
Obverse Legend:     SER GALBA CAESAR AVG
Obverse Description:     Cuirassed bust left
Reverse Legend:     SALVS GEN HVMANI
Reverse Description:     Fortuna-Salus advancing left, right foot on globe, sacrificing from patera over lighted altar and holding vertical rudder over left arm
Primary Reference:     RIC 146
Reference2:     BMC p. 314 note † and pl. 52, 19 (these dies)
Reference3:     C 232
Reference4:     CBN 66 (these dies); Vagi 801; Calicó 506
Photograph Credit:     Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG
Price Sold For:     16000 Swiss Franc
Date Sold:     12/05/2002
Grade:     gVF
Notes:     NAC Auction 24, Lot 40 Very rare. A beautiful portrait in high style. Good very fine Ex NAC sale 9, 1996, 830. Two of Galba's coins that clearly communicate his desire to repair Rome of the moral degradation it had suffered since the death of Augustus are represented with this lot and the one following. With Nero's death representing the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Galba took the helm at a critical moment in history: all of Rome's emperors thus far had been Julio-Claudians, and Galba's principate was a turning point. It was also a turning point because at no other time had an emperor been hailed in the provinces - it had always occurred in Rome or its environs. On the aureus of lot 42 Galba announces Roma Renascens - 'Rome rising again', or 'Rome reborn', and on this aureus he announces Salus Generis Humani, proclaiming he will attend to the welfare of all mankind. However noble Galba's intentions, he was terribly naïve to think that radical reform of moral and social conduct could be achieved in short order, and especially under such chaotic circumstances. He removed incompetent men from their offices and replaced them with more qualified candidates, and was stern - even stingy - with his army. Tacitus reports he did not provide even a "mere token act of generosity" for his soldiers, which assured his downfall only six months into his reign.