Galba, why so grumpy? Oh my! The Praetorian gaurd did what to you?? And put your head where???

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro You'll never be lovelier than you are now... Supporter

    Having a Galba Sestertius and a Galba denarius fouree already, it had been gnawing:zombie: at me for a bit now to get a proper Galba denarius before moving forward with anymore of the hard to get 12 emps portraits in silver. I still need a silver Caligula and Claudius...who doesn't;)
    There are certainly prettier Galba's out there. There are much less dinged up Galba's out there. However, on a shoestring budget (with no help from my recent fascination with Macedonian Shield coins taking over almost ALL my budget) this is my Galba...and I LOVE:kiss: the portrait, dings:hurting: scratches:cat: and all!

    (68-69), Denarius, Rome, July AD 68 - January AD 69, AR (18 MM 2,67 gr h 5), IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG P M, laureate head r., Rv. DIVA - AVGVSTA, Livia standing l., holding scepter and patera. RIC 224 C 58.Very rare. Fine

    Talk about a man's man. Galba here does NOT look like the kind of man you'd want to accidently let a drop fly lose on his sandal while next to at the urinal!:nailbiting:
    Not only for the oozing amount of grumpiness exemplified, I also greatly appreciate the portraits showing his age. Some of his coins intentionally appear to hide his advanced years. One of the primary reasons thought of for why the Praetorian Guard turned traders and killed him was that he was too old, at 71, to wear the purple.

    (Certainly reminds me of someone that's crotchety and old. Wish I could remember who it was.)

    Galba has the distinction as the longest reigning Roman emperor...during the year of the 4 emperors 69 CE (he reigned 7 of the 12 months:joyful:). But don't let that fool:wacky: you. His coins are very popular and can be tricky to get whether in your price range or in your style range. If you want a Galba you're probably gonna have to wait and time things. Unless you are wealthy and don't care about style :greedy::artist::bucktooth:

    Below I have added a quick rip from Wiki to remind those that forgot this short lived leading man's backstory.

    Servius Sulpicius Galba (/ˈsɜːrviəs sʌlˈpɪʃəs ˈɡælbə/; Latin: Servius Sulpicius Galba Caesar Augustus;[note 2] 24 December 3 BC – 15 January AD 69) was Roman emperor from 68 to 69, the first emperor in the Year of the Four Emperors. He was known as Lucius Livius Galba Ocella[note 3] prior to taking the throne as a result of his adoption by his stepmother, Livia Ocellina. The governor of Hispania at the time of the rebellion of Gaius Julius Vindex in Gaul, he seized the throne following Nero's suicide.

    Born into a wealthy family, Galba held at various times the offices of praetor, consul, and governor of the provinces Aquitania, Upper Germany, and Africa during the first half of the first century AD. He retired during the latter part of Claudius' reign but Nero later granted him the governorship of Hispania. Taking advantage of the defeat of Vindex's rebellion and Nero's suicide, he became emperor with the support of the Praetorian Guard. His physical weakness and general apathy led to his being dominated by favorites. Unable to gain popularity with the people or maintain the support of the Praetorian Guard, Galba was killed by the Praetorians on 15 January, followed shortly by Vinius and Piso. Their heads were placed on poles and Otho was then acclaimed as emperor.


    So please, share your Galba's, grumpy rulers or whatever you would like!:D
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    I with ya brother. That's a great portrait of the grumpy ole guy.

    Galba 3.jpg Galba 2.jpg
    Limes, Paul M., octavius and 18 others like this.
  4. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Yeah, I think I'll pass on a silver Caligula and Claudius. Too rich for my blood, but I wish you all the luck obtaining both. I hope you achieve it.

    Your Galba is not that bad. If you want to see bad, here's my roadkill Galba.

    86832q00 (1).jpg
    Limes, Paul M., octavius and 11 others like this.
  5. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    A nice Galba with a great portrait. Nice pickup.

    Here are a few of mine.
    Galba RIC 9.jpg Galba RIC 31 CNG.png Galba ric 48a new photo.jpg Galba ric 62.jpg Galba ric 105 denarius.png galba ric 193.jpg Galba ric 236.jpeg
    Limes, Paul M., octavius and 17 others like this.
  6. Justin Lee

    Justin Lee I learn by doing Supporter

    Very nice new Galb! I only have 1 and it's a provincial from Antioch:

    Galba, Ruled Jun 8 68 AD-Jan 15, 69 AD
    AE23, Syria, Antioch Mint

    Obverse: [IMP SER GALBA] CAE AVG, laureate head right.
    Reverse: Large SC within laurel wreath of eight leaves, fastened at top with pellet, between inner circle and outer dotted border.
    References: RPC I 4315 var (obverse legend), McAlee 314 (same dies)
    Size: 23mm, 8.99g
    Notes: Very rare variety (obv legend), only two known to McAlee, but not this one (?). Does that make this the third known? Not sure how to find out...
    Ex: Savoca Coin Auction, 2nd Blue, Lot #887 (5-3-2019)
    NLL, Limes, Paul M. and 14 others like this.
  7. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Congrats Ryro , not easy to collect the 12 Caesars on a budget. Take your time.

    NLL, Limes, Paul M. and 15 others like this.
  8. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Congrats on the capture @Ryro ! Yeah, yours looks like he hadn’t been eating his prunes...

    Grumpy Galba

    RI Galba AE Sestertius SPQR - O.B - CIV.SERin Wreath
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  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    My denarius is Western and not all that attractive due to the poor surfaces.

    On the other hand, I like the portrait on this as.

    My first Galba was this sestertius from a CNG auction before they went online. I believe it was a pocket piece, probably for decades.
    Limes, Paul M., octavius and 16 others like this.
  10. ominus1

    ominus1 Well-Known Member

    ...i gotta say, i like the style @Ryro :D
    ...and i'm wiff ya on dat @Sallent :woot: nero, tiberius galba octavian coins 014.JPG nero, tiberius galba octavian coins 016.JPG
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  11. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Well-Known Member

  12. Jims Coins

    Jims Coins Well-Known Member

    My Grumpy Galba, DIVA AVGVSTA
    Ryro likes this.
  13. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    Galba Ar Denarius Rome RIC 199 68-69 A.D. Obv Bust right Laureate Rv. Roma stg right. ROMA RENASC. 3.43 grms 19 mm Ex Galba Collection galba1.jpg
    zumbly, Limes, Paul M. and 16 others like this.
  14. Marsyas Mike

    Marsyas Mike Well-Known Member

    Maybe someday I'll get an actual Galba's head coin. Meanwhile, all I have is Nero's head with a Galba countermark (in Greek):



    Nero / Galba Æ As
    (63 A.D.; c/m 69 A.D.)

    NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERMANICVS, laureate head right / [GENIO AVGVSTI], Genius, naked to waist, standing half-left, holding cornucopiae,
    [altar left]. RIC 125
    Countermark: [Γ]AΛBΛ (GALBA in Greek) Howgego GIC 526
    (9.77 grams / 27 mm)

    Galba Countermarks:
    "GALBA in Greek Letters (Martini Pangerl Collection 92). This countermark occurs also on Provincial coins and is Howgego as GIC 526. (These) coins are in the grey zone between official coins (so called Thrakian mint) and provincial coins of the
    Balkan region"
    zumbly, Limes, Marsman and 12 others like this.
  15. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    I love my Galba. It has a lovely dark chocolate patina. Unfortunately, despite having tried multiple times with various lighting types/arrangements, I can't produce an image that reveals the coin's true color and beauty. :-/ Below are two images. The top is from the auction's listing and the lower is my best attempt.

    Here are two busts of Galba from that period which clearly portray him as neither young nor happy!
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  16. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Galba and Nerva do seem quite sourpussed on most of their coin portraits, don't they?


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  17. Carl Wilmont

    Carl Wilmont Supporter! Supporter

    Good observation, Ryro, - Longest reigning emperor... of the four in 69 AD! Nice variety of Galba's! Great portrait detail on Terence's. I like that brown patina on the one posted by philologus. Interesting Galba countermark on Mike's. Maybe some Roman's "lucky sestertius," Doug?

    Here's the one in my collection:

    Galba Denarius.jpg
  18. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    Galba was ultra stern even for a Roman general. He believed that strict discipline made good,loyal soldiers . He was parsimonious with donatives, and generous with punishments . This ultimately led to his unpopularity with the soldiery and eventual downfall.

    2jTR76Cn4Lx2D7JwHy9Ye5bPrcD8X8.jpg sL7B6fKwx45PcGt2iA4LxTn3Jd96yR.jpg
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  19. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Wow, that LIBERTAS sestertius puts the one I posted to shame!
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  20. Paul M.

    Paul M. Well-Known Member

    I always thought Vespasian had some of the best “grumpy old man” portraits on Roman coinage, but I guess that’s just me.
    Ryro likes this.
  21. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    No, you're right, Vespasian did do "grumpy" quite well. But not always. :)

    He's almost smiling here. Sort of a "Mona Lisa smile", I guess.

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