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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ Civil War of 68 - 69View Options:  |  |  | 

Roman Civil War, 68 - 69 A.D.

In June of 68, after the Senate declared Nero a public enemy, he committed suicide, and Galba was made emperor. The following year, 69 A.D. would be The Year of the Four Emperors, when Rome was ruled in rapid succession by Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian. Galba's popularity was short-lived. He executed senators and equites without trial, reversed Nero's reforms, and refused to pay promised rewards to soldiers who had supported him. Meanwhile, legions in Germania Inferior acclaimed Vitellius as emperor. When Galba designated his successor, Otho, who had expected the honor, bribed the Praetorians. They killed Galba on 15 January. That day the Senate made Otho emperor. Vitellius was, however, on the march with an army to take power. Otho attempted to negotiate to no avail. After he was defeated in battle, he killed himself on 16 April. Vitellius celebrated his acclamation with feasts and parades which nearly bankrupted the treasury. Money-lenders who demanded payment were tortured and executed. He lured rivals to his palace where they were assassinated. As Vitellius murdered his rivals, the legions in Egypt, Judaea, and Syria acclaimed Vespasian as emperor on July 1. The Danube legions acclaimed him emperor in August and then invaded Italy. In October, Vitellius was defeated. He attempted to negotiate peace by bribery and force but he was captured and executed. The Senate recognized Vespasian as emperor on 21 December 69.The Roman Civil War AD 68 - 69


Roman Civil War, Vitellius, c. 69 A.D.

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This coin is M71 in Butcher, K. & M. Pointing, The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage: From the Reform of Nero to the Reform of Trajan (Cambridge, 2015). There is a tiny drill hole on the edge where silver was extracted for testing. This was an important coin in the study, with test results indicating 93.9% silver bullion and Gallic isotope ratios strongly suggesting similarity with other Vitellius coins from Gallia, not coins minted for Galba.
RS86684. Silver denarius, Butcher-Pointing M71 (this coin), RIC I Civil Wars 121, BMCRE I 65, RSC I Galba 363, BnF I 75, Martin 7, EF, toned, tight flan, light corrosion, test drill hole on edge, weight 3.127 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Southern Gaul(?) mint, c. 69 A.D.; obverse clasped hands, FIDES above, EXERCITVVM below; reverse clasped hands, FIDES above, PRAETORIANORVM curving along the edge below; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Helios, auction 4 (Munich, 14 Oct 2009), lot 270; ex Coll. A. Lynn collection; ex Classical Numismatic Group, auction 54 (14 June 2000), lot 1484; ex P. DeVicci collection; rare; $1620.00 (€1377.00)
 


Revolt Against Nero, Gaius Iulius Vindex, Governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, c. Late 67 - May 68 A.D.

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Struck by Gaius Iulius Vindex, the Roman governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, who rebelled against Nero's tax policy and declared allegiance to Galba, the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, as the new emperor. Vindex was defeated and killed in battle near Vesontio (modern Besancon), but the military continued to support Galba. On 9 June 68, deserted by the Praetorian Guard, Nero stabbed himself in the throat.
SH71867. Silver denarius, Unpublished, civil war restitution of Augustus, gF, porosity, marks, weight 3.167 g, maximum diameter 19.0 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain (Lugdunum?) mint, c. late 67 - May 68 A.D.; obverse CAESAR, bare head of Augustus right; reverse AVGVSTVS, young bull walking right, head turned facing; ex Roma Numismatics e-auction 6, lot 321; only two examples known to Forum; SOLD


Roman Civil Wars, Revolt of Galba, Governor of Spain, April - June 68 A.D.

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Galba lived in Tarraco for eight years. This coin was issued by Galba as governor of Spain in revolt against Nero. The obverse is copied from Republican denarii struck in 62 B.C. by the moneyer L. Scribonius Libo.
SH63560. Silver denarius, RIC I 9 (R4), RSC II 396, BMCRE I 9, SRCV I 2072, F, toned, weight 3.515 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 225o, Tarraco(?) mint, Apr - Jun 68 A.D.; obverse BON EVENT, young female head (Bonus Eventus) right, fillet around forehead; reverse ROM RENASC, Roma standing right in military garb, Victory on globe in right hand, eagle-tipped scepter over left shoulder in left; bargain priced for this interesting R4 rarity implying the restoration of the Republic!, from the Jyrki Muona Collection; very rare (R4); SOLD







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REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
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Calicó, E. Xavier. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
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Giard, J-B. Le monnayage de l'atelier de Lyon, De Claude Ier à Vespasien (41-78 après J.-C.), et au temps de Clodius Albinus (196-197 après J.-C.). (Wetteren, 2000).
Giard, J-B. Bibliothèque National Catalogue Monnaies de L'Empire Romain II: De Tebère à Néron. (Paris, 1988).
King, C.E. Roman Quinarii from the Republic to Diocletian and the Tetrarchy. (Oxford, 2007).
Mac Dowall, D.W. The Western Coinages of Nero. ANSNNM 161. (New York, 1979).
Mattingly, H. and R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, David R. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
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Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
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Roman Civil War