Emperor Galba was born into a noble and wealthy family, but he had nothing to do with Caesar’s family. The cold and calculating Emperor Galba ruled Rome for only seven months, but his short reign was full of enough drama to secure his rightful place in history.
The first to rule the terrible “Year of the Four Emperors” in 69 AD, he made a series of extremely unpopular changes, including drastic cuts in public spending, appalling treatment of criminals and horrific execution of army troops. Thus ended the short reign of the first Roman emperor whose reign began while he was not yet in Rome.
Where was Galba born?
Galba was the first of four emperors to rule the empire in one year. This emperor would rule for only seven months.
Galba was born in 3 BC in Italy near the Terracina region. He was part of a wealthy family of senators.
In 60 AD, Galba became governor of the region of Hispania Tarraconensis after a long military career. Eight years later, he ascended the throne of the empire at the request of his legions and the senate of Rome.
Biography of Galba
Full name: Galba
Date of birth: 0003 BC
Death day: 0069 AD
The thread of life: 72 years old
Place of birth: Terracina, Italy
Father's name: Gaius Sulpicius Galba
Mother's name: Livia Ocellina
When has Galba declared emperor?
He came from a great and ancient senatorial family whose lineage goes back to legendary times, going up to Jupiter, after his father, and to Pasiphae, wife of Minos, after his mother.
In April 68 AD, when he was proclaimed emperor by his army, he was seventy-one years old. Vindex, who had started the revolt, proposed that he should take the lead and take over the empire.
This genealogy, drawn up according to the customs of the time, with descent from gods and demi goddesses, he displayed in his palace vestibule when he became emperor. With that genealogy, he wanted to show that he was not inferior to the former emperors by origin. On his statues were the words ‘great-grandson of Quintus Catulus Capitolinus‘.
What is Galba known for?
Although he was in charge for a short time, namely for seven months, Galba made his mark in history through his reign full of dramas. He had a brutal way of leading and managed to spread fear among the people and his army.
Galba has been known in history for harsh punishments through torture or even death for trivial crimes. At the same time, he became known for the drastic measures taken on all empire levels. Although he ascended the throne at the request of many of his allies, he soon succeeded in showing selfishness and spreading contempt among the citizens.
Galba’s cruelty would not end so quickly. Naturally greedy, he liked to feast all day while intentionally ordering the death of hundreds of Roman Empire’s inhabitants without evidence that they were breaking the law or allowing them to have a trial by which they could have proved their innocence.
Who did Galba adopt?
Although Galba was married and had two sons, they died long before he came to rule the Roman Empire.
The fact that the emperor Galba had no heir determines him to adopt L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus as his son and heir. Galba chooses to proclaim Lucius Caesar and his co-regent.
Galba’s decision to adopt Lucius would piss Otho off. Outraged, Otho raised the people against Galba.
What happened with Galba?
Galba’s chosen heir turned out to be Pison’s nephew. The latter was the fiercest conspirator against Nero.
Full of disappointment, Otho decides to commit Galba’s murder, which he considers unfair. Otho aspires for Galba to choose him as his rightful heir. As a reward for all the years, he has been a trusted ally and loyal to him.
Knowing his way, Galba refuses to adopt Otho because he knows his disastrous past. And how shameful this past has been. Thus Galba did not consider Otho, a possible future emperor of the Roman Empire.
When did Galba die?
Blinded by Galba’s anger, Otho decided to offer a bribe to Praetorian guards, whom he ordered to kill Galba and Pison in revenge and to bring their heads as evidence that they were dead.
Therefore, on January 15, 69, Galba was assassinated by the one he considers his most trusted ally. Emperor Galba was killed at the age of 73 in the Roman Forum. In this place, he had received approval to raise his statue.
After the assassination of Galba, Otho takes the throne over the Roman Empire. This did not happen for a long time. Otho resisted driving for only three months. He preferred to commit suicide rather than have a brutal death.
Was Galba related to Julius Caesar?
Galba was lucky to be born into the Fundi family. This family was described as one of the ancestral landlords and a very rich one.
Although he was born into this highly noble family, Galba had nothing to do with Caesar’s family, which is why his journey to the throne of the empire was almost impossible. But Emperor Augustus foretold that he would have some glory in leading the kingdom.
Galba’s path to Roman royalty was directed by Livia, his stepmother, who adopted him and helped him get as close as possible to rule over the Empire. Thus, the prophecy of Augustus would prove to be true.
- He became the first of four emperors to rule the Roman Empire in a single year and ruled for only seven months.
- This Emperor leads the empire brutally and selfishly. He often showed cowardice and greed by condemning hundreds of Romanian citizens to death for unimportant and often unproven reasons.
- He assassins Otho, who eventually succeeds him for an even shorter period than before, namely three months.
In conclusion, although he drove for a short time. The driving style that he adopted was not a bad one. Instead, the Roman Empire needed such leadership. Years of corruption have left their mark on the empire. So Galba’s seven months in office have yet to be long enough to restore glory.
Emperor Galba became known as the initiator of the year of the four emperors, and these emperors succeeded each other briefly.