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Denarius of Galba

Mike Ruczynski asked for a full ID and a valuation on this Roman silver denarius.

This is a coin of Galba, who was one of the men who fought for supreme power during the Civil War dating from 68-69AD. In AD 68 there were revolts in Spain, Gaul, Africa and Rome itself, which led to the suicide of Nero. Galba was proclaimed emperor by his troops and the Senate but speedily fell out of favour. Early in AD 69 German legions proclaimed Vitellius as emperor but soon afterwards Otho organised a conspiracy and Galba was assassinated.

However, after being defeated in battle by Vitellius in April, Otho committed suicide. Like others before him, Vitellius lasted for only a short time. Not long after Vespasian was proclaimed emperor later in AD 69, Vitellius was murdered and his body thrown into the Tiber. After a turbulent period in the history of Rome, Vespasian proved to be an able and popular emperor.

On the obverse of this find is the laureate head of Galba and a legend that reads IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG P M. On the reverse the standing figure of Livia holds a patera and a long sceptre and if the legend on this side was visible then it would read DIVA AVGVSTA.

In volume I o David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values denarii of this type are listed as number 2102. They were struck at Rome from November AD 68 to January of AD 69. 


The obverse of this denarius would grade good Fine and it has some eye appeal. The reverse isn’t as good and would grade only Fair. It’s a rare coin so even with the weak reverse it should be worth £120-150.

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