Servius Sulpicius Galba

3BC ~ AD69

Servius Sulpicius Galba, born in 3 BC was the first emperor in what historians refer to as the year of the four emperors.


He came from a noble family and quickly earned a solid reputation for his military capability. He loyally served Claudius and was retired by the time Nero came to power.

In 68, Nero ordered a murderous rampage on many roman nobles and although Galba feared for his life he was spared. When Galba heard of Nero’s death he assumed the title of Caesar and headed straight to Rome where soldiers halted him and made clear their demands if he was to continue peacefully. In fact, many of these soldiers were killed by Galba and his men.

During his brief reign Galba refused to pay soldiers for their loyalty and was disliked by many as he was like a puppet in the hands of 3 well known men of power.

Riots began in 69 and the masses demanded a new power be elected and took into their own hands the election of Vitellius.

In response to this Galba realised how unpopular he had become and elected his coadjutor Piso to replace him.

Otho, one of Galba’s earliest supporters was angry that he wasn’t chosen, communicated  with the discontented Praetorians who adopted him as the new emperor and slaughtered Galba and Piso soon after.    

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