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


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.
RS88405. Silver denarius, Unpublished, civil war restitution of Augustus, only three examples known to Forum, all share the same obverse die, two reverse dies known, VF, rainbow toning, lamination defects, porosity, scratches, edge split, weight 3.280 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, 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; found in Spain; $1350.00 (€1188.00)
 


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; $1300.00 (€1144.00)
 


Roman Civil War, April 68 - December 69 A.D., Restitution of Augustus

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This type was struck in Spain or Gaul during the Roman civil war of 68 - 69 A.D., begun as a revolt against Nero and continuing through The Year of the Four Emperors, when Rome was ruled in rapid succession by Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian. The type copies a denarius type struck by Augustus, at Caesaraugusta (Zaragoza, Spain) in 19 - 18 B.C. A comet, "The Julian Star," appeared in the sky during the funeral games for Julius Caesar in July 44 B.C. The Romans believed it was a divine manifestation of the apotheosis of Julius Caesar.The Roman Civil War AD 68 - 69
RS89182. Silver denarius, RIC I Civil War 92 (R3); RSC II Civil War 98a; BMCRE p. 301, 49 - 50; Martin AM A10; BnF -, Fair, weight 2.594 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, Spain or Gaul mint, Apr 68 - Dec 69 A.D.; obverse CAESAR AVGVSTVS, head of Augustus left, wearing oak wreath (corona civitas); reverse comet of eight rays, a central dot and flaming tail upwards, DIVVS - IVLIVS horizontal divided flanking across the field at center; very rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 







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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).
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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).
Sutherland, C.H.V. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Toynbee, J.M.C. Roman medallions. ANSNS 5. (New York, 1944).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Monday, September 16, 2019.
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Roman Civil War