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Numismatica Ars Classica
Auction 99  29 May 2017
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Lot 5

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Estimate: 125000 CHF
Price realized: 160000 CHF

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The Roman Empire

Galba, 68 – 69. Aureus July 68-January 69, AV 7.31 g. IMP SER GALBA CAESAR AVG Laureate head r. Rev. ROMA RENASC Roma, helmeted and in military attire, standing r., holding Victory on globe and transverse spear. C 199. RIC 198. BMC –. Calicó 491 (this coin illustrated).
Extremely rare and in exceptional condition for the issue. A very appealing
portrait perfectly struck and centred on a full flan and an interesting
reverse composition. Good extremely fine

This coin is illustrated on the back cover of David R. Sear's, Roman Coins and Their Value: Vol. I.
Possibly from the Boscoreale hoard, found in 1894-1895.
Caizergues de Pradines Collection, sold by Pio Ciani and Jean Vinchon, Versailles, 6-7 May 1955, lot 300. Sold for FF. 155'000.
Athos D. Moretti Collection, sold anonymously by Numismatic Fine Arts, auction XXII, Beverly Hills, 1 June 1989, lot 36.
Sold by Numismatic Fine Arts, auction XXX, Beverly Hills, 8 December 1992, lot 223.
Alfred R. Globus (1920-2009) Collection, sold by Stack's, New York, 9-10 June 1998, lot 31.
Michael L. J. Winckless Collection, sold privately by Spink & Son (London) in October 2006.
Of all Galba's coin types, this aureus, issued in Rome at the outset of his rebellion, offers perhaps the clearest statement of his intentions: Roma "renascens" ('Rome rising again' or 'Rome reborn'). The reign of Nero was in many ways a low-point in Roman history, and to men like Galba, who had benefited from their attachment to earlier Julio-Claudians, the time had come to restore traditional Roman ways. Though this type was used on singular occasions by Vitellius and Vespasian, it was used extensively by Galba both as Imperator and Augustus.
With faith in the more recent Julio-Claudians justifiably shaken, it was an appropriate message for the age. Galba proposed a return to the severitas of a bygone era that he promised to usher back. However noble his intentions, Galba was naïve to think that a reform of moral and social code might be achieved in short order, especially during a civil war. He removed incompetent men from their offices and was stern – even stingy – with the army. Tacitus reports he did not provide his soldiers even a "mere token act of generosity," all of which assured his downfall only six months into his reign.

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