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Key information:


Birthdate: December 24, 3 BCE

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 4)

Birthplace: Tarracina, Italy

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 4)

Reign: Galba declared himself Caesar and marched on Rome in 68 CE. He was named emperor by the senate on June 8, 68 CE.

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 11) (Plutarch, Life of Galba, 2 & 7)


Aemilia Lepida (died before Galba became emperor)

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 5)


Two (unnamed) sons by Aemilia Lepida. 

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 5)


Killed by members of the praetorian guard on January 15, 69 CE near the Lacus Curtius in the Roman Forum

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 20-21) (Plutarch, Life of Galba, 26-27)

Statue of Galba, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City, April 2017.
Bust restored as Galba, Musei Capitolini, Rome, September 2019.
Sestertius of Galba, Palazzo Massimo, Rome, February 2019.

Famous facts and dates

Galba served as praetor in 20 CE. His duties involved organizing games in which elephants were taught to walk on tightropes.

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 6)

Galba was a distant relative of Livia, the wife of Augustus. She helped him become consul in 33 CE.

(Plutarch, Life of Galba, 3) (Suetonius, Life of Galba, 6)

Galba was the first emperor not part of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 1)

Galba was unpopular with the soldiers because he did not award them a donative upon his accession. This lead to his assassination, which marked the beginning of a period of turmoil known as the year of the four emperors.

(Suetonius, Life of Galba, 16)

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Cite this page as: Darius Arya, The American Institute for Roman Culture, “Galba” Ancient Rome Live. Last modified 05/31/2021.


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