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Lot 4136

Galba, AD 68-69. In the name of Divus Augustus, 27 BC - AD 14. Gold Aureus (7.2g). Minted at Tarraco, AD 68. DIVVS AVGVSTVS. Radiate head right of the deified Augustus, his features resembling those of Galba. Reverse: HISPANI - A. Hispania standing left, holding two grain-ears in right hand, two short spears in left; shield slung on her back. Sear 2068; Calicó 451a (this coin); RIC 112; Giard 63. Lustrous. Exceedingly rare. One of perhaps six known examples. About Extremely Fine.

The closing months of Nero's reign saw uprisings against his tyrannical rule in Gaul, Spain, and North Africa. Julius Vindex in Gallia Lugdunensis was the first of these commanders (March AD 68), and his appeal for military assistance was answered the following month by Servius Sulpicius Galba, governor of Hispania Tarraconensis. Vindex issued anonymous aurei and denarii, probably at Vienne, until his revolt was crushed by Verginius Rufus, governor of Upper Germany, in May. Galba was now committed to the cause, and Nero's suicide in June and the Senate's subsequent acceptance of his rule left Galba as the successor to the now extinct Julio-Claudian dynasty. While Galba was in revolt in Spain he also issued anonymous aurei and denarii as well as some with his portrait and the title Imperator.

This aureus was issued at Tarraco in the period April-June AD 68 and bears the head of the Empire's founder as the deified Augustus. At this time of civil war, the type looks back to the stability of the Augustan age and forward to its restoration under a new regime. The personification of Hispania on the reverse honors the province from which Galba's bid for the throne was being launched.
Estimated Value $30,000 - 40,000.
The Hunter Collection; Ex Gilbert Steinberg Collection (Numismatica Ars Classica and Spink Taisei, 16 November 1994, lot 261); Leu Auction 52, 15 May 1991, lot 170.

Realized $100,625

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