The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Galene – Galenus

GALBA.

eight years. In maintaining discipline among his troops, his .strictness at first bordered upon cruelty, for the,severest punishments were inflicted 1'or slight offences, but during the latter period of his administration he became indolent, for fear, it is said, of attracting the attention of Nero, but more probably as a natural consequence of old age. In a. d. 68, when the insurrection of C. Julius Vindex broke out in Gaul, and Vindex called upon the most distinguished men in the other provinces to join him, he also sent messen-' gers to Galba, whom he looked upon as the most eminent among the generals of the time, and whom he had destined in his mind as the successor of Nero. Vindex accordingly exhorted him to vindi­cate the rights of oppressed humanity. Galba, who was at the same time informed that some officers in Spain had received secret orders from Nero to murder him, resolved at once to take the perilous step, and place himself at the head of the Roman world, although he was abeady upwards of seventy years old. He assembled his troops, .excited their sympathy for those who had been murdered by Nero, and was at once proclaimed imperator by the soldiers. .He himself, however, at first professed to act only as the legate of the Roman senate and people. He began to organise his army in Spain, instituted a kind of senate which was to act as his council, and made all preparations for a war against Nero. Some of his soldiers, however, soon began to repent, and as he was engaged in suppressing, this spirit among his own men, he received the in­telligence of the fall of Vindex, who in despair had put an end to himself. Being thus deprived of his principal supporter, Galba withdrew to Glunia, a small town of his province, and wa's on the point of following the example of Vindex. But things suddenly took a different turn. Nymphidius Sa-binus, praefect of the praetorians at Rome, created an insurrection there, and some of the friends of Galba, by making munificent promises in his name, succeeded in winning the troops for him. Nero was murdered. Galba now took the title of Caesar, and, accompanied by Salvius Otho, the governor of Lusitania, he went to Rome, where ambassadors soon arrived from all parts of the empire to do homage to Galba as the lawful sovereign. . Galba by this time seems to have lost the good qualities that distinguished his earlier years : a re­port of his severity and avarice had preceded him to Rome ; and it soon became manifest that the accounts of his avarice were not exaggerated. In­stead of doing- all he could to win the favour of the soldiers, who had only just become aware of the fact that they had it in their power to dispose of the sovereignty, and that they might depose him just as they had raised him, he made several unpopular changes in the army at Rome, and punished with severity those who opposed his mea­sures. The large donatives which his friends had promise'd in his name were not given, and various rumours about his niggardly and miserly character were sedulously spread at Rome, and increased the discontent. Some of his arrangements were wise enough; and had he not been the victim of ivarice, the common foible of old age, and been ible to part with some of his treasures, he might lave maintained himself oh the throne, and the Roman world would probably not have had much Reason to complain. In addition to this, he was jompletely under the sway of three, favourites,

207

GALENUS,

T. Vinius, Cornelius Laco, and Icelus ; and th0 arbitrary manner in which he acted under theij: influence showed that the times were little better than they had been under Nero. His unpopularity with all classes daily increased, and more espe­ cially among the soldiers. The first open outbreak of discontent was among the legions of Germany, which sent word to the Praetorians at Rome, that they disliked the emperor created in Spain, and that one should be elected who was approved of by all .the legions. Similar outbreaks occurred in Africa. Galba, apparently blind to the realcauss of the discontent, and attributing it to his old age and his having no heir, adopted Hso Licinianus, a noble young Roman, who was to be his coadjutor and successor. But even this act only increased Ms?unpopularity; for he presented his adopted son to the senate and the soldiers, without giving to the latter the donatives customary on such occasions. Salvius Otho, who had hoped to be adopted by Galba, and had been strongly recommended by T, Vinius, now secretly formed a conspiracy among the troops. The insurrection broke out six (days after the adoption of Piso Licinianus. Galba at first despaired, and did not know what to do, but at last he took courage, and went out to meet the rebels ; but as he .was carried across the forum in a sedan-chair, a troop of horsemen, who had been waiting for his arrival, rushed forward and cut him down, near the Lacus Curtius, where his body was left, until a common soldier, who passed by, cut off his head, and carried it to Otho, who had in the mean time been proclaimed emperor by the prae*- torians and legions. His remains were afterwards buried by one Argius in his own garden. A statue of his, which the senate erected on the spot where he had been murdered, was afterwards destroyed by Vespasian, who, believed .that Galba had sent assassins into Judaea to murder him. (Tac. Hist. i. 1—42 ; Dion. Cass, Ixiv. 1-^-6; Suet. Galba; Plut. Galba; Aurel. Vict. De Goes. 6 ; Eutrop; vii. 10 ; Niebuhr, Led. onflie Hist. of.Kome^ vol. ii. p. 226, ed. L. Schmitz.) [L.S.]

coin of galba. The reverse represents a Co­rona Civica, and is therefore accompanied with the inscription ob c. s., that is, ob elves servatos.

GALENE (roArH), a personification of the calm sea, and perhaps identical with Galateia, one of the Nereides, is called by Hesiod (Tlieog. 244) a daughter of Nereus and Doris. [L. S.]

GALENUS, CLAU'DIUS (KAarfSios FaAT?-vos\ commonly called Galen, a very celebrated physician, whose works have had a longer and more extensive influence on the different branches of medical science than those of any other indi­vidual either in ancient or modern times,

I. personal history of galen.

Little is told us of the personal history of Galen by any ancient author, but this deficiency is abun­dantly supplied by his own writings, in which are to be found such numerous anecdotes of himself and

Pages
About | First

206

207

208
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.