, an orator anterior to Cicero. While
holding the government of Spain, he treacherously murdered 30,000 Lusitanians. Having been
accused for this by Cato the Censor, he was about to be condemned, when he wrought upon the
feelings of the people by embracing before them his two sons, still quite young, an act which
saved him (Cic. Orat. i. 53
). In the year b. c. 144 he was consul.
Gaius Sulpicius, a Roman lawyer, father of the emperor. He was
consul in A.D. 22.
Servius Sulpicius, born in the reign of Augustus, of a patrician
family. He served with distinction in Germany, and was afterwards proconsul, first in Africa,
and subsequently in Hispania Tarraconensis, in which office he gained a reputation for
justice and moderation. He was still in Spain when Iulius Vindex, the proconsul of Upper
Gaul, rose against Nero. Galba joined Vindex, and Otho, governor of Lusitania, followed his
example. The assembled multitudes saluted Galba as emperor and Augustus; but he declared that
he was acting only as the lieutenant of the Senate and people of Rome, in order to put an end
to the disgraceful tyranny of Nero. The Praetorian Guards soon after, having revolted against
Nero, proclaimed Galba, and the Senate acknowledged him as emperor. Galba hastened from Spain
to Rome, where he began by calling to account those favourites of Nero who had enriched
themselves by proscriptions and confiscations and by the extraordinary prodigality of that
emperor; but it was found that most of them had already dissipated their ill-gotten wealth.
Galba, or, rather, the intimates who governed him, then proceeded against the purchasers of
their property, and confiscations became again the order of the day. The new emperor, at the
same time, exercised great parsimony in his administration, and endeavoured to enforce strict
discipline among the soldiers, who had been used to the prodigality and license of the
previous reign. Being past seventy years of age, Galba, on this and other accounts, soon
Coin of the Emperor Galba.
the object of popular dislike and ridicule, and revolts against him broke out in
various quarters, several of which were put down and punished severely. Galba thought of
strengthening himself by adopting Piso Licinianus, a young patrician of considerable personal
merit, as Caesar and his successor; upon which Otho, who had expected to be the object of his
choice, formed a conspiracy among the Guards, who proclaimed him emperor. Galba, unable to
walk, caused himself to be carried in a litter, hoping to suppress the mutiny; but, at the
appearance of Otho's armed partisans, his followers left him, and even the litter-bearers
threw the old man down and ran away. Some of the legionaries came up and put Galba to death,
after a reign of only seven months, counting from the time of Nero's death, A.D. 68. Galba
was seventy-two years old when he was taken off. He was succeeded by Otho (Galba;
Hist. i. 4
foll.; Dio Cass. lxiii. 29, lxiv. 1 foll.).