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I. THE race of the Caesars ended with Nero." That this would be so was shown by many portents and especially by two very significant ones. Years before, as Livia was returning to her estate near Veii, immediately after her marriage with Augustus, an eagle 38 B.C. which flew by dropped into her lap a white hen, holding in its beak a sprig of laurel, just as the eagle had carried it off. Livia resolved to rear the fowl and plant the sprig, whereupon such a great brood of chickens was hatched that to this day the villa is called Ad Gallinas, and such a grove of laurel sprang up, that the Caesars gathered their laurels from it when they were going to celebrate triumphs. Moreover it was the habit of those who triumphed to plant other branches at once in that same place, and it was observed that just before the death of each of them the tree which he had planted withered. Now in Nero's last year the whole grove died from the root up, as well as all the hens. Furthermore, when shortly afterwards the temple of the Caesars & was struck by lightning, the heads fell from all the statues at the same time, and his sceptre, too, was dashed from the hand of Augustus.


II. Neroni Galba successit nullo gradu contingens Caesarum domum, sed haud dubie nobilissimus magnaque et vetere prosapia, ut qui statuarum titulis pronepotem se Quinti Catuli Capitolini semper ascripserit, imperator vero etiam stemma in atrio proposuerit, quo paternam originem ad Iovem, maternam ad Pasiphaam Minonis uxorem referret.

III. Imagines et elogia universi generis exsequi longum est, familiae breviter attingam. Qui primus Sulpiciorum cognomen Galbae tulit cur aut unde traxerit, ambigitur. Quidam putant, quod oppidum Hispaniae frustra diu oppugnatum inlitis demum galbano facibus succenderit; alii, quod in diuturna valitudine galbeo, id est remediis lana involutis, assidue uteretur; nonnulli, quod praepinguis fuerit visus, quem galbam Galli vocent; vel contra, quod tam exilis, quam sunt animalia quae in aesculis nascuntur appellanturque galbae.

2 Familiam illustravit Servius Galba consularis, temporum suorum vel1 eloquentissimus, quem tradunt Hispaniam ex praetura optinentem, triginta Lusitanorum milibus perfidia trucidatis, Viriatini belli causam exstitisse. Eius nepos ob repulsam consulatus infensus Iulio Caesari, cuius legatus in Gallia fuerat, con1 vel, Bentley; et, mss. except П1, which omits the word. a No existing inscription confirms this statement. That is, of those of the Sulpicii who bore the surname Galba.

The gum of a Syrian plant; see Pliny, N.H. 12. 126.

II. Nero was succeeded by Galba, who was related 68 A.D. in no degree to the house of the Caesars, although unquestionably of noble origin and of an old and powerful family; for he always added to the inscriptions on his statues that he was the greatgrandson of Quintus Catulus Capitolinus," and when he became emperor he even displayed a family tree in his hall in which he carried back his ancestry on his father's side to Jupiter and on his mother's to Pasiphae, the wife of Minos.

III. It would be a long story to give in detail his illustrious ancestors and the honorary inscriptions of the entire race, but I shall give a brief account of his immediate family. It is uncertain who was the first of the Sulpicii to bear the surname Galba, why he assumed it, and whence it was derived. Some think that it was because after having for a long time unsuccessfully besieged a town in Spain, he at last set fire to it by torches smeared with galbanum © ; others because during a long illness he made constant use of galbeum, that is to say of remedies wrapped in wool; still others, because he was a very fat man, such as the Gauls term galba, or because he was, on the contrary, as slender as the insects called galbae, which breed in oak trees.


The family acquired distinction from Servius Galba, 145 B.G. who became consul and was decidedly the most eloquent speaker of his time. This man, they say, was the cause of the war with Viriathus, because 150-186 while governing Spain as propraetor, he treacherously massacred thirty thousand of the Lusitanians. grandson had been one of Caesar's lieutenants in Gaul, but angered because his commander caused his defeat for the consulship, he joined the conspiracy



spiravit cum Cassio et Bruto, propter quod Pedia lege 3 damnatus est. Ab hoc sunt imperatoris Galbae avus ac pater: avus clarior studiis quam dignitate—non enim egressus praeturae gradum-multiplicem nec incuriosam historiam edidit; pater consulatu functus, quanquam brevi corpore atque etiam gibber modicaeque in dicendo facultatis, causas industrie actitavit." Uxores habuit Mummiam Achaicam, neptem Catuli proneptemque L. Mummi, qui Corinthum excidit; item Liviam Ocellinam ditem admodum et pulchram, a qua tamen nobilitatis causa appetitus ultro existimatur et aliquanto enixius, postquam subinde instanti vitium corporis secreto posita veste detexit, ne quasi ignaram fallere videretur. Ex Achaica liberos Gaium et Servium 1 procreavit, quorum maior Gaius attritis facultatibus urbe cessit prohibitusque a Tiberio sortiri anno suo proconsulatum voluntaria morte obiit.

IV. Ser. Galba imperator M. Valerio Messala Cn.2 Lentulo cons. natus est VIIII. Kal. Ian, in villa colli superposita prope Tarracinam 3 sinistrorsus Fundos petentibus, adoptatusque a noverca sua Livia nomen et Ocellare cognomen assumpsit mutato praenomine ; nam Lucium mox pro Servio 4 usque ad tempus imperii usurpavit. Constat Augustum puero adhuc, 1 Servium, Glareanus; Sergium, .

2 Cn., mss.; it should be L.

Terracinam, .

a See Nero, iii. 1.

4 Sergio, n.

That is, after his consulship. Tiberius doubtless suspected him of a desire to enrich himself at the expense of the provincials; cf. Tib. xxxii. 2, at the end.

with Brutus and Cassius, and was consequently condemned to death by the Pedian law." From him were descended the grandfather and the father of the emperor Galba. The former, who was more eminent for his learning than for his rank-for he did not advance beyond the grade of praetor— published a voluminous and painstaking history. The father attained the consulship, and although he 22 A.D was short of stature and even hunchbacked, besides being only an indifferent speaker, was an industrious pleader at the bar. He married Mummia Achaica, the granddaughter of Catulus and greatgranddaughter of Lucius Mummius who destroyed Corinth; and later Livia Ocellina, a very rich and beautiful woman, who however is thought to have sought marriage with him because of his high rank, and the more eagerly when, in response to her frequent advances, he took off his robe in private and showed her his deformity, so as not to seem to deceive her by concealing it. By Achaica he had two sons, Gaius and Servius. Gaius, who was the elder, left Rome after squandering the greater part of his estate, and committed suicide because Tiberius would not allow him to take part in the allotment of the provinces in his year."

3 B.C.

IV. The emperor Servius Galba was born in the Dec. 24, consulship of Marcus Valerius Messala and Gnaeus Lentulus, on the ninth day before the Kalends of January, in a country house situated on a hill near Tarracina, on the left as you go towards Fundi. Adopted by his stepmother Livia, he took her name and the surname Ocella, and also changed his forename; for he used Lucius, instead of Servius, from that time until he became emperor. It is well

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