chapter  1
17 Pages

Galba’s speech to Piso

Tacitus provides what purports to be the text of a speech which Galba made on 10 January AD 69 on the occasion of his adoption of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi Licinianus as his son and successor. It is doubtful whether a text of such a speech survived which Tacitus could have consulted, although he could no doubt have gained an impression of it from people who heard it. It is however more likely that, as with the speech of Claudius in AD 48 on the admission of Gallic aristocrats to senatorial membership, Tacitus has followed the maxim of the Athenian Thucydides in producing his own version of the speech, encapsulating ‘sentiments appropriate to the occasion’.