Galba (cognomen)

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Galba is an ancient Roman cognomen borne by a branch of the patrician gens Sulpicia.

The name is sometimes thought to be Celtic in origin, from a root related to Old Irish golb, "paunchy, fat."[1] Suetonius offers four possible derivations, including the Gaulish galba meaning "fat."[2]

Republican Rome[edit]

Imperial era[edit]

  • Servius Sulpicius Galba, orator during the reign of Augustus
  • Gaius Sulpicius Galba, consul in AD 22, oldest son of Ser. Sulpicius Galba
  • Galba, Servius Sulpicius Galba, Roman Emperor AD 68–69, younger son of Ser. Sulpicius Galba



  1. ^ See Xavier Delamarre, entry on galba, Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise (Éditions Errance, 2003), p. 174, and D. Ellis Evans, Gaulish personal names: a study of some Continental Celtic formations (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967), pp. 293, 297, 349.
  2. ^ Other derivations from galbanum, a gum used in ancient medicine and chemical preparations; the medical treatment galbeum; and galbae, a type of insect: Suetonius, Galba 3, Bill Thayer's edition at LacusCurtius.