“It is far more just to perish one for all, than many for one.” Otho spoke these words to his army before retiring to his study the night before he committed suicide by stabbing himself with a dagger. This is a takeaway from other emperors who were too narcissistic to have done such a thing, caring about themselves more than their people. Otho is a complex figure that history has placed in a kinder light after his death. His initial rise to power was by capitalizing on Galba’s refusal to honor his offer to pay the Praetorian Guards with gold, which led to Galba’s assassination.
As with Galba, the coinage of Otho presents a sincere challenge to the astute collector, and all coins issued in his name are in very high demand. This Civil War emperor struck no Imperial bronzes, so collectors must be satisfied with either a silver denarius or a gold aureus. His denarii are quite scarce, and his aurei are extremely difficult to find. He served for just three months as the second Emperor of the “Year of the Four Emperors.”