A century had passed since the emperor Augustus (27 BCE-14 CE) had changed the Roman republic into a monarchy, and the inhabitants of the empire had grown accustomed to one-man rule. As long as the emperor was a capable man, like Augustus, Tiberius, or Claudius, the new system of government worked reasonably well. However, problems would arise when a less talented man would be in charge of the empire.
During the reign of Nero (54-68), the provinces were peaceful and prosperous, but when the emperor started to behave like a despot, the senators, who were as governors responsible for the provinces, suffered heavily. One of them was Caius Julius Vindex, an Aquitanian prince who had entered the Senate and was now governor of Gallia Lugdunensis. In the winter of 67/68, he decided to put an end to the oppression. Being a senator, he tried to do this constitutionally, so he first searched for a worthy successor to the throne. In April 68 he found his man: the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, Servius Sulpicius Galba. Now, he started an insurrection.
Vindex' revolt was a disaster. The commander of the Roman legions in the province Germania Superior, Lucius Verginius Rufus, fearing a native rising in Gaul, ordered his men to march from the Rhine to Besanšon, where the rebel had his headquarters. Vindex was unable to explain his motives, and having lost the propaganda battle, he lost the real battle and his life.