Vitellius

Reece Period attributed: Period 3

Obverse image of a coin of Vitellius

Member of the Civil-Wars dynasty.

Coins for this issuer were issued from 69 until .

Aulus Vitellius was born in AD 14 and spent much of his youth on Capri, as one of Tiberius’ young male prostitutes. He became a fixture in the courts of Gaius, Claudius, and Nero, known for his love of gaming and other vices. As a favourite of three emperors, Vitellius achieved many important offices and priesthoods, though he did not always perform them honourably.

Vitellius won favour with the army when appointed to the governorship of Lower Germany by Galba. The army was tired of Galba’s ambition and cruelty, and welcomed the younger and more easygoing Vitellius. When news of Galba’s murder reached Germany, he sent out half the army against Otho, who soon committed suicide. Vitellius proclaimed himself Consul for life, and soon gave way to the vices of extravagance and cruelty. As he killed and tortured many people on the slightest provocation, his popularity fell and Vespasian’s troops from the East marched on Rome. Vitellius was found hiding in the palace and dragged through the streets of Rome by Vespasian’s troops; his body was eventually thrown in the Tiber.

Suetonius reports that Vitellius was quite tall with a huge paunch. He was usually flushed with alcohol.

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Record: LVPL-7D4851
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: Complete Roman silver denarius of Vitelliu…
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Record: YORYM-D1A0C9
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A silver contemporary copy Roman denarius …
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Record: PUBLIC-0222C9
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: An incomplete plated contemporary copy of …
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Record: YORYM-7D3ED7
Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
Description: A silver Roman denarius of Vitellius datin…
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