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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Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
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Object type: COIN
Broadperiod: ROMAN
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Broadperiod: ROMAN
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Information from Wikipedia

  • Preferred label: Vitellius
  • Full names:
    • Vitellius
  • Title: Consul of the Roman Empire
  • Predecessor: Otho
  • Successor: Vespasian
  • Definition: Vitellius (; Aulus Vitellius Germanicus; 24 September 15 – 22 December 69 AD) was Roman emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December 69 AD. Vitellius was proclaimed emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Vitellius was the first to add the honorific cognomen Germanicus to his name instead of Caesar upon his accession. Like his direct predecessor, Otho, Vitellius attempted to rally public support to his cause by honoring and imitating Nero who remained widely popular in the empire. His claim to the throne was soon challenged by legions stationed in the eastern provinces, who proclaimed their commander Vespasian emperor instead. War ensued, leading to a crushing defeat for Vitellius at the Second Battle of Bedriacum in northern Italy. Once he realised his support was wavering, Vitellius prepared to abdicate in favor of Vespasian. He was not allowed to do so by his supporters, resulting in a brutal battle for Rome between Vitellius' forces and the armies of Vespasian. He was executed in Rome by Vespasian's soldiers on 22 December 69.
  • Parents:
  • Birth place: Rome, Roman Empire, Roman Italy
  • Death place:
  • Spouse:
  • Other title(s):
    • Consul of the Roman Empire
    • List of Roman emperors
  • Came After:
    • Quintus Veranius Nepos, and
    • Gaius Pompeius Longus Gallus
  • Came before:
    • Gnaeus Hosidius Geta
    • and Gaius Volasenna Severus
  • Subjects on wikipedia:

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