Coins and Antiquities Consignment Shop
  Please login or register to view your wish list! All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Please call us if you have questions 252-646-1958. Thanks for your business! Please login or register to view your wish list! Internet challenged? We are happy to take your order over the phone. Please call if you have questions 252-646-1958. Thanks for your business!

Catalog Main Menu
Fine Coins Showcase

Antiquities Showcase
Recent Additions
Recent Price Reductions

Show empty categories
Shop Search
Shopping Cart
Contact Us
About Forum
Shopping at Forum
Our Guarantee
Payment Options
Shipping Options & Fees
Privacy & Security
Forum Staff
Selling Your Coins
Identifying Your Coin
FAQs
Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ VitelliusView Options:  |  |  | 

Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

Aulus Vitellius was declared emperor by his troops in 69 A.D. After defeating the forces of Otho, he took control of Rome, but then spent more time at the banquet table then in governance. General Vespasian was then declared emperor in Alexandria, and the legions stationed along the Danube frontier marched against Vitellius. His forces were defeated, the emperor slain and his body dragged through the streets of Rome and dumped in the Tiber.


Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
Vitellius' children, portrayed on this denarius, thought to have been named Vitellius Germanicus and Vitellia, were born to his second wife, Galeria Fundana. When Vitellius was made emperor by the senate, his son, who was about six years old, was sent to Lugdunum to meet him upon his arrival from Germany. The boy may have perished with his father, others say he was executed in 70, on orders of the praetorian prefect Licinius Mucianus. Vespasian arranged an excellent marriage for Vitellius' daughter and provided her with a wedding gown and dowry. Vitellius had another son, Petronianus, by his first wife. He died long before Vitellius became emperor. It was widely believed that Vitellius had poisoned him.
SH77008. Silver denarius, RIC I 103, RSC II 2, BMCRE I 29, BnF III 62, Hunter I -, SRCV I -, attractive gVF, fine style portraits, old cabinet toning, tight flan as usual for the type, light marks and scratches, closed flan crack, weight 3.208 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, late Apr - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVGVST TR P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERI IMP GERMAN, confronted draped busts of Vitellius' son (on left) and daughter (thought to have been named Vitellius Germanicus and Vitellia); from the Jyrki Muona Collection; very rare; $8000.00 (€7120.00)
 


Click for a larger photo
This type with this obverse legend arrangement is apparently unpublished. The normal obverse legend arrangement is A VITELLLIVS IMP upward on left and GERMANICVS downward on right. Another variation has this legend break but the obverse legend ends with GERMAN. The arrangement on this coin does not leave enough room for either the final S or the globe at the point of the bust and they appear to be merged. This variation is likely an engraving error for one or the other normal types.
RS72989. Silver denarius, RIC I 6 (R) var. (obv. leg. break), RSC II 26a, BMCRE I 85 var. (same), BnF III 8 var. (GERMAN), Hunter I 53 var. (same), SRCV I 2190 var. (same), VF, toned, porous, a few marks, insignificant flan cracks, weight 3.325 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 180o, Tarraco mint, c. Jan - Jul 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS - IMP GERMANICVS, laureate head left, small globe at point of bust; reverse CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM, Mars advancing left, nude but for crested helmet and cloak tied in belt at waist and flying behind, spear in right, aquila with vexillum in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, an unpublished variant of a rare type, this is the only example known to Forum; $1080.00 (€961.20)
 


Click for a larger photo
In July 69, Vitellius learned that the armies of the eastern provinces had proclaimed their commander, Vespasian, as emperor. Vitellius, aware that he would be defeated, negotiated terms of resignation, but the praetorians refused to allow him to carry out the agreement, and forced him to return to the palace. When Vespasian's troops entered Rome he was dragged out of a lodge where he was hiding, taken to the fatal Gemonian stairs, and executed. His body was thrown into the Tiber according to Suetonius; Cassius Dio's account is that Vitellius was beheaded and his head paraded around Rome, and his wife attended to his burial. "Yet I was once your emperor," were his last words. His brother and son were also killed.
SH76127. Silver denarius, RIC I 107 (S), RSC II 72, BMCRE I 34, BnF III 71, Hunter I 17, SRCV I 2200, VF, excellent portrait, toned, tight flan, light marks and scratches, weight 3.292 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse PONT MAXIM, Vesta seated right on throne with back, veiled, draped, patera in right hand, long scepter in left hand vertical on left (far) side; scarce; $800.00 (€712.00)
 


Click for a larger photo
In July 69, Vitellius learned that the armies of the eastern provinces had proclaimed their commander, Vespasian, as emperor. Vitellius, aware that he would be defeated, negotiated terms of resignation, but the praetorians refused to allow him to carry out the agreement, and forced him to return to the palace. When Vespasian's troops entered Rome he was dragged out of a lodge where he was hiding, taken to the fatal Gemonian stairs, and executed. His body was thrown into the Tiber according to Suetonius; Cassius Dio's account is that Vitellius was beheaded and his head paraded around Rome, and his wife attended to his burial. "Yet I was once your emperor," were his last words. His brother and son were also killed.
SH72950. Silver denarius, RIC I 107 (S), RSC II 72, BMCRE I 34, BnF III 71, Hunter I 17, SRCV I 2200, gVF/VF, superb bold portrait, nice toning, a few minor marks, weight 3.055 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse PONT MAXIM, Vesta seated right on throne with back, veiled, draped, patera in right hand, long scepter in left hand vertical on left (far) side; from the Jyrki Muona Collection, ex Baldwin & Sons (2009); scarce; $720.00 (€640.80)
 


Click for a larger photo
 
RS72966. Silver denarius, Unpublished; cf. RIC I 64 (aureus), F, centered on tight flan, porous, extensive but mostly light corrosion, weight 2.969 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Gaul, Lugdunum mint, Mar - July 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GER IMP AVG P MAX TR P, laureate head right, globe at point of bust; reverse CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM, Mars advancing left, nude but for crested helmet and cloak tied in belt flying behind, spear in right, aquila with vexillum in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; extremely rare, this is the only example known to Forum and to experts consulted, unique(?), these legends and types known only as an aureus (RIC 64); $450.00 (€400.50)
 


Click for a larger photo
This coin is M13 in The Metallurgy of Roman Silver Coinage: From the Reform of Nero to the Reform of Trajan by Kevin Butcher and Matthew Pointing. Testing established this coin was minted to the first Neronian standard, at 78.6% silver. There is a very tiny hole drilled in the edge where the sample was taken.
SH72993. Silver denarius, Butcher-Pointing M13 (this coin), RIC I 105 (R), RSC II 47, BMCRE I 31, BnF III 67, Hunter I 11, SRCV I 2198 var. (no AVG, May - Jul), F, toned, tiny sample hole on the edge, weight 3.093 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 135o, Rome mint, Jul - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS RESTITVTA (Liberty restored), Libertas standing facing, head right, pileus in extended right hand, long rod vertical in left hand; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; rare; $450.00 (€400.50)
 


Click for a larger photo
"This refers to Vitellius' membership in the priestly college of the quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis, 'fifteen men for the conduct of sacred matters.' This body had care of the Sibylline prophecies and were famous for the opulence of their banquets, a feature of the priesthood which particularly appealed to the gluttonous emperor." -- David R. Sear, Roman Coins and Their Values
SH77386. Silver denarius, RIC I 86 (S); RSC II 114; BMCRE I p. 370, 17; BnF III 46; Hunter I -; SRCV I -, VF, excellent portrait, toned, marks and scratches, somewhat oval flan, slight edge damage, weight 2.972 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. May - Jul 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP TR P, laureate head right; reverse XV VIR SACR FAC, tripod-lebes with dome cover, dolphin right on top, raven standing right below bowl; ex CNG e-auction 221 (28 Oct 2009), lot 483; ex Jörg Müller Collection; scarce; $430.00 (€382.70)
 


Click for a larger photo
Suetonius wrote of Vitellius' physical description, "He was in fact abnormally tall, with a face usually flushed from hard drinking, a huge belly, and one thigh crippled from being struck once time by a four-horse chariot, when he was in attendance on Gaius as he was driving..."
SH75001. Silver denarius, RIC I 107 (S), RSC II 72, BMCRE I 34, BnF III 71, Hunter I 17, SRCV I 2200, F, dark cabinet toning, weight 2.557 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Apr - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse PONT MAXIM, Vesta seated right on throne, veiled and draped, patera in right hand, scepter in left hand; scarce; $270.00 (€240.30)
 







CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE FROM THIS CATEGORY - FORVM's PRIOR SALES


OBVERSE LEGENDS

AVITELLIVSGERMAIMPAVGPMTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMANICVSIMP
AVITELLIVSGERMANIMPAVGPMTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMANIMPTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMIMPAVGTRP
AVITELLIVSGERIMPAVGPMAXTRP
AVITELLIVSIMPGERMAN
AVITELLIVSIMPGERMANICVS


REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Calicó, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulèvement de 68 après J.-C. a Nerva. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C.H.V. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, September 27, 2016.
Page created in 1.155 seconds
Roman Coins of Vitellius