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Home>Catalog>RomanCoins>TheTwelveCaesars>Vitellius

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 was proclaimed emperor by his troops on 2 January, but Otho was still the emperor in Rome until he killed himself on 16 April 69. The mint in Rome probably began to strike coinage in Vitellius' name three days later, when the soldiers in Rome swore their allegience to him and the senate hailed him as emperor. This coin was struck in the next few days or weeks, before the mint knew what Vitellius looked like. Except for the hair, the portrait is of Otho.
SH68891. Silver denarius, RIC I 71, RSC II 121, BMCRE I 4, SRCV I 2202 var (obv leg), aVF, weight 3.342 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 19 April - May 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERMANICVS IMP, bare head right (except for hair, an Otho portrait on this early issue); reverse Victory seated left, patera in right, palm frond over shoulder in left; from the Jyrki Muona Collection; scarce; $700.00 (525.00)

Click for a larger photo Struck in 69 A.D., the Year of the Four Emperors. Vitellius invoked Mars for support against Otho after, according to Tacitus, he was brought the sword of Julius Caesar taken from the temple Mars, signifying he had been elected emperor by the consent of both armies of Germany.
SH70625. Copper as, RIC I 40, BMCRE I 99, Cohen 25, BnF III 16, VF, weight 11.606 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 225o, Hispania, Tarraco(?) mint, Jan - Jun 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS IMP GERMAN, laureate head left, globe at point of bust; reverse CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM (with the consent of the Army), Mars advancing left, nude but for cloak, spear in right, aquila with vexillum in left, S - C across field; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 3 (30 Nov 2013), lot 509; scarce; $700.00 (525.00)

Click for a larger photo Struck in 69 A.D., the Year of the Four Emperors. After Nero's death, four emperors, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian, ruled in a remarkable succession. Vitellius was made emperor by his troops and after defeating Otho. Vespasian was made emperor by his troops and the Danube legions. Vespasian prevailed. Vitellius was slain. His body was dragged through the streets and dumped in the Tiber.
RS70090. Silver denarius, RIC I 90, RSC II 18, BMCRE I 20, VF, die break (ear), flan flaw (neck), reverse scrape, weight 2.940 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse CONCORDIA P R, Concordia seated left, patera in right, cornucopia in left; scarce; $330.00 (247.50)


ITEMS PER PAGE 13510203050



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Obverse legends:

AVITELLIVSGERMAIMPAVGPMTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMANICVSIMP
AVITELLIVSGERMANIMPAVGPMTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMANIMPTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMIMPAVGTRP
AVITELLIVSGERIMPAVGPMAXTRP
AVITELLIVSIMPGERMAN
AVITELLIVSIMPGERMANICVS




Average well preserved denarius weight 3.30 grams.
Catalog current as of Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
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Roman Coins of Vitellius