Roman Empire

Vitellius, Emperor AD 69

RIC 72; BN -; BMC 6; Calicó 543 (this example illus.), Mint State

Rome. A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP TR P, laureate head of Vitellius right. Reverse: CONCOR-DIA P R, Concordia seated left, holding patera and cornucopiae.

Ex Rauch 102 (7 November 2016), 50; Biaggi Collection, 276; Hecht Collection; Vicomte Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt Collection (Rollin & Feuardent, 25 April 1887), 121

With Otho out of the way, Vitellius advanced to Rome where he spent the remainder of the spring and early summer squandering the imperial fortune on constant banqueting and triumphal processions. He realized that he had made a serious error when it was revealed that Vespasian, the commander of the Syrian legions charged with repressing the Jewish Revolt, had been proclaimed emperor in Alexandria on July 1 and was receiving support from the Danubian legions under M. Antonius Primus. Otho was avenged on October 24 when the Vitellians were defeated by Primus at the second battle of Bedriacum. Terrified, Vitellius negotiated a peaceful abdication in favor of Vespasian but he was prevented from bringing it to pass by the Praetorian Guard who refused to surrender. When Primus took Rome by force Vitellius attempted to hide, but he was soon discovered and executed. His head was paraded through the city and his corpse thrown into the Tiber. For the sake of completeness the brother and young son of Vitellius were also killed.