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Vitellius



1. History
2. Coinage
2.1. Some general notes
2.2. The Types
2.3. Coins


1. Biography

Aulus Vitellius, born 12 AD, was a close friend of the imperial family ever since his youth. Caligula, Claudius and Nero all entrusted him with important offices. Early in 69 AD, he was proclaimed emperor by his legions in Germania and marched on Rome. After he defeated Otho at Betriacum, he was acknowledged by the Senate. Soon afterwards, the eastern general Vespasianus was proclaimed emperor by his troops and had Vitellius defeated by one of his sub-generals at Cremona in October 69 AD. He was killed in December while defending Rome against the attack of Vespasianus' army. His body was thrown into the Tiber and a damnatio memoriae was proclaimed.


2. Coinage

2.1. Some general notes

The following mints issued coins for Vitellius:

Spain (Tarraco?): Gold, Silver and Asses, February (?) to July (?) 69 AD.
Gaul (Lugdunum): Gold, Silver and Aes, January to February (?) 69 AD.
Rome: Gold, Silver and Aes, April to December 69 AD.


2.2. Portrait

His portrait varies, but it usually is equally realistic as that of Galba and Otho; the Tarraco portrait being stylistically close to that of Galba.

Different portraits of Vitellius.
Spain Gaul Rome


2.3. The Types

Vitellius mainly issued Denarii and Aurei since there were still many Nero and Galba AE coins in circulation.

Despite his short reign Vitellius issued many different coin types, some propagandistic and new, others traditional. Quite a number of reverse types honour the loyalty of the army, for example the Denarius shown aside that praises the FIDES EXERCITVVM; the clasped hands symbolize the entity of the army and the emperor.


2.4. Coins


Legend-combinations alphabetically sortedAll legends

ObverseReverse
A VITELLIVS AVG IMP GERMANVICTORIA AVGVSTI
A VITELLIVS GER IMP AVG P M T P PVICTORIA AVGVSTI
A VITELLIVS GER IMP AVG P MAX TR PCONSENSVS EXERCITVVM
VESTA P R QVIRITIVM
VICTORIA AVGVSTI
A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG P M TR PAEQVITAS AVGVSTI S C
ANNONA AVGVSTI S C
CONCORDIA AVG S C
CONCORDIA AVGVSTI S C
MARS VICTOR S C
PAX AVGVSTI S C
PAXS AVGVSTI S C
PROVIDENT S C
SECVRITAS P ROMANI S C
VICTOR AVGVSTI S C
VICTORIA AVGVSTI S C
A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR PCONCORDIA P R
IVPPITER VICTOR
L VITELLIVS COS III CENSOR
LIBERI IMP GERM AVG
LIBERI IMP GERMAN
LIBERTAS RESTITVTA
PONT MAXIM
XV VIR SACR FAC
(No legend)
A VITELLIVS GERM IMP TR PCONCORDIA P R
A VITELLIVS GERMA IMP AVG P M TR PAEQVITAS AVGVSTI S C
ANNONA AVG S C
CONCORDIA AVG S C
CONCORDIA AVGVSTI S C
MARS VICTOR S C
PAX AVGVSTI S C
PAXS AVGVSTI S C
PROVIDENT S C
S C
S P Q R OB CIV SER
VICTOR AVGVSTI S C
A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP AVG P M P PMARS VICTOR S C
A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP AVG P M TR PANNONA AVG S C
ANNONA AVGVSTI S C
CERES AVG S C
CONCORD AVG S C
L VITELL CENSOR II S C
L VITELL CENSOR III S C
MARS VICTOR S C
PAX AVGVSTI S C
PAXS AVGVSTI S C
PROVIDENT S C
S C
S P Q R OB CIV SER
VESTA S C
VICTOR AVGVS S C
VICTOR AVGVSTI S C
VICTORIA AVG S C
VICTORIA AVGVSTI S C
A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP TR PCONCORDIA P R
IVPPITER VICTOR
L VITELLIVS COS III CENSOR
LIBERI IMP GERMAN
LIBERTAS RESTITVTA
S P Q R OB C S
XV VIR SACR FAC
(No legend)
A VITELLIVS GERMANICVS IMPCONCORDIA P R
FIDES EXERCITVVM
IVPPITER VICTOR
LIBERTAS RESTITVTA
S P Q R OB C S
XV VIR SACR FAC
(No legend)
A VITELLIVS GERMANICVS IMP AVGCLEMENTIA IMP GERMANICI
CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM
VICTORIA AVGVSTI
A VITELLIVS GERMANICVS IMP AVG P M TR PAEQVITAS AVGVSTI S C
CONCORDIA AVGVSTI S C
HONOS ET VIRTVS S C
I O MAX CAPITO S C
L VITELL CENSOR II S C
LIBERTAS AVGVSTI S C
MARS VICTOR S C
PAX AVGVSTI S C
PAX GER ROM S C
PROVIDENT S C
ROMA S C
S C
S P Q R OB CIV SER
VICTORIA AVGVSTI S C
A VITELLIVS GERMNICVS IMP(No legend)
A VITELLIVS IMP GERMANCLEMENTIA IMP GERMAN
CLEMENTIA IMP GERMAN S C
CONCORDIA PRAETORIANORVM
CONSENSVS EXERCITVM
CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM
CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM S C
CONSENSVS HISPANIARVM
CONSENSVS HISPANIARVM S C
FIDES EXERCITVVM
FIDES EXERCITVVM S C
FIDES PRAETORIANORVM
I O MAX CAPITOLINVS
I O MAX CAPITOLIVS
L VITELLI III COS CENS
LIBERI IMP GERMAN
LIBERIS IMP GERMANICI
LIBERTAS RESTITVTA S C
ROMA RENASCENS S C
SENAT P Q ROMANVS
VESTA P R QVIRITIVM
VICTORIA AVGVSTI
VICTORIA AVGVSTI S C
VICTORIA IMP GERMANICI
A VITELLIVS IMP GERMANICVSCLEMENTIA IMP GERMAN
CLEMENTIA IMP GERMANICI
CONSENSVS EXERCITVVM
FIDES EXERCITVVM
L VITELLI III COS CENSOR
LIBERIS IMP GERMANICI
LIBERTAS RESTITVTA
SECVRITAS IMP GERMAN
SECVRITAS IMP GERMANI
VICTORIA AVGVSTI
VICTORIA IMP GERMAN
VICTORIA IMP GERMANICI