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