Vitellius 69AD Silver Denarius good Very Fine
- A genuine Ancient Roman coin of Emperor Vitellius – ninth of the famous Twelve Caesars.
- The third of those to rule in 69AD – the Year of the Four Emperors.
- Reigning for only eight months, all Vitellius coinage is scarce.
- Distinguished by an excellent portrait of the emperor, with Victory depicted on the obverse.
- In superior grade good Very Fine, and scarce – click add to cart!
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The Roman Emperor Vitellius was the third of three men to rule the empire in 69AD – known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
Also notable as the ninth of Suetonius’ famous ‘Twelve Caesars’ – the first twelve rulers of the Roman Empire – Vitellius came to power after defeating Emperor Otho in April 69AD. Emblematic of the chaos engulfing the empire after the overthrow and suicide of Nero, Otho had ruled for just three months after having engineered the assassination of the Emperor Galba. If anyone had hoped that Vitellius may now bring stability to the empire, they were to be disappointed.
Recognised as emperor by the Senate in April, Vitellius learnt in June that legions in the east had proclaimed Vespasian as emperor. Having failed to stop Vespasian’s forces from marching into Italy, and many of his supporters deserting him, Vitellius prepared to abdicate. He was prevented from doing so by the Praetorian Guard, perhaps fearing retribution from Vespasian. Thus, the die was cast, and the battle for Rome – and rule of the Roman Empire – commenced.
It was a brutal battle. Cassius Dio claimed that 50,000 died as the largely civilian army of Vitellius fought desperately against Vespasian’s legions. The latter ultimately triumphed, Vitellius was found hiding, and was executed soon after. Depending on which account you believe, his body was thrown into the River Tiber or he was beheaded, with his head placed upon a spike and paraded around Rome – perhaps both tales are true.
As Vitellius reigned for just eight months, the coins issued in his name are scarce in all grades. Capturing the distinctive features of this notorious glutton, this silver denarius is distinguished by a strong portrait of Vitellius, and is in premium good Very Fine condition. Click add to cart now!