Roman Empire Vitellius Denarius 69 AD

Obv: Laureated head r "A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P"
Rev: Tripod with dolphiin above and raven beneath "XV VIR SACR FAC"
. Metal: Silver 3.29 grams, 17 mm diameter. Condition: nice F

<Roman Forum Ruins>
History of Vitellius

Vitellius became emperor more due to being in the right place at the right time rather than due to any merit. The German legions were angry at not getting a bonus when Galba became emperor. When Vitellius was appointed commander, he had no military experience and thus was not considered a threat, none-the-less he became part of a plan to overthrow Galba. His German Legions declared him emperor and were quickly joined by the legions of Gaul, Britain and Raetia. Vitellius remained in Gaul, while the legions under the generals "Valens' and "Caecina" marched on Italy and overthrew the new emperor Otho at the battle of Cremona and captured Rome.

When Vitellius arrived in Rome, he forgave most of his opponents, however to reward the German legions he disbanded the praetorian guard and gave these positions to his own men. Vitellius did not have much time to enjoy his new position, as news came from the east that Vespasian had been declared a rival emperor. The commander of the Danube legions "Fuscus" declared for Vespasian and led his five legions towards Italy. Vitelius' forces, which were at least twice the size, met "Fuscus" at the second battle of Cremona where Vitelius' army was defeated.

Vitelius tried to abdicated to save his life and the lives of his family, but his supporters would not accept the abdication and he was forced to defend Rome. Vespasian's forces fought there way into Rome. Vitellius disquised himself in dirty cloths and hid in a door-keepers lodge. He was caught, dragged half naked to the Forum, tortured and thrown into the Tiber