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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ The Twelve Caesars ▸ VitelliusView Options:  |  |  | 

Vitellius, 2 January - 20 December 69 A.D.

Aulus Vitellius was declared emperor by his troops in 69 A.D. After defeating the forces of Otho, he took control of Rome but then spent more time at the banquet table then in governance. General Vespasian was then declared emperor in Alexandria, and the legions stationed along the Danube frontier marched against Vitellius. His forces were defeated, the emperor slain and his body dragged through the streets of Rome and dumped in the Tiber.


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"This refers to Vitellius' membership in the priestly college of the quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis, 'fifteen men for the conduct of sacred matters.' This body had care of the Sibylline prophecies and were famous for the opulence of their banquets, a feature of the priesthood which particularly appealed to the gluttonous emperor." -- David R. Sear, Roman Coins and Their Values
RS86187. Silver denarius, RIC I 109, RSC II 111, BMCRE I 39, BnF III 77, Hunter I 18, SRCV I 2201, F, tight flan cutting off parts of legends, weight 2.914 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse XV VIR SACR FAC (fifteen men for the conduct of sacred matters), tripod-lebes dolphin laying right on top, raven standing right below; scarce; $200.00 SALE PRICE $230.00 ON RESERVE


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Libertas (Latin for Liberty) was the Roman goddess and embodiment of liberty. The pileus liberatis was a soft felt cap worn by liberated slaves of Troy and Asia Minor. In late Republican Rome, the pileus was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, granting them not only their personal liberty, but also freedom as citizens with the right to vote (if male). Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., Brutus and his co-conspirators used the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to a Republican system of government. The pileus was adopted as a popular symbol of freedom during the French Revolution and was also depicted on some early U.S. coins.
RS85542. Silver denarius, RIC I 105 (R), RSC II 47, BMCRE I 31, BnF III 67, Hunter I 11, SRCV I 2197 var. (obv. leg), F, rose toning, marks and scratches, tight flan, weight 2.716 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, Jul - 20 Dec 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse LIBERTAS RESTITVTA (liberty restored), Libertas standing facing, head right, pileus in extended right, long rod vertical in left; from the Lucas Harsh collection, ex CNG e-auction 266 (19 Oct 2011), lot 353; ex Deyo Collection; rare; $180.00 SALE PRICE $207.00 ON RESERVE


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Struck in 69 A.D., the Year of the Four Emperors. After Nero's death, four emperors, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian, ruled in a remarkable succession. Vitellius was made emperor by his troops and after defeating Otho. Vespasian was made emperor by his troops and the Danube legions. Vespasian prevailed. Vitellius was slain. His body was dragged through the streets and dumped in the Tiber.
RS86185. Silver denarius, RIC I 90 (S), RSC II 18, BMCRE I 20, BnF III 52, Hunter I 8, SRCV I 2196 var. (obv. leg.), F, tight flan, reverse slightly off center, scratches, scrapes, small edge cuts, some porosity, weight 3.156 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 69 A.D.; obverse A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P, laureate head right; reverse CONCORDIA P R (harmony with the people of Rome), Concordia seated left, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; scarce; $180.00 (€153.00) ON RESERVE







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OBVERSE LEGENDS

AVITELLIVSGERMAIMPAVGPMTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMANICVSIMP
AVITELLIVSGERMANIMPAVGPMTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMANIMPTRP
AVITELLIVSGERMIMPAVGTRP
AVITELLIVSGERIMPAVGPMAXTRP
AVITELLIVSIMPGERMAN
AVITELLIVSIMPGERMANICVS


REFERENCES

American Numismatic Society (ANS) Collections Database Online - http://numismatics.org/search/search
Banti, A. & L. Simonetti. Corpus Nummorum Romanorum. (Florence, 1972-1979).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry & P.P. Ripollès. Roman Provincial Coinage I: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44 BC-AD 69). (London, 1992 and supplement).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. One: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Calicó, E.X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. I: From the Republic to Pertinax, 196 BC - 193 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cayón, J. Los Sestercios del Imperio Romano, Vol. I: De Pompeyo Magno a Matidia (Del 81 a.C. al 117 d.C.). (Madrid, 1984).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 1: Pompey to Domitian. (Paris, 1880).
Giard, J-B. Monnaies de l'Empire romain, III Du soulèvement de 68 après J.-C. a Nerva. Catalogue Bibliothèque nationale de France. (Paris, 1998).
Mattingly, H. & R.A.G. Carson. Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, Vol 1: Augustus to Vitellius. (London, 1923).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. I. Augustus to Nerva. (Oxford, 1962).
Seaby, H.A. & R. Loosley. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. II: Tiberius to Commodus. (London, 1979).
Sear, D.R. Roman Coins and Their Values, The Millennium Edition, Volume One, The Republic and the Twelve Caesars 280 BC - AD 86. (London, 2000).
Sutherland, C.H.V. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol. I, From 39 BC to AD 69. (London, 1984).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).

Catalog current as of Friday, November 24, 2017.
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Roman Coins of Vitellius