Aulus  Vitellius   [15-69 CE; murdered]

Roman general who briefly became emperor of Rome in the political chaos that followed the suicide of Nero. Aulus Vitellius' father, Lucius, was a powerful Roman senator who was a close colleague of Claudius. The younger Vitellius succeeded his father of consul of Rome (48 CE). Nero made him governor of Africa (61 CE) & then commander of the Roman legions in southern Germany (68 CE). His troops proclaimed him emperor in January 69.  By July he was master of Rome. Yet, only a few months later he suffered a major defeat by the eastern legions commanded by Vespasian. Although the Praetorian guard prevented him from abdicating, he was brutally murdered by his own forces when Vespasian's troops entered Rome (Dec 20), less than a year after they had catapulted him to power.

References: Josephus, War 1.546-549, 586-598, 632-655.
                  Tacitus, Histories 1.9, 50-53, 58-64, 67-70, 74-77, 84-87, 90. 
                                                2.1, 6, 14-16, 21, 25-27, 31-32, 38, 42-48, 53-77, 85-101.
                                                3.1-15, 21-22, 29-32, 38-39, 54-70, 73-75, 78-80, 84-86.
                  Suetonius Twelve Caesars: Vitellius 1-18; Otho 8-9.
                  Cassius Dio, Roman History 64.13, 15, 19; 65.1-22.

Other resources on line:

Silver denarius minted at Rome in 69 CE with laureate image of Vitellius on face with inscription (clockwise from bottom) Vitellius Germ[anicus] Imp[erator] Aug[ustus] Tr[ibunis] P[otentiae]: "Vitellius of Germany, August Emperor, with the power of tribune." The domestic image of a seated of a seated woman with the inscription Concordia P[ax] R[omana] is ironic nostalgia, given the chaotic conflicts of his brief imperial tenure.

For high resolution images of this and other coins of Vitellius, see Browsing Roman Imperial Coins of Vitellius in David Surber's comprehensive ancient coins website: Wildwinds.

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