Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Roman Collection
Catalog Number 2015.7.31
Object Name Coin
Description Roman Imperial coin, silver, AR denarius. Struck during the reign of emperor Vitellius (Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Augustus in Rome, 69 C.E. The laureate head of Vitellius faces right in profile, on obverse with the inscriptions "A VITELLIUS GERMAN IMP AVG TR P" surrounding image. On obverse, the standing figure of Libertas, the goddess and personification of liberty, faces right holding a pileus in her left hand and a sceptre in her right with the inscriptions "LIBERTAS RESTITVTA" on left and right of image. Obverse and reverse images and inscriptions difficult to decipher due to fading.
Date: 69 C.E.

Remarks: Third of the emperors who ruled in 69 C.E., Year of the Four Emperors. Born in 14 C.E., he was given the command of the Legions in Lower Germany by Galba and was proclaimed emperor by his troops on January 2nd, 69 C.E. He was, however, an ineffective leader of government and after Vespasian was proclaimed emperor at Alexandria on July 1st, the Danubian legions declared for him and invaded Italy. The troops dispatched against him were defeated, and Vitellius was later seized in his palace and murdered. His body was dragged through the streets of Rome and thrown into the Tiber. Vitellius' coins were minted in Rome, Tarraco, and Lugdunum.

References: David Sear, "Roman Coins and Their Values" , London 2000 (Vol I), #2198, pg 422; Harold Mattingly, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, I, p. 372 (#310), Pl. 61, no. 8.
Title Vitellius
Date 69 CE
Material Silver
Dimensions Dia-0.625 inches
Credit line Gift of Arthur G. and Roswitha Haas
Place of Origin Europe/Italy/Rome
Subjects Roman Empire
Ancient Rome