Rare Roman Orichalcum Sestertius of Vitellius (A.D. 69) CC Flickr User Ancient Art
This is a possible date (in A.D. 15) for the birth of the 8-month Roman Emperor Vitellius. Aulus Vitellius was a member of the Arval brotherhood (a priesthood that honored a corn goddess each May), consul in 48, and proconsul in Africa. Vitellius became Governor of Lower Germany in late 68.
Following the collapse of the first imperial dynasty in Rome, the Julio-Claudians, Galba became emperor. Galba appointed Vitellius to the German post. That first year after Nero was a difficult time for those who would become ruler. It wasn't at all clear by what right one man had precedence over another. Conspiracy, usurpation, and assassination followed. Otho replaced Galba before Vitellius could reach Rome. Proclaimed emperor by his troops in early 69, Vitellius defeated and replaced Otho as emperor, in April, but in his turn, Vitellius' own troops murdered him on December 20, 69. He was tortured, thrown on the Scalae Gemoniae (a flight of stairs on which the corpses of disgraced criminals like Sejanus were tossed to decay), killed, and dragged by a hook into the Tiber. Vespasian succeeded to the throne, marking the start of the second imperial dynasty, the Flavians.
The Ludi Romani continued on this day in ancient Roman history.
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