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Aulus Vitellius


One of the emperors during the year of the four emperors. (More info on Vitellius beneath his image.)


© Trustees of the British Museum, produced by Natalia Bauer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme
Vitellius was born in September A.D. 15. and spent his youth at Capri. He was on friendly terms with the last three Julio-Claudians and advanced to proconsul of North Africa. He was also a member of two priesthoods, including the Arval brotherhood. Galba appointed him governor of Lower Germany in 68. Vitellus' troops proclaimed him emperor the next year instead of swearing their allegiance to Galba. In April, the soldiers in Rome and the Senate swore their allegiance to Vitellius. Vitellius made himself consul for life and pontifex maximus. By July, the soldiers of Egypt were supporting Vespasian. Otho's troops and others supported the Flavians, who marched into Rome. Vitellius met his end by being tortured on the Scalae Gemoniae, killed and dragged by a hook into the Tiber.
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