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Denarius of Vitellius

This coin is number five from the group of Roman denarii sent in by Robin Dones. This one was struck near the end of the Civil Wars, when different men fought each other for the right to be emperor.

The coin was struck for Vitellius, whose troops proclaimed him emperor in January of AD 69 after the defeat of an army loyal to Otho. However, on1 July the Danubian legions declared for Vespasian. Vitellius managed to hold on until December but was then murdered and his body unceremoniously thrown into the Tiber.

On the obverse of this denarius the laureate head of Vitellius is accompanied by a legend reading A VITELLIVS GERM IMP AVG TR P.  On the reverse tripod-lebes has a dolphin above and a raven below and the legend on this side reads XV VIR SACR FAC. This type was struck at Rome from July to December of AD 69 and is listed in volume I of David Sear’s Roman Coins and Their Values as number 2201.     


The coin is slightly short of flan but it is otherwise in Fine condition. It’s quite rare, so in its present condition I’d set the minimum price at £120.

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