Numismatica Ars Classica > Auction 135Auction date: 21 November 2022
Lot number: 277

Price realized: 100,000 CHF   (Approx. 105,108 USD / 101,450 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:


The Roman Empire. Vitellius, April –December 69.
Aureus late April 69-December 69, AV 7.32 g. A VITELLIVS GERMAN IMP TR P Laureate head r. Rev. XV VIR – SACR FAC Tripod with dolphin set r. on top and raven standing r. below. C 110. BMC –. RIC 85. CBN –. Calicó 585.
Very rare and in unusually fine condition for the issue. A strong portrait of fine style
well struck on a very large flan and a light reddish tone. An almost invisible
metal flaw on neck, otherwise good extremely fine / extremely fine

Ex Rauch 75, 2005, 352 and NAC 46, 2008, 525 sales.
Had the strange and unpredictable tides of civil war not intervened in the life of Aulus Vitellius, he probably would have remained unknown to history, except, perhaps, for the chance discovery of his tombstone. Instead, Galba appointed him governor of Lower Germany late in 68 with the intent of removing him from the capital, and once there Vitellius was swept into power at the head of an insubordinate army intent on marching to Rome to collect their unpaid bonus. As the uprising gained momentum the emperor whom the legions intended to threaten, Galba, was overthrown by his subordinate Otho, who was doomed to a very brief reign. Already en route, the German legions decided to continue, and after they had triumphed in a bloody contest with Otho's army in Northern Italy the senate hailed their candidate Augustus. Vitellius was still in Gaul with the remainder of his troops when he learned of the victory and the actions of the senate, and he celebrated upon reaching the provincial capital of Lugdunum. He then continued on to Italy and joined the advance legions, leading his 60,000 men on a leisurely march toward Rome that occupied more than a month. Upon arriving he remained in office for eight chaotic months until armies loyal to a new contender, Vespasian, marched on Rome and caused his overthrow.
Graded AU Strike 5/5 Surface 3/5 Fine Style, NGC certification number 6556714-005

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Estimate: 80000 CHF