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Lot 51 - Numismatic Auction 17

Vitellius (69) Vitellius ...
Vitellius (69) Vitellius ...
30.000,00 CHF
Starting price:
25.000,00 CHF

Vitellius (69) Vitellius Germanicus et Vitellia
Denier - Rome (69)
D’une qualité exceptionnelle pour ce type.
Probablement le plus bel exemplaire connu.
Exemplaire illustrant D. Bocciarelli, “L’expression de la légitimité du pouvoir de Vitellius d’après la typologie monétaire”, Revue numismatique 2018, forthcoming, fig. 14 Exemplaire acheté chez Münzhandlung Basel (1934-1941) et de la vente UBS 78 du 9 septembre 2008, N°1551 et de la vente Sincona 1 du 29 juin 2011, N°81
3.57g - C. 4
Superbe - AU *
The coinage of Vitellius shows an unusual focus on dynastic emissions: he struck coins honouring these two children (in Rome, in Lyon, and in Spain), as well as others in memory of his late father. Aulus Vitellius Germanicus Iunior (whose name remains uncertain) and Vitellia were children of his second marriage, to Galeria Fundana, and he had left them in Rome in late AD 68 when he became governor of Germania Inferior. He only met his children again after becoming the new emperor, in Lyon in April 69, and on this coin, his son is obviously presented as his heir, and his daughter’s effigy is used to embody a new political stability: indeed, the c. 6 years-old-boy received the agnomen Germanicus and the title of imperator when in Lyon (Cassius Dio LXV.2a) and his daughter was betrothed His son is obviously presented as his heir, and his daughter’s effigy is used to embody this new political stability, having been betrothed to the governor of Gallia Belgica during the same time in Lyon – flattering both the western legions and the senatorial class in Rome. With this emission, Vitellius wanted to show to his soldiers that – after the recent violent regime changes (AD 69 was “The Year of the Four Emperors”) – he had now established a new stable dynasty that would replace the Julio-Claudians. This wasn’t to be, as Vespasian was proclaimed rival emperor in Alexandria on 1 July, and defeated him in Bedriacum (now Calvatone – near Cremona) on 24 October – Vitellius was then captured and killed in De- cember. Vespasian had dynastic ambitions too, for his Flavian dynasty (which did last for 37 years), so both the brother and the young son of Vitellius were also executed.


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