Vitellius served for eight months as the third emperor of the “Year of the Four Emperors.” His rise from politician and army commander to Emperor was swift, given the rash and unstable state of Rome in civil war. Known as an extravagant glutton, under his rule Rome became the bizarre scene of excessive violence in the streets and lavish feasts. While in the act of submitting his resignation as Emperor, he was murdered by Vespasian’s troops and his head was paraded around Rome. His last words were, “Yet I was once your Emperor.”

Vitellius managed to produce a sizable coinage in a short period. Additionally, he resumed the striking of bronzes. Though available, his coins are difficult to find in high grade.