Vitellius, Aulus

Vitellius, Aulus a Roman emperor, son of Lucius Vitellius, the censor, was born A.D. 15. Like his father, he was a master of the arts of servile cringing and flattery. Through the favor of Tiberius, Caius Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, he was advanced to high-station, and on the death of Otho was proclaimed emperor in Germany at the time Vespasian was engaged in war with the Jews early in 69. He was a glutton and voluptuary, and without either civil or military talent. About the time he arrived in Rome, Vespasian was proclaimed at Alexandria, and, on the latter arriving in Italy at the head of his hostile army, Vitellius was put to death, Dec. 22, 69 (Joseph's, War, 4:10; Tacit. Hist. 2, 3; Sueton, Vitellius). See Tillemont, Histoire des Empereurs, vol. 1; Smith, Dict. of Class. Biog. s.v.

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