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The Year of Four Emperors


69 ad

Nero was succeeded by Galba, whose dedication to reform quickly made him unpopular. Although Clodius Macer's revolt  in Africa was suppressed, the German legions  then proclaimed Vitellius emperor. Galba was  assassinated in a coup led by Otho, who did not last long as Emperor, taking his own life after his forces were defeated by Vitellius, who in turn fell to Vespasian after losing the battle of Bedriacum.

Galba.jpg (4035 bytes)
Servius Sulpicius Galba
Emperor 68-69

Galba [b. 3 b.c.] had a distinguished record as a general and governor when he was proclaimed Emperor during the revolts preceding the death of Nero. His reforms made him unpopular with the army and on January 15th, 69 he was assassinated by a conspiracy led by Otho.

Clodius Macer

Otho.jpg (3688 bytes)
M. Salvius Otho
Emperor 69

Otho [b. 32] was a friend of Nero and governor of Lusitania at the time of Galba's revolt, which he joined. He was disappointed at not being named Galba's successor and conspired to overthrow him. Defeated by the forces of Vitellius, he commited suicide April 17, 69 after reigning only 3 months.

Vitellius.jpg (4421 bytes)
Aulus Vitellius
Emperor 69

Vitellius [b. 14] commanded the German legions, which acclaimed him January 2, 69. His generals invaded Italyand defeated Otho. His reign focused more on banquets than good government, and when Vespasian's forces invaded Italy, Vitellius was defeated. He wished to abdicate, but was forced to keep the throne and perished when the Flavians took Rome December 20, 69.
Relatives depicted on coins

Lucius Vitellius - father;
Vitellius' children


R0743 2780 Otho: AR Denarius
Obv. IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P Bare. hd. r.
3.33 g
Sear 743; RIC 6legend incomplete, oth. aEF

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