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Portrait of Vitellius on a Silver Denarius
Portrait of Vitellius on a Silver Denarius
Tripod with Raven & Dolphin on Reverse of Vitellius Denarius
Tripod with Raven & Dolphin
AD 69
Vitellius was a longtime friend of many emperors including Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero, although so unpopular as emperor that he lasted only 8 months.
This was apparently because of his personal gluttony, we reckon he liked his vittals too much.

The coin shown is a silver Denarius whose reverse features a bowl (lebes) on a tripod stand, with a raven below it and a dolphin above.
These were symbols associated with Apollo, the tripos symbolising the oracles of the pythoness according to Seth Stevenson. The legend reads:- XVIVIR SACR FAC, although we have seen this interpreted as XVI VIR SACR FAC. This is an abbrevation of Quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis (or Faciendis), meaning "one of fifteen appointed to superintend sacred things".
In ancient Rome, the Quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis had responsibility for interpreting the Sibylline Books at the request of the Senate in times of trouble. This office was of great importance to the continuance of the state. the original number of prietly officials was two, later increased to ten, then untimately to fifteen.

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