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Headword: *bite/llios
Adler number: beta,309
Translated headword: Vitellius, Bitellios
Vetting Status: high
Emperor of the Romans, who succeeded Galba,[1] he admitted every shame both among other things in his way of life and not least of all in being immoderate and insatiable in respect of his stomach. For often he took food not only during the day, but also at night and in preparations for feasts he wasted a lot of the public funds. For he was observed to have spent one million, two thousand five hundred pieces of silver on feasts, gorging himself continuously and insatiably, continuously disgorging himself and vomiting everything up. In which way alone he continued, since his eating companions were also utterly awful. Vibius Crispus[2] for some time had been absent from the symposium on account of an illness and said rather glibly: "If I had not been sick, I would have died." For this and for the feast at his brother's house, it is remembered that this distinction of Vitellius arose: according to what they say, apart from the remaining extravagence, two thousand fish and seven thousand birds were brought out for the feast. He praised both the [deeds] of Nero and revered the corpse of Nero which had been placed into a certain hollow and secret tomb. He was killed at the hands of the generals of Vespasian,[3] when the reign had already been changed over.
Greek Original:
*bite/llios, basileu\s *(rwmai/wn, o( *ga/lban diadeca/menos, pa=n ai)=sxos a)nadedegme/nos e)/n te toi=s a)/llois toi=s kata\ to\n bi/on kai\ ou)x h(/kista tw=| kata\ gastro\s a)kratw=s te kai\ a)kore/stws e)/xein. polla/kis ga\r ou) mo/non th=s h(me/ras, a)lla\ kai\ th=s nukto\s si=ton h(|rei=to kai\ para\ ta\s dei/pnwn paraskeua\s to\ polu\ tw=n dhmosi/wn a)petru/eto. de/ka ga\r dh\ muria/das a)rguri/ou e)pi\ disxili/ais kai\ f# e)s ta\ dei=pna dedapanhke/nai i(sto/rhtai, sunexw=s me\n kai\ a)plh/stws e)mforou/menos, sunexw=s de\ a(/panta a)pereugo/meno/s te kai\ e)cemw=n. w(=| dh\ kai\ mo/nw| diege/neto, e)pei\ oi(/ ge su/ssitoi au)tou= kai\ pa/nu kakw=s ei)=xon. *be/bios gou=n *kri/spos dia\ no/son xro/nou tino\s a)poleifqei\s tou= sumposi/ou ma/la stwmu/lws e)/fh: ei) mh\ e)nenosh/kein, a)polo/mhn a)/n. e)s to/de gou=n kai\ to\ para\ tw=| a)delfw=| dei=pnon tou= *bitelli/ou e)pi/shmon gegono\s diamnhmoneu/etai: kaq' o(/ fasi di/xa th=s loiph=s polutelei/as disxili/ous me\n i)xqu=s, e(ptakisxili/ous de\ o)/rnis e)pi\ th\n qoi/nhn parenexqh=nai. e)ph/|nei de\ kai\ ta\ *ne/rwnos kai\ to\n nekro\n tou= *ne/rwnos e)s koi=lo/n tina kai\ a)fanh= ta/fon katakei/menon a)pese/mnune. pro\s de\ tw=n strathgw=n *ou)espasianou=, metapoioume/nou th=s basilei/as h)/dh, kataktei/netai.
On Vitellius see generally Brian Campbell in OCD(4) s.v.; De Imperatoribus Romanis entry (John Donahue) at web address 1. Some of the material in the present entry follows Eutropius, Breviarium 7.18; cf. also e.g. Cassius Dio 65.2-3.
[1] More exactly, Vitellius succeeded the brief reign of Otho (omicron 82) at the beginning of July, 69 CE (the infamous "Year of the Four Emperors").
[2] beta 220.
[3] For Vespasian, see beta 246 & omicron 833.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; chronology; economics; ethics; food; historiography; history; medicine; military affairs; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 17 April 2002@21:02:42.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links) on 18 April 2002@11:16:07.
David Whitehead (added x-ref) on 2 October 2002@09:54:39.
David Whitehead (another x-ref; tweak) on 24 May 2012@09:25:51.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 29 May 2012@03:36:50.
David Whitehead on 29 May 2012@03:42:16.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 August 2014@05:39:42.
Catharine Roth (tweaked notes) on 28 November 2014@12:07:00.
David Whitehead (expanded primary note; more keywords) on 26 August 2015@04:38:51.


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