- Aulus Vitellius was born September AD 12 or 15, the son of a consul.
- He was an ardent flatterer of three emperors in turn: Caligula, Claudius and Nero. He was made consul in 48 and governor of Africa in 55-57.
- In March 68 AD Julius Vindex, governor of Gallia Lugdunensis, revolted against Nero. He was supported by Galba.
- In May 68 AD the armies of the Rhine defeated Vindex at Besancon. They tried to proclaim their own commander, Verginius Rufus, emperor, but he refused.
- Galba was declared emperor by the senate on 8th June 68 AD.
- On 9th June 68 AD Nero committed suicide.
- In January 69 AD, the armies of Upper and Lower Germany declared Aulus Vitellius their new emperor.
- 15th January 69 AD, Galba was killed. Otho was declared emperor.
- Otho took his armies to northern Italy to meet those of Vitellius.
- Vitellius defeated them at the Battle of Cremona on 14th April 69 AD, although Vitellius stayed in Gaul.
- Otho committed suicide on 16th April 69 AD.
- Vitellius entered Rome as emperor.
- In July 69 AD, the army in the east declared for Titus Flavius Vespasianus, a distinguished general.
- Antonius Primus, commander of the Sixth Legion in Pannonia, and Cornelius Fuscus, imperial procurator in Illyricum, declared in favour of Vespasian and moved the Danube legions to Italy.
- On 24th October, Vitellius's armies were defeated at the second Battle of Cremona.
- On 20th December 69 AD, Vespasian's army reached Rome.
- Vitellius tried to flee but was caught, killed and thrown into the Tiber.