Vitellius is among the most recognisable Roman emperors and was therefore a popular subject for portrait busts from the 16th century onwards. Few, however, are as beautifully carved as the present arresting marble portrait. Vitellius was born on 24 September of the year 15 BCE and came from humble origins. Despite that, it seems that he asserted himself in politics early on in life, becoming Consul at only 33 years of age. By the year 61 BCE, Vitellius was Proconsul of Africa and it was in this capacity that his ability to lead people became apparent to Emperor Galba. Vitellius was picked to command the army of Germania Inferior and quickly became known for his generosity and good-naturedness by feting his soldiers incessantly. His troops grew so fond of him that a coup was organised to oust the Emperor Otho and put Vitellius in his place; in 69 BCE he was proclaimed Emperor by the majority of the Roman forces abroad and marched for Rome. Once installed in office, he gave his raucous soldiers feasts, games and free reign in the city. Vitellius' bacchanal would not last long however. The general in charge of the Roman Legion in the eastern provinces, Vespasian, got wind of the excesses of the Emperor's administration and toppled the good natured Vitellius only months after his accession.