However, the honeymoon was soon over for Vitellius who was neither the darling of the army nor especially influential elsewhere. True to his hedonistic background, he decided to throw massive parties throughout Rome while his enemies assembled armies to depose him. When he finally realized he was in real danger, too late, he met with a contact from the approaching army of Vespasian and made an agreement to abdicate in return for peaceful retirement. He then announced his decision to the Senate creating a scandal. Feeling that this cowardice was wholly unbecoming of an emperor a mob of angry citizens and soldiers broke through to his quarters where he was hiding and ripped him to shreds.
Of all things, the biographers of Vitellius note that his chief vice was none other than gorging himself with food. It was said he couldn't even bear to make a sacrifice of food at the altar without stealing a couple bites first!