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Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs), also known as Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.

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  • Elagabalus
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  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs), also known as Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs), also known as Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second daughter of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In her early youth she served the god Elagabalus as a priestest in Emesa, the hometown of her mother's family. As a private citizen, she was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor she took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. She was called Elagabalus only after her death.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs), also known as Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, she was Syrian, the daughter of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In her early youth sserved the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of her mother's family. As a private citizen, she was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor she was named Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. She was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth She served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, she was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor she took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. She was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, they was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth they served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, they was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor they took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. they was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and also came from a prominent family in Syria who were hereditary priests of the Sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the purple at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa, Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake Sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the purple at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), formally known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa, Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake Sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the purple at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), formally known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (modern day Homs), Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Ela
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), formally known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (modern day Homs), Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only aft
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), formally known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (modern day Homs), Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), officially known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (modern day Homs), Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after hi
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), officially known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He was cousin to the emperor Caracalla, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (Homs), Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake sun god Elagabalus. After the death of Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's short-lived successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, and became known after his native god only after his death.
rdfs:label
  • Elagabalus
has abstract
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs), also known as Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs), also known as Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second daughter of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In her early youth she served the god Elagabalus as a priestest in Emesa, the hometown of her mother's family. As a private citizen, she was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor she took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. She was called Elagabalus only after her death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest granddaughter (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs), also known as Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 204 – 11 March 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, she was Syrian, the daughter of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In her early youth sserved the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of her mother's family. As a private citizen, she was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor she was named Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. She was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her granddaughter (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. She replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. She forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which she personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been her lovers. She was also reported to have prostituted herself in the imperial palace. Her behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by her cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by her grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among her contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age she suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned herself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of her "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but she was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth She served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, the hometown of his mother's family. As a private citizen, she was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor she took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. She was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. She replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom she had been high priest. She forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which she personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. She was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. Her behaviour estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age she suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but she was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behaviour estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age she suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but she was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus ( EL-ə-GAB-ə-ləs) or Heliogabalus ( HEE-lee-ə-, -⁠lee-oh-; c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, they was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth they served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, they was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor they took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus. they was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. they replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom they had been high priest. they forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which they personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. they was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age they suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but they was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly "married" as many as five times, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus was supposedly married four women, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial palace. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served the god Elagabalus as a priest in Emesa, Syria, the hometown of his mother's family, the Arab priest-king Emesan dynasty. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. In 217, the emperor Caracalla was assassinated and replaced by his Praetorian prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus. Caracalla's maternal aunt, Julia Maesa, successfully instigated a revolt among the Third Legion to have her eldest grandson (and Caracalla's cousin), Elagabalus, declared emperor in his place. Macrinus was defeated on 8 June 218 at the Battle of Antioch. Elagabalus, barely 14 years old, became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sex scandals and religious controversy. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus married four women, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and also came from a prominent family in Syria who were hereditary priests of the Sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the purple at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus married four women, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander on 11 March 222, who ruled for 13 years before his own assassination, which marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and also came from a prominent family in Syria who were hereditary priests of the Sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the purple at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus married four women, including a Vestal Virgin, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander in March 222. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222) was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa, Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake Sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the purple at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus married four women, including a Vestal Virgin, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander in March 222. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), formally known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa, Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake Sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the purple at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus married four women, including a Vestal Virgin, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander in March 222. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), formally known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (modern day Homs), Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus married four women, including a Vestal Virgin, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander in March 222. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), formally known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (modern day Homs), Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus married four women, including a Vestal Virgin, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander in March 222. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Despite universal condemnation, some scholars do write warmly about him, including 6th century Greek chronicler John Malalas, and Warwick Ball, a modern historian who described him as innovative and "a tragic enigma lost behind centuries of prejudice". Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
  • Elagabalus or Heliogabalus (c. 204 – 11 March 222), formally known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. His short reign was conspicuous for sex scandals and religious controversy. He belonged to the imperial Severan dynasty, and came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (modern day Homs), Syria, where in his early youth he served as head priest of the namesake sun god Elagabalus. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at barely 14 years of age in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, against Caracalla's brief successor, Macrinus. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. Upon becoming emperor he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death. Later historians suggest Elagabalus showed a disregard for Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabalus, of whom he had been high priest. He forced leading members of Rome's government to participate in religious rites celebrating this deity, over which he personally presided. Elagabalus married four women, including a Vestal Virgin, and lavished favours on male courtiers popularly thought to have been his lovers. He was also reported to have prostituted himself. His behavior estranged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people alike. Amidst growing opposition, Elagabalus, just 18 years old, was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander in March 222. The assassination plot against Elagabalus was devised by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by disaffected members of the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus developed a reputation among his contemporaries for extreme eccentricity, decadence, and zealotry. This tradition has persisted, and with writers of the early modern age he suffers one of the worst reputations among Roman emperors. Edward Gibbon, for example, wrote that Elagabalus "abandoned himself to the grossest pleasures with ungoverned fury". According to Barthold Georg Niebuhr, "The name Elagabalus is branded in history above all others" because of his "unspeakably disgusting life". An example of a modern historian's assessment would be Adrian Goldsworthy's: "Elagabalus was not a tyrant, but he was an incompetent, probably the least able emperor Rome had ever had." Despite universal condemnation, some scholars do write warmly about him, including 6th century Roman chronicler John Malalas, and Warwick Ball, a modern historian who described him as innovative and "a tragic enigma lost behind centuries of prejudice". Elagabalus is considered by some to be an early transgender figure and one of the first on record as seeking sex reassignment surgery.
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