January 18, 2010

Heliogabalus, also Elagabalus (AD 204-22), Roman Emperor, 218-22, born at Emesa. His original name was Varius Avitus Bassianus, but he received the name Heliogabalus from the Syro-Phoenician sun-god whose priest he became while still a child. Owing to the intrigues of his grandmother, Julia Maesa, he was proclaimed emperor in 218 and established in that position by the assassination of Macrinus. Heliogabalus appears to have been mad, and devoted his reign almost solely to the promulgation of his own worship.

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