Tuesday, 25 October 2022


Elagabalus was a close relative to the Severan dynasty. He came from a prominent Arab family in Emesa (Homs), Syria. In his early youth he served as head priest of the sun god Elagabal. After the death of his cousin, the emperor Caracalla, Elagabalus was raised to the principate at age 14 in an army revolt instigated by his grandmother Julia Maesa against Caracalla's short-lived successor, Macrinus. Opposed, he was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander in March 222.
Elagabalus developed a reputation for extreme eccentricity, moral decadence, zealotry and sexual proclivity.
The assassination was again devised by Julia Maesa and carried out by the Praetorian Guard. Elagabalus 218-222 CE gold aureus. The obverse features a laureate bust of the Roman emperor Elagabalus facing left. On the reverse is a stunning scene with a quadriga moving left to right bearing the stone of Emesa with an eagle cresting the stone. The legend reads “SANCT DEO SOLI ELAGABAL” ('To the Holy Sun God El-Gabel'). This example is one of two of this type known to exist.
Ancients regarded stones that fell from the sky as manifestations of the divine. The Syrian town of Emesa (now Homs) had a temple enshrining a conical black stone that was likely a meteorite. Elagabalus' first official act was to transfer the sacred rock to Rome’s main temple, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. Elagabalus disregarded Roman religious traditions and sexual taboos. He replaced the head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with the deity Elagabal. His behavior outraged the Praetorian Guard, the Senate, and the common people.
See ----->Worst Roman Emperors