about the life of Elagabalus
Short Biography profile and facts about one of the most famous Romans of all, in the life of
Elagabalus, Emperor of Rome and provinces of the Roman Empire.
about the life of Elagabalus
Obtain a fast overview of the times of the Roman Emperor
Elagabalus from the following facts and information about his life.
another monster, ascended the throne to the Roman Empire at
the age of 15years old. Elagabalus was born in Emesa, a
western city in Syria. His maternal grandmother was Julia
Maesa, the younger sister of Julia Domna, widow of the
Emperor Septimius Severus and mother of Geta and Caracalla.
Elagabalus was therefore a prominent member of the Severan
dynasty. Elagabalus brought with him many low-born Syrians
who were granted positions in high office. The sun was
worshiped at Emesa and during his early youth Elagabalus
served as a priest of the god El-Gabal (Baal) referred to as
Elagabalus by the Romans and from where the emperor took his
name. Once proclaimed emperor Elagabalus at once plunged
into every vice. Elagabalus introduced the lascivious rites
of the Syrian god into the capital of the world. A
magnificent temple of the god El-Gabal was raised on the
Palatine Mount and the grave and dignified nobles of Rome
were forced to take part in the ceremonies clothed in long
Phoenician tunics. Elagabalus also decreed that the god El-Gabal
should be worshipped as the only god by the Romans.
The Sexual Excesses of Elagabalus
Elagabalus was said to have sunk to the very
extreme of depravity. He was married as many as four times
and is reported to have prostituted himself in the imperial
palace. In 220 AD Elagabalus also divorced his first wife
enraged Roman society by marrying one of the Vestal Virgins,
Julia Aquilia Severa only to divorce her a year later. The
marriages were sham as it appears that Elagabalus was
homosexual. He had the hairs plucked from his body in order
to appear more female and appeared in public wearing make-up
and women's clothing. His most stable relationship appears
to have been with his chariot driver, a blond slave from
Caria named Hierocles, whom he referred to as his husband.
Hierocles was the blond charioteer who Elagabalus
referred to as his husband. Hierocles was a slave who came
from Caria, a Roman province in modern day Turkey.
Elagabalus first met Hierocles after the slave had
participated in a chariot race. Driving a racing chariot
required unusual strength, skill and courage. Hierocles fell
in front of the emperor's box and with his long, blond hair
tumbling out out his helmet had attracted the eye of the
emperor who ordered that he should be taken to his palace.
Elagabalus instigated a relationship with Hierocles who he
considered to be his husband. Elagabalus is credited with
am delighted to be called the mistress, the wife, the Queen
Hierocles was even
expected to beat the emperor when displeased, as any man
might beat his wife. Elagabalus even tried (but failed) to
have Hierocles declared Caesar, which would have made him
the emperor's successor. Hierocles was murdered when
Elagabalus fell from power in 222.
The Death of Elagabalus
His sexual excesses together with enforced
changes in the Roman religion led to his downfall.
Elagabalus was beheaded by the Praetorians on March 10, A.D.
222. The body of Elagabalus was dragged through the
streets of Rome and thrown into the Tiber. Elagabalus was
eighteen years old. His cousin Alexander Severus who had
shown himself to be amiable, virtuous, and learned was
proclaimed as the next emperor.
Severan Dynasty (193 - 235)
Septimius Severus began the
Severan Dynasty which included Caracalla, Geta, Macrinus,
Diadumenian (son of Macrinus), Elagabalus and Alexander
Severus. The Severan Dynasty marked the end of Pax Romana
(Roman peace) and ended the practice of choosing heirs based on ability rather than lineage or civil war.