Heliogabalus


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Heliogabalus

(hē'lēōgăb`ələs) or

Elagabalus

(ĕləgăb`ələs), c.205–222, Roman emperor (218–22). He was a priest of the local sun god, Elagabalus, at Emesa and was named Varius Avitus Bassianus. He was a cousin of CaracallaCaracalla
, 188–217, Roman emperor (211–17); son of Septimius Severus. His real name was Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, and he received his nickname from the caracalla, a Gallic tunic he regularly wore.
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; according to the claims (almost certainly false) of his ambitious mother and grandmother, he was the son of Caracalla. He was chosen by the troops in Syria as emperor in opposition to Macrinus, who had killed and succeeded Caracalla. When Macrinus was defeated and killed at Antioch, Heliogabalus became emperor as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. His reign was a tragic farce. He imported the cult of which he was priest, and Rome was shocked and disgusted by the indecency of the rites as well as by the private life of the emperor, who gave high offices to an actor, a charioteer, and a barber. His grandmother, Julia Maesa, induced him to adopt his young cousin, Alexander SeverusAlexander Severus
(Marcus Aurelius Alexander Severus) , d. 235, Roman emperor (222–35), b. Syria. His name was changed (221) from Alexius Bassianus when he was adopted as the successor to Heliogabalus.
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, but Heliogabalus later tried to have the boy killed. Heliogabalus and his mother were murdered in an uprising of the Praetorian Guard. Alexander Severus succeeded.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Heliogabalus

 

(also Elagabalus; imperial name, Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus). Born 204 in Emesa, Syria; died 222. Roman emperor from 218.

In 217, Heliogabalus became a priest of the Syrian god Elagabalus in Emesa; he took his name from that of the god. He was proclaimed emperor by the legions in Syria. Seeking to make Elagabalus the supreme god of the Roman state, he erected a temple to Elagabalus on the Palatine in Rome. His wastefulness and debauchery gave rise to strong protests among the military and other strata of the population. Heliogabalus was murdered by praetorians.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Heliogabalus

, Elagabalus
original name Varius Avitus Bassianus. ?204--222 ad, Roman emperor (218--222). His reign was notorious for debauchery and extravagance
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In a fascinating conversation with Moynan King, Ellen-Ray Hennessy reflects on the challenging experience of playing the incestuous mother of the aforementioned Heliogabalus. Both actors also explain how Gilbert's trust in his performers' professional instincts gives them the necessary freedom to take risks and thereby, in King's words, "brings out the genius in others" (249).
See also Richard Green, Mythological, Historical, and Cross-Cultural Aspects of Transsexualism, in Current Concepts in Transcender Identity 3,5 (Dallas Denny ed., 1998) (Roman emperor Heliogabalus is "said to have offered half the Roman Empire to the physician who could equip him with female genitalia.").
Still priest of Emesa's god, whose realm included mountains and the sun, he assumed a theophoric name, Elagabalus (or Heliogabalus).
This quiet emendation has never fooled anyone: "Qaphqa" and "Babilonia" point to the ancient Orient, as do the mentions of the river Euphrates, the ancient sapphire mine of Taprobana and the emperor Heliogabalus, but the world of Kafka's parables (which of course also include then share of "Oriental" settings) pull in the direction of the conflicts of modernity.
(2.) Sometimes referred to as Heliogabalus, thus providing a spurious connection between El (god) and Helio (sun).
After finishing writing Heliogabalus, or The Crowned Anarchist in 1934, Artaud meandered from one text to another and read "not only works on Crete, Delphi, Archaic Greece, the Zend-Avesta, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Zohar, and the Ietzirah, but the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Ramayama, the Puranas, the Bardo-Thodol, Lao-Tzu, and especially Tao te king, etc., and a bit later, before leaving for Mexico, the Popol-Vuh, works on the Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs, etc." (Artaud qtd.
(27) Mise-en-scene thus incorporates itself out of the degraded remains cast off by competing modernist arts, in much the same way that the shockingly impure bodies (including social bodies) in Artaud's writings, from Heliogabalus (1934) to To Have Done with the Judgment of God (1947), are frequently constituted by the excrescences (pus, sperm, urine, feces) a "proper" body dispels.
This cryptic text acts as the inspiration for Kiefer's own hermetic works, which abound in mysteries of their own, referencing, amongst others, Paracelsus, the seeker of hidden knowledge, the secret mystic order of Rosicrucianism, the Golem, the notoriously cruel Roman Emperor Heliogabalus who instituted the mystical cult of the sun god, as dramatised by Antonin Artaud, the chariot of Ezekiel, 'The Great Work' otherwise known as the search for the philosopher's stone, the Norse God Thor, the secret language of birds, and of course Tempelhof itself.
The married White was a sexual gourmand, a Heliogabalus wannabe--Heliogabalus being the emperor who paraded naked through the streets of Rome in a golden chariot drawn by beautiful naked slave women.
The reckless young Heliogabalus, a Roman Charlie Sheen, alternated his haulers depending on which god he believed he was at the time--some days called for tigers; others, dogs; and on particularly stylish days, four naked women.
Tom Rutter sets out evidence that identifies Marlowe, 'blaspheming with the mad preest of the sonne' in Greene's preface to Perimedes the Blacke-Smith, not with the heliocentrist Giordano Bruno, but with the Roman emperor Heliogabalus (ad 203-22), the subject of a lost play mentioned in the Stationers' Register in 1594.
Only it was written as long ago as 1667 by Francesco Cavalli and focused on the bizarre, brief reign of the little-known Roman emperor Heliogabalus, a sex-obsessed, cross-dressing teenager who made Caligula look like a model ruler.