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Elagabalus was born at Emessa in 204 AD, the son of
Julia Soaemias and Varius Marcellus. His original name was Varius Ativus Bassianus, but he was later known as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. As a child, he was elevated as the high priest of the Syro-Phoenician sun god Elagabus or Heliogabalus, and later became known by this name. His cousin Alexander Severus was also made a priest of the same god.
His mother induced the troops in Syria to recognise him as their emperor under the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius on 16th May 218.
His brief reign was characterised by folly, superstition and bestial behaviour which would strain the bounds of credibility.
In 221 he adopted his cousin Severus Alexander, and proclaimed him as Caesar. The following year, having become jealous of his cousin, he attempted to put him to death, but Alexander was a favourite of the troops, who killed Elagabalus and his mother instead.
Price & Availability:-
|Description||Grade||Price £||Price $||Availability|
|Silver Denarius of Elagabalus 2.95g||VF||£75||$Ask||Yes|
Summus Sacerdos Aug
The legend on the reverse of the coin shown reads SUMMUS SACERDOS AUG meaning High Priest and Augustus. The reverse shows the emperor himself sacrificing at an altar holding a club. The star represents the sun god Sol. Bassianus as he was originally called was Syrian, and worshipped the Phoenician god Heliogabalus, after whom he was later named.
Roman Historical Notes
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