Emperor of Rome (218–222). A priest of Baal, he became emperor after the murder of his cousin Caracalla (217). His eccentricity and debauchery and the imposition of his religion on the Romans led to an insurrection in which he was killed.
From a Latinized form of the Semitic deity El-Gabal, a manifestation of the Semitic deity Ēl.
Heliogabalus Sentence Examples
Heliogabalus was at once recognized by the senate as emperor.
The Syrian god was proclaimed the chief deity in Rome, and all other gods his servants; splendid ceremonies in his honour were celebrated, at which Heliogabalus danced in public, and it was believed that secret rites accompanied by human sacrifice were performed in his honour.
The shameless profligacy of the emperor's life was such as to shock even a Roman public. His popularity with the army declined, and Maesa, perceiving that the soldiers were in favour of Alexander Severus, persuaded Heliogabalus to raise his cousin to the dignity of Caesar (221), a step of which he soon repented.
Another attempt in 222 produced a mutiny among the praetorians, in which Heliogabalus and his mother Soemias (Soaemias) were slain (probably in the first half of March).
Duviquet, Heliogabale (1903), containing a translation of the various accounts of Heliogabalus in Greek and Latin authors, notes, bibliography and illustrations; O.