Monday, 27 June 2005
Emperor Elagabalus; the Teenage Pervert
When the emperor Caracalla was murdered in 217, the fourteen-year-old Elagabalus succeeded him. He only ruled for 4 years, but in that short period of time he commited a variety of grotesque and debauched acts, enough to make Caligula and Commodus seem rather plain.
His real name was Bassianus but as he developed an intense interest in worshippng the Syrian god Elagabal, became High Priest of the cult and so had his name changed to Elagabalus. To honor his god, he demanded that hundereds of cattle were slaughtered daily on huge sacrificial altars. He had a temple built on the Palatine Hill and ordered the Romans to worship a statue of a giant phallus, which didn't go down very well at all...
Eventually he decided he was the god embodied. He started to wear women's clothes and make-up, implored his surgeons to cut his penis off and make him a vagina and when they said tehy could not do this he settled for circumcision. His body is said to have been very effeminate and he had a multitude of male companions. At some point it is said that he "married" a freedman called Hierocles and called him his husband.
As well as being a transvestite and obviously rather confused, Elagabalus was also a masochist, arrabging for his lovers to catch him cheating on them so that they would beat the living daylights out of him, therefore giving him even more pleasure. His body was permanently covered with bruises and marks left from these beatings. Cassius Dio informs us:
"...he would go to taverns by night wearing a wig, and there ply the trade of a female prostitute. He frequented the notorious brothels, drove out the prostitutes and played the prostitude himself. he finally set a aside a room in the palace, and there committed his indecencies, always standing nude at teh door of the room...while in a soft and melting voice he solicited the passers by."
He had a public bath built in the palace, so he could go there and pick out the men with the biggest penises.
In 220 A.D. he raped a Vestal Virgin and forced her to marry him. This for the Romans was a terrible thing to do.
His cruelty also had no limits. Once he ordered a servant to fetch him a big packet of cobwebs and when the unfortunate man turned up empty handed, he had him locked up in a cage and eaten alive by hundreds of starving rats.
Elagabalus loved to pin his enemies to the wall and stick hot pokers into them, peel their skin off and dip them in salt.... *cringe*
He ordered mass human sacrifices of young boys and girls to satisfy his god and whenever he entered Rome he demanded that his priests meet him with golden bowls full of children's intestines..
On the 11th March 222 the people had had enough. They hunted him down and in a toilet where he had saught refuge and stabbed him to death. He was 18. His friends were mutilated and impaled.
Posted by Anna at Monday, June 27, 2005