Rome, Elagabalus Tyre mint AE28 218 - 222 AD

Obv: Laureated and cuirassed bust right
Rev: Astarte stands facing on right Victory upon column crowns her, murex shell at feet; on left palm tree and trophy

. Metal: Bronze 13.65 Grams, 28 mm diameter. Condition: VF/F

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History of Elagabalus 218 - 222 AD

Elagabalas and his family were in Rome when Caracalla was murdered in 217 and replaced by Macrinus. The Severus family was ordered to return to Syria by Macrinus. There Elagabalus as the heriditary heir assumed the duties of high priest to the sun god "El Baal" or in Greek Heliogabal. Macrinus was unpopular and Elagabalus' mother Julia Soaemias and his grandmother Julia Maesa gained support for him as son and heir to Caracalla. Two events occurred auger for this event. An eclipse that was interpreted as the sun-god's displeasure with Macrinus' reign and a coment that was interpreted as a redeemer was at hand. Besides Elagabalus somewhat resembled Caracalla which helped his claim to be the son.

Much of the army revolted against Macrinus to support Elagabalas, but the senate was tired to Severian rule and supported Macrinus. The two armies met outside Antioch on 8 June 218 and after a hard fought battle the forces of Elagabalas were victorious. Both Macrinus and Diadumenian survived the battle, but were caught and executed. Elagabalus was invested with the title Augustus and both his mother and grandmother were given the title "Augusta".

Elagabalas' reign was actually uneventful from an empire point of view with no military conflicts or internal uprisings. However Elagabalas was a bisexual and a travestite who was cruel, abandoned to the grossest of pleasures and disgusting enjoyments. Dio Cassius relates: "I will not describe the barbaric chants (the emperor), together with his mother and grandmother, chanted to Heliogabal, or the secret sacrifices that he offered to him, slaying boys and using charms, in fact actually shutting up alive in the god's temple a lion, a monkey and a snake, and throwing in among them human genitals, and practicing other unholy rites, while he invariably wore innumerable amulets."

Elagabalas appears to not have missed any opportunity to offend the Romans and was assassinated 11 March 222.