Elagabalus (aka Heliogabalus)|
(204 - Mrch 12, 222) Rome
Varius Avitus Bassianus, an effeminate and extremely beautiful boy, was a Syrian from Emesa (now Homs) born to Soamesias, a cousin of Emperor Caracalla, and when just 14 year-old, he became emperor of Rome, in the belief that he was Caracalla's bastard son, to which he resembled.
He took the name of the Syro-Phoenician sun-god (Ela = god, and Gabal = who forms), worshipped in the form of a black conical stone, whose priest he was and to whom he was fanatically devoted, in a nature sex cult. The young man was the first "priest" to ascend to the Roman imperial throne. Elagabalus pursued three important goals which disturbed Romans: mother-goddess worship, phallic worship and peace. He practiced ritual sex with both sexes, and declared publicly his male lover Hierocles to be his husband.
He tried to unite all the religions under one faith centred upon sexual exuberance and phallic worship. Sex and even love between men never scandalized Romans, but marriage was another matter. The union further sandalized the Romans because Hierocles had no royal blood, and because Elogabalus played the passive role. He was killed by the Praetorian Guard - after the army decided that his carryings on were just too much. He was said to have been the first man at Rome to wear garments of pure silk.