University of Pittsburgh

Heliogábalo, Antonino

Varius Avitus, called Heliogabalus or Elagabalus, Roman emperor, c.205-222.  

Fishburn and Hughes: "A dissolute Roman emperor, originally named Bassianus. He served in the Roman army in Syria, where he was popular with the Roman troops for his exceptional beauty, and was appointed high priest of the sun god of Emesa, Elagabal. Elected emperor in 218 at the age of 15, he took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and added 'Heliogabalus' in honour of the god whose secret rites he introduced into the capital. His brief reign, marked by debauchery and cruelty, exemplifies a decadent and turbulent imperial court. Jealous of the popularity of his abstemious cousin, Alexander, he attempted to murder him; he was later killed by the Praetorian Guard in a latrine, together with his mother. The anecdote of the emperor writing 'on shells the lots... destined for his guests' is told by Lampridius in the Historia Augusta (2.22.1)." (87)

Borges Index: 
La lotería en Babilonia, Ficciones, OC, 459.
Type: 
N