Silver Denarius of Emperor Elagabalus - C.5600Origin: Mediterranean Circa: 220 AD to 222 AD Collection: Numismatics Style: Roman Medium: Silver Elagabalus became emperor through the diligence and bravery of his grandmother, Julia Maesa. A powerful and immensely wealthy woman of the Severan family, she incited the Syrian legions stationed at Emesa to revolt against Macrinus in favor of her grandson. Although his Roman name was Bassianus, Elagabalus derives from his position as high priest of Elagabal, the Syrian god Ba’al. Elagabalus was one of the more scandalous rulers in Roman history. He was famed for hosting wild parties where overindulgence of all types was encouraged. The Eastern gods he brought to Rome were strange even to the permissive Roman society of the day. Perhaps his most offensive act was marrying a Vestal Virgin. To the Romans this act of Elagabalus not only desecrated their religion, but also their heritage. Julia Maesa attempted to regain control of the situation by having her other grandson, Severus Alexander, declared Caesar. When Elagabalus revoked this promotion, the Praetorian Guard, encouraged by Julia Maesa, rebelled against their emperor, hunted down, and executed Elagabalus.