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Elagabalus, 3rd century Roman emperor: A eunuch?

Was the Roman emperor Elagabalus castrated?

His full name was Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (born 204 CE, ruled 218-222 CE). He was better known as Elagabalus or by a spiritualized version of that name, Heliogabalus, helios being Greek for "sun." He was a sun-worshipper who participated in the taurobolium and possibly was castrated or infibulated (genitally pierced). His goal was to unite all Roman religions, but this was not achieved during his reign that lasted merely three years and nine months.

The 12-century Michael Glycas said that the emperor asked surgeons to castrate his husband Hierocles and construct female genitalia for him, while the 12-century John Zonaras said that the emperor requested such a surgery for himself. (Lascaratos and Kostakopoulos, p. 234)

Regarding his possible castration, Georges Duviquet wrote: “Il alla agiter sa tête avec les prêtres châtrés de Cybèle, se liant comme eux les parties génitales, observant toutes leurs coutumes; puis il emporta, our le déposer dans le temple de son dieu, leur trésor sacré.” (Duviquet, p. 51) An endnote to this comment added: “Genitalia devinxit. Saumaise et Gruter proposent defixit pris dans le sens d’enlever, arracher. On a vu dans Aurélius Victor qu’Héliogabale, s’étant coupé les parties génitales, abscissis genitalibus, se consacra à la Mère des dieux.” (Duviquet, p. 286) Duviquet included a diagram of a statue that shows Heliogabalus with intact genitalia. (Duviquet, p 55)

Sources

"Operations on Hermaphrodites and Castration in Byzantine Times (324-1453 AD)." John Lascaratos and Athanastos Kostakopoulos. Urologia Internationalis 1997; 58:232-235.

Georges Duviquet. Héliogabale. Paris: Société du Mercure de France, 1903.

Comments

  1. Hello
    I wrote a poem about Elagabalus
    I hope you like it

    Hérodian et aussi Edward Gibbon,

    me font revivre dans vos mémoires,

    et avec moi les empereurs Néron

    ou Caracalla… Dans les vieux grimoires

    de vos greniers vous lirez leur histoire

    et la mienne et comment de Varius

    je devins l’empereur Elagabulus.



    À l’âge où l’on va encore à l’école,

    des lambeaux de Rome j‘étais l‘empereur;

    chaque sept jours j’allais sous la coupole

    du sénat, comme un improbable acteur

    qui se pavane pour ses adulateurs,

    offert à tous, catin fardée soutenue

    sur mon char par sept vierges nues.



    Et ils m’attendaient les teens en transes,

    comme une extravagante drag queen,

    moi, empereur de Rome, premier trans;

    j’étais le soleil de ma vie divine

    rythmée par les lignes de cocaïne

    pour supporter la greffe du vagin

    qui me ferait roi de toutes les putains.



    Je disais les noms, urbi et orbi,

    de mes cinq femmes, le nom de mon mari,

    l’esclave Hierocles de Carie;

    j’étais sa chose, à lui toujours soumis,

    en pensées le jour, dans son lit la nuit.

    Je chérissais les rêves de désir

    avant les petites morts du plaisir.



    Grand prêtre du temple en Emesene,

    je voulus être l’époux de Tanit

    la déesse, Vénus Carthagène,

    et celui de la vestale de granit

    à qui en de sélénites coïtes

    réservés aux accouplements divins

    j’aurais fait des enfants presque humains.



    C’est ce voulait mon âme virginale;

    je ne fus que la gouape racoleuse

    devant le bordel international,

    cette métamorphose luxurieuse

    de mon palais, résidence luxueuse

    où je vivais dans un cauchemar d’Éros,

    rêve de Cupidon sur son lit de roses.



    En Mars, quelque jours avant les Ides,

    j’avais dix-huit ans, c’était en vingt deux

    du second siècle, des soldats apatrides

    me pénétrèrent de leurs dards furieux

    mettant un terme à mes jours licencieux.

    Les eaux du Tibre nous charrièrent en enfer

    moi, à peine ado, et avec moi ma mère.



    Et maintenant que le monde a vieilli,

    moi, prêtre du soleil et dépravé

    tel que j’étais dans cet empire ramolli

    le temps à travers les âges m’a laissé,

    en l’innocence de ma lascivité;

    les vieux acheteurs de lubricité.

    jalousent tous ma vraie ambigüité.



    © Mermed 2005-2015


    Effleurements livresques, épanchements maltés - Overblog
    http://holophernes.over-blog.com/

    ReplyDelete

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