Was Caracalla worse than Caligula
It's amazing how much we know about history today. We know almost everything about the Roman emperors. Their actions, their habits, their clothes, their favorite foods. Even so, we only know a few of them. Julius Caesar, everyone knows him. After all, he played in the Asterix films. Nero, the madman, simply burns down his shack and his town (which has been proven not to be the case, but is still anchored in people's minds). Augustus, without him we would celebrate New Year's Eve in midsummer. Then things will be tight for many. Diocletian knows who has been on vacation in Croatia. Many people know Constantine from the Istanbul Travel Guide. Anyone who knows more Roman emperors has read about them. If you don't know Elagabal, you have to read this book.
Because Elagabal's life is still worth reading today. And current. Almost all republics worldwide refer to Rome's understanding of the republic. He was born in Syria (in Emesa, now Homs), a country whose complex desecration is reported every day.
In the year 218 a 14-year-old boy priest ascends the Roman imperial throne. The sun god Elagabal was to give his name and guide his reign. He stayed on the throne for four years. In the end, his body was dragged through the streets of Rome and thrown into the Tiber. But there were years of lust for life between the accession to the throne and the miserable end. There are hardly any complete writings about him. Anecdotes galore.
Elagabal's grandmother claimed that her grandson was an illegitimate child of Emperor Caracalla. Another emperor who is no longer so unknown thanks to a book by the Zabern Verlag. The accession to the throne was bloody. With promises of fame and, above all, fortune, the soldiers defected to him, they murdered their officers. The Senate submitted to the dogma of the army and crowned the youngest emperor of all time.
A high priest on the throne - divine times loom. And pious, one might think. The opposite was the case. Another parallel to the present when you think of the Limburg diocese ... Elagabal was not a food lover. Orgies, worse than Caligula's, involving both sexes. A merciless self-expression. He alone would have made the ancient Facebook servers glow. But what is true and what is invented?
Martijn Icks tries to separate truth from fantasy and creates an exciting picture of the former high priest who performed dances in honor of Elagabal, made human sacrifices as the emperor and even had a suicide tower built. The biography of this extraordinary emperor reads like an exciting novel, sometimes like a thriller, sometimes like an epic drama.
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