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Bill Thayer

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Temples of Elagabalus

 p199  Articles on p199 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Elagabalus, templum: a temple of the Syrian god, known officially as Sol Invictus Elagabalus (Hist. Aug. Elag. 1.7, 17.8), erected on the Palatine close to the imperial palace (see Juppiter Ultor for a conjectural site) by the Emperor Elagabalus, into which he proposed to transfer all the principal cults of Rome (op. cit. 1.6, 3.4, 6.7; Herodian. V.5.8; Aur. Vict. Caes. 23.1; Cass. Dio LXXIX.11). It was dedicated in 221 (Chron. 147: Eliogaballium dedicatum est; Hieron. a. Abr. 2236), survived the death of Elagabalus for some time (Hist. Aug. Elag. 17.8), but was afterwards destroyed by fire (Passio S. Philippi AA. SS. Oct. 22, Vol. IX, p546F;º Mitt. 1892, 158), presumably before the date of the Notitia, in which the temple is not mentioned (HJ 106; RE V.2221; WR 365‑366; Rosch. IV.1143‑1146; DE II.2089; see Gradus Heliogabali). V. Domaszewski, however, thinks (SHA 1918, 13A, 150‑153) that there would have been no more room on the Palatine, and puts it in eo loco . . . in quo prius aedes Orci fuit (Hist. Aug. Elag. 1.6; cf. Dis Pater, aedes). He also maintains that this suits the passage in the Vita S. Sebastiani (Acta SS. Jan. 20, p642), in which the martyr addresses the emperor 'stans super gradus Heliogabali' — in which case the martyrdom took place in the circus Maximus.

For a coin showing this temple, and coins and a capital representing the stone that embodies the god, see Ann. de Numism., 1890, 468; Mitt. 1901, 273‑282; 1902, 67; SScR 310‑312.

Elagabalus, νεώς: a temple of the Syrian god Elagabalus, built by the Emperor Elagabalus in some suburb (ἐν τῷ προαστείῶ) of the city as a summer residence of the deity (Herodian V.6.6‑7). Into this temple, which is described as very large and magnificent, the stone that represented the god was carried with great pomp and ceremony. Nothing further is known of the building, which has wrongly been placed on the Esquiline (HJ 364; Gilb. III.114; Richter 315; RE V.2221).

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Page updated: 10 Dec 16