Heliogabalus and Elagabalus are names given since late antiquity to the mythical or legendary avatar of Varius Avitus Bassianus. Varius was Roman emperor AD 218-222, ruling as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. He was simultaneously High Priest of the Syrian sun god Elagabal. Heliogabalus and Elagabalus, names derived from Elagabal, are often used as misnomers for Varius himself, but more properly designate his avatar, who is far better known than Varius. The Varian avatar, under these and other names, survives and thrives in historiography, as well as in more avowedly creative literature, music, dance, the visual arts, and popular culture. This book, the third in Varian Studies, is partly based on the Varian Symposium, held in Cambridge in 2005. It contains studies of the historical Varius, of some of his courtiers, of his god Elagabal, and of his avatar, Heliogabalus or Elagabalus.
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