Elagabalus AE26 of Nikopolis ad Istrum. Apollo standing left, sacrificing from patera over lit altar to left, holding branch.

Ancient Coins - Elagabalus AE26 of Nikopolis ad Istrum. Apollo standing left, sacrificing from patera over lit altar to left, holding branch.
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Elagabalus AE26 of Nikopolis ad Istrum. AV K M AVP ANTWNINOC, radiate, draped & cuirassed bust right / (...) NIKOPOLITWN PROC - ICT - PON, Apollo standing left, sacrificing from patera over lit altar to left, holding branch. Moushmov 1371. Fine.
���� This coin boasts a nice portrait of undoubtedly the strangest of
���� all Roman Emperors. Varius Avitus Bassianus was a 13-year-old
���� High Priest of the sun god Elagabal in the Syrian city of Emesa
���� when fate--and his scheming grandmother Julia Maesa--plucked him
���� out of obscurity to become the next Emperor of Rome. Maesa,
���� sister of the Empress Julia Domna, was looking for a figurehead
���� through which she could restore the Severan dynasty to power. Her
���� bizarre grandson proved more than she bargained for. In addition
���� to his priestly duties, the new Emperor also was an exotic dancer
���� in the sun cult and a complete transvestite homosexual--a
���� practice accepted by the anything-goes East, but frowned upon by
���� the blue bloods of Rome. He chose a Vestal Virgin as one of his
���� three wives, further shocking traditional Romans. Much of his
���� reign was spent participating in outlandish religious rites
���� involving much ritualistic sex, and a succession of thoroughly
���� decadent entertainments. In the end, the Roman Army could not
���� stomach a Sun-worshiping transvestite exotic dancer as its
���� Commander-In-Chief, and he was assassinated after a weird reign
���� of four years.

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