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Elagabal is the name of the Syrian sun god whose high priest Varius was, at the same time as Roman emperor, AD 218–222. Because of this connexion, Varius was misnamed Heliogabalus or Elagabalus long after his death. Second in the series Varian Studies, this book discusses Elagabal’s architectural and sculptural artefacts in Rome. These are represented by the Palatine site of the Varian Temple of Elagabal in Rome, and by relief sculpture on column capitals found in the Roman Forum, showing Elagabal with other deities, in a scene of sacrifice here reconstructed as Elagabal’s Idyll.
The Varian Temple of Elagabal in Rome confirms on topographical grounds an hypothesis regarding the site of that temple on the Palatine, concurring with current archaeological opinion based on other grounds. It also shows that the site in question has definite astronomical implications.
Elagabal’s Idyll gives a full account of scholarship concerning the three column capitals and the debate about their origin and function. It then goes on to analyse the iconography of one of them in order to explore the cosmology, theology and ritual of the cult of Elagabal.
Leonardo de Arrizabalaga y Prado was educated at the Oratory School and Cambridge University, UK, where he graduated with First Class Honours in English, and became Lector in Spanish. He taught in Madrid for St. Louis and Suffolk Universities, USA, and in Japan, at Tokyo, Ueno Gakuen, and Tsukuba Universities. He published Studia Variana from 1999 to 2006, and held a Varian Symposium at Trinity College, Cambridge University, in 2005. His publications include The Emperor Elagabalus: Fact or Fiction? (2010).Raúl de la Fuente Marcos obtained his BSc in Physics (Astrophysics) from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, in 1992. From 1992 to 1997, he spent several months at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, UK, pursuing stellar dynamics research with Dr Sverre Aarseth. He acquired his PhD from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in July 1997 with a thesis entitled “Dynamical Evolution of Open Star Clusters”, for which he received the Complutense PhD Thesis Prize 1997 Award for Outstanding Research. He has been teaching at college level since 1992 and taught in Madrid for Saint Louis University and Suffolk University. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and his research interests lie in programming, supercomputing, computer security and networking, stellar and Solar System dynamics, planet formation and evolution, fractals, chaos and numerical modelling in general. His publications include seventy-six papers in various international peer-reviewed journals. Nature, Science, New Scientist, Newsweek and Time, among others, have featured highlights from his results in recent years.