It would be strange if I wouldn’t post some new articles on ancient Rome. After all, I just spent a holiday in the urbs ipsa. And indeed, I wrote two pages on Gaius Fulvius Plautianus, the praetorian prefect of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus, who transformed the old office. His daughter Plautilla also received a brief article; the poor girl had to marry Caracalla, a union that was very unhappy. She was executed by her husband.
In the Vatican, we took photos of the sarcophagus of Sextus Varius Marcellus, who is perhaps best known as the father of Heliogabalus, but is far more interesting than you’d expect. One could write a novel about the man.
I also added a piece on Bias of Priene, one of the Seven Sages. The connection with my Roman holiday is that we saw his bust in the Vatican Museums. Finally, Bill put online an article on “Recent Discoveries on the Palatine Hill” – recent in 1913 that is, but interesting nevertheless, if only because it is written by the great Boni himself.
That epitaph a nice and relatively early example of the passive use of adjectives so characteristic of Late Antique funerary formulas, too. We expect AMATISSIMO (from amatus, loved) but we get AMANTISSIMO (from amans, properly: loving).
There were stories of Caracalla refusing to consummate the marriage because he could not stand the sight of her.That did not stop him from sleeping with his stepmother to the shame of all Romans.He also did away with Geta in 211 AD on the pretext that he was trying to kill him.Heliogabalus and Elagabalus are one and the same.He was the son of Caracalla according to the Augustan Historiae.