from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- Heliogabalus Originally Varius Aritus Bassianus. A.D. 204-222. Emperor of Rome (218-222). A priest of Baal, he became emperor after the murder of his cousin Caracalla (217). His eccentricity and debauchery and the imposition of his religion on the Romans led to an insurrection in which he was killed.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. A Roman emperor of the Severan dynasty who reigned from 218 to 222. He was known for perverse and decadent behavior with regard especially to sex, religion, and food.
From a Latinized form of the Semitic deity El-Gabal, a manifestation of the Semitic deity Ēl. (Wiktionary)