The Electronic Library of the Bath House

Various Texts Associated with the Emperor Elagabalus

And various other things

One born every minute!

The Lobby

The Electronic Library is an unprecedented repository of original source material pertaining to the Emperor Elagabalus. We hope that readers will be inclined to form their own judgments as to the relative merit and veracity of these works. This is not a propaganda project -- rather, it is something like a Best Western* brunch buffet.

The "Fun and Games" section receives documents having little to do with Elagabalus per se, but which seem relevant to issues raised in any serious study of the man's life.

To improve the ambience of this project, we have included an abundance of "classical" MIDI files. You may find that Lampridius's Life of Heliogabalus goes down more smoothly with an Air on a G-String chaser, to cite one possible use of this multi-media. Many thanks to Zoticus for making himself useful!

Concerning those ugly rumors about the Bath House and everyone connected with it, we graciously invite our visitors to peruse The Bath House Transcripts. We have nothing to hide.

*"Best Western" is a registered trademark, the use of which is not intended to imply this site's affiliation with or endorsement by the Best Western chain; nor do we wish to disparage their version of the culinary art.

The Stacks

Primary sources:

Dio Cassius: The History of Rome, Book LXXX -- Byzantine epitome of a lost contemporary sketch of the Emperor's words and deeds.

Herodian: History of the Empire, Book V -- another contemporary sketch, with much about the "usurper," Macrinus.

Aelius Lampridius:

Secondary sources:

The Emperor's Epistle to the Senate of Rome

Edward Gibbon: "Follies of Elagabalus" --an elegant, drily jocular account of the reign of Elagabalus, from The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I.

J. Stuart Hay: The Amazing Emperor Heliogabalus -- attempting to right a wrong. Part two of the book, the author's character study of Elagabalus, is made available here. Arranged by chapter:

Related works:

Aelius Spartianus:

Sir James G. Frazer: On the Worship of the Sun Among the Aryan Peoples of Antiquity -- an expanded lecture by the author of The Golden Bough. Varieties of solar worship among the Vedic Indians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.

Sardanapalus -- notes on the Assyrian king to accompany Dio's History. Includes some relevant paragraphs from Book XII of The Deipnosophists, and links to other information on the Web.

Fun & Games:

The Bath House Transcripts -- A vindication, a manifesto, an honest account, a lark.

Volume I (1997)
Volume II (2001)

A fanciful account of my recent (2002) trip to Death Valley -- merci, Sadie!

Aulus Gellius: Attic Nights (selections) -- A Roman lawyer's notes on his reading and experience in the liberal arts. (Still in production, with the selections from Book I completed.)

Edward Gibbon: "The Cruelty, Follies and Murder of Commodus"

Procopius: The Secret History (selections) -- exposing major flaws in Justinian's imperial character.

The Emperor Justinian: On Pimps -- in which he lays down the law .
The Institutes of Justinian -- Complete (IV books), in English translation. Enjoy the "Prooemium."

Lucian: Alexander, the False Prophet -- being a true and revelatory account of a provincial "holy man" in the age of the Antonines.

Athenaeus: The Deipnosophists, Book XIII -- the subtitle is "Concerning Women," but the book is more specifically about legendary prostitutes and erotic issues.

Seneca: Ancient and Modern Bathing -- from the Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium, Letter LXXXVI.

Tacitus: The Murder of Agrippina -- the classic account of Nero's most horrible crime, from The Annals, Book XIV.

H. L. Mencken: A Neglected Anniversary -- A history of the bathtub in America.


The Cleverly Concealed MIDI-Muzak Dispensary:

Most of these files are available through the Classical MIDI Connection. Visit there to see who sequenced the versions stored here, and to hear a thousand hours of music. See also the Classical MIDI Archives.

Claudio Monteverdi: L'orfeo suite

Johann S. Bach:

George Handel:

Wolfgang Mozart:

Ludwig van Beethoven: Scherzo -- from Symphony #9 (Choral)

Felix Mendelssohn: "Wedding March" -- from A Midsummernight's Dream

Giuseppe Verdi: "Chorus of Hebrew Slaves" -- from Nabucco

Richard Wagner:

Camille Saint-Saens:

Sir Arthur Sullivan:

Aaron Copland: "Simple Gifts" -- variations from Appalachian Spring

Elsewhere on the Web:

Cassius Dio's Roman History -- the complete English text from the Loeb edition, at the Lacus Curtius site.

Plutarch: Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans -- translated by John Dryden. There are several other editions online.

Philostratus: The Life of Apollonius of Tyana -- biography written at the urging of Julia Domna, who did not live to read it.

Perseus Project: Texts and Translations -- now with Latin/English texts, in addition to its original collection of Greek works. The hyperlinks below lead directly to some of my favorite works. These translations are of the "old-school" and give the reader a fair idea of what these ancients actually wrote. As they say in the marketplace: you get what you pay for.

John Cleland: Fanny Hill; or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure -- notorious; banned all over.

Voltaire: Philosophical Dictionary

Early Church Fathers -- All the ringleaders -- a 38-volume set covering 800 years of Christian thought; persuasive proof that religious enthusiasts are more industrious than normal people. The bulk of this anthology can be downloaded in .zip files, for personal/private use.


This is a project for the public benefit, so the Latin and Greek texts are presented in English translation, usually without footnotes (the most pertinent "Lives" from the Augustan History are noteworthy exceptions). HelioGabby and his Library Staff encourage dilettantism in all of its many forms, and we practice what we preach. Those who wish to grapple with these works in their original languages are referred to the Loeb Classical Library, wherein the original texts and their translations appear on facing pages, with annotations and copious footnotes supplied by scholars.

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