Page:The Amazing Emperor Heliogabalus.djvu/134

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Duruy states that during his residence at Antioch, or on the journey across Asia Minor, the Emperor reconsecrated to Elagabal the temple of Faustina which Marcus Aurelius had erected on Mount Taurus. If this be so, it could only have been as a temporary resting-place. The Deity, we are assured, had no settled home after leaving Emesa until the great temple or Eliogabalium was erected on the Palatine. There was one person to whom these delays appeared as highly unnecessary, namely, the Dowager Empress Julia Maesa.

In the full flush of her newly acquired position, she had every intention of wintering in the capital. It was much more to her liking than the provincial life to which the late Emperor had relegated her. In consequence of this intention, we are led to infer that the lady gave orders. Here the Emperor showed his paternity. Maesa may not have fully credited her own assertion before, henceforward she was called upon to believe it whether she would or no. Her grandson, perhaps merely self-willed, perhaps wishing to settle business, certainly intending to stay in the voluptuous East, told the lady to be quiet, and revoked the orders. She tried reasoning, but was told that it wearied his youthful augustitude. She persisted further, and then thought that she had triumphed, because the Emperor, with true Antonine guile, packed up and commanded the Court to set out for Rome. Not that he had the slightest intention of facing the Tramontana, possibly even snow, but it looked gracious, and many things might be done en