Page:The Amazing Emperor Heliogabalus.djvu/155

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This is all very circumstantial, obviously the work of an eye-witness, but it is not supported by the evidence of any coin struck to commemorate the event. The Adventus Augusti shows the Emperor riding into the city laurelled and habited in military accoutrements. Nor is the scandal mentioned by either Lampridius or Dion, which means that, at least as far as Lampridius goes, his source, Marius Maximus, the then City Praefect, who would certainly be an eye-witness, had not noticed anything unusual. This, one imagines, he would have been only too anxious to do, since he appears to have vacated this office immediately afterwards in favour of the Emperor's friend Eutychianus, which circumstance was not likely to be specially pleasing to Marius, and ought to have encouraged him to keep his eyes open for indecencies. Dion, too, as we have said, is silent, and he has lost no other chance of recording Antonine's frailties. Surely, then, it is at least allowable to relegate this record of inexcusable folly to the limbo of other picturesque lies, and proceed to sift the similar accumulation which Lampridius has collected for our amusement.

Undoubtedly, the first act was to make an alliance with the daughter of the well-known jurist, Julius Paulus, and to celebrate the event with a colossal magnificence. All the authors, with the exception of Lampridius, who ignores the marriage entirely, furnish picturesque details. They describe the games, in which only one elephant and, to balance him, fifty-one tigers were killed (the numbers