Elagabalus , also known as Heliogabalus Latin: Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus; c. 203 – March 11, 222), was Roman emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan dynasty, he was Syrian, the second son of Julia Soaemias and Sextus Varius Marcellus. In his early youth he served as a priest of the god Elagabal in the hometown of his mother's family, Emesa. As a private citizen, he was probably named Sextus Varius Avitus Bassianus. He was called Elagabalus only after his death.