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HELIOGABALUS: HIS SUNHOOD

The section on this unpublished work of Roth's was self-edited far too much, and far too timidly, in Samuel Roth, Infamous Modernist. I want to publish it here in its entirety.

Sam Roth was well along in his 70s when he wrote this 341-page typescript, under his pseudonym Norman Lockridge, about the teenaged 2nd century A.D. Roman emperor. The eponymous protagonist was, as a child, a royal priest of the sun god Eliogabalus in Syria. He came to the throne at 15 as a charismatic prodigy, renown as the handsomest man in the empire, and indulged in sybaritic revels that revealed him to be a transgender (possibly even transsexual) person with two “husbands” (both slaves). In addition, he performed in “barbarian” Phoenician rites devoted to his god, wore outlandish costumes, assumed effeminate gestures and speech, and violated such taboos as having sex with vestal virgins. At 19, he was murdered by a mob incited by the next emperor, his cousin Alexander Severus.  Read More 
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