Sunday, July 10, 2022

Zoticus, Husband to an Empress, SHA Vit. Elegabali 10.2, 5

Content Warning: deadnaming, bias

Note: Although this text uses appropriate gendered terms for the Empress' wedding (e.g., nupsit, pronuba), the entirety of the text refers to her using masculine pronouns. This translation will use the ending -x for her name.

Furthermore, the author shows bias and disgust against Zoticus for being plebeian, and makes comments about how "those kind of people" behave when given positions of authority. Due to the level of bias in the text, the entirety of the passage will not be published here, only the parts that are relevant to their relationship.

Zoticus sub eo tantum valuit ut ab omnibus officiorum principibus sic haberetur quasi domini maritus. ...[Heliogabalus / Bassiana] nupsit et coit, ita ut et pronubam haberet clamaretque "Concide Magire" et eo quidem tempore quo Zoticus aegrotabat.

--SHA Vita Elagabali, 10.2, 5


Zoticus had so much power under [Elegabalx’s] reign that he was considered almost like the ruler’s husband by all of the people in charge of the Imperial departments…When Zoticus grew ill, Elegabalx married him and they shared a physical relationship; she even had a bridesmaid at the wedding and shouted, “Come here, Cook!” 



Name:  ???

Date:  4th c. CE

Works:  Historia Augusta



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



 Little is known about the author(s) of the Historia Augusta; even internal evidence within the text is either falsified, skewed or utterly fictitious. Although attributed to six different authors, the text was likely written by a single author living during the 4th century CE. It is a series of imperial biographies modeled after the works of Suetonius; these biographies cover the reigns of the emperors Hadrian through Carus.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE



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