Portrait of Elagabalus, circa 221 C.E. from the Capitoline Museums. Elagabalus, also known as Heliogabalus, was Roman Emperor from 218 to 222. A member of the Severan Dynasty, he was Syrian on his mother's side. Elagabalus was barely 14 when he became emperor, initiating a reign remembered mainly for sexual scandal and religious controversy. At just 18 years old he was assassinated in a plot formulated by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and carried out by members of the Praetorian Guard.