понедельник, 1 апреля 2019 г.

peashooter85: Elagabalus – Roman Emperor, Inventor of the…


Elagabalus – Roman Emperor, Inventor of the Whoopee Cushion.

The craziness of Roman Emperors is legendary in history, with nutty Romans such as Caligula and Nero coming to mind.  However, between 218 and 222 AD a little known and mostly overlooked emperor named Elagabalus ruled the empire.  Incredibly Elagabalus was only 14 when he was installed as Roman Emperor by his mother.  Like other emperors before him Elagabalus was not short on eccentricities.  Here is just a short list of some of his crazies.

1. Elagabalus was named after a Roman-Syrian sun deity.  When Elagabalus came to power, he tried to force all Romans to worship Elagabalus, with himself as chief priest of the new religion.

2. During games held at the Colosseum he would host a state lottery.  Prizes were given in the form of a secret box which could contain gold, jewelry, wine, fine clothing, a deed to a new house, or ownership of a slave.  However the boxes could have other less desirable prizes such as a dead dog, a piece of rotting meat, the severed head of criminal, a swarm of bees, or poisonous snakes.

3. Elagabalus was most likely a homosexual and transvestite.  While  accepted by many today transvestism was seen as taboo in the Roman world.  However, Elagabalus slept around with everyone, regardless of age or sex.  One of his favorite pastimes was to “play prostitute”, disguising himself and offering himself up for sex on the streets of Rome.  He would then return home and have one of his male lovers “punish” him for being naughty.

4. Elagabalus was a big time party animal, hosting banquets with over 400 dishes.

5. At one party he and his guests played a game where they ate live parrots.

Apparently Elagabalus was an incredible trickster, inventing outrageous scams and pranks to entertain or humiliate his guests.  One of them would go down as in history and preserve his legacy forever; the whoopee cushion.  According to the Historia Augusta, a collection of biographies on the Roman Emperors, he invented a type of whoopee cushion,

Many of his humbler friends he used to seat on air-pillows instead of cushions and would let out the air while they were dining, so that often the diners were suddenly found under the tables. Finally, he was the first to think of setting out a semi-circle on the ground, not on couches, so that the air-cushions might be loosened by slave-boys at their feet, to let out the air.

While Elagabalus was busy pranking and partying, his empire crumbled around him.  Whole units of the army and navy revolted and he was eventually ousted from power.  The Praetorian Guard, elite bodyguards of the emperor, grew tired of his shenanigans and had him killed in 222 AD at the age of 18.  

While Elagabalus has long been forgotten by most people today, his legacy lives on as the whoopee cushion is a common staple of modern day pranksterism.


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