Claims of female identification come from palace aide who may have had ulterior motives
A teenage male Roman emperor actually identified as a woman, a British museum now claims.
“We know that Elagabalus identified as a woman and was explicit about which pronouns to use, which shows that pronouns are not a new thing,” Keith Hoskins, a member of the council that runs the North Hertfordshire Museum told The Telegraph. The emperor ruled from 218 to 222.
“We try to be sensitive to identifying pronouns for people in the past, as we are for people in the present,” Hoskins said.
But scholars question the basis for these claims of transgenderism, noting a history of wild stories being told about the teenage emperor. Furthermore, the claims that Elagabalus (bust pictured) used female pronouns comes from Cassius Dio, a chronicler who worked for Elagabalus’ successor and rival.
The New York Post reported:
The idea that Elagabalus identified as a woman comes from the writings of Roman chronicler Cassius Dio, who claimed that that emperor was “termed wife, mistress and queen,” and told one lover, “Call me not Lord, for I am a Lady.”
According to ancient texts, Elagabalus married multiple women, but only for the purpose of learning their bedroom habits, and also tied the knot with a male chariot driver.
Elagabalus also known to have often worn wigs and makeup, allegedly moonlighted as a female prostitute in Rome’s brothels, and offered large sums of money to any doctor who could perform a gender reassignment surgery by creating a vagina.
But being called a woman was meant as an insult, according to a University of Cambridge classicist. “The Romans didn’t have our idea of ‘trans’ as a category, but they used accusations of sexual behavior ‘as a woman’ as one of the worst insults against men,” Andrew Wallace-Hadrill told The Telegraph.
Professor Christian Laes, a University of Manchester classics professor, also urged cautioned when it came to stories about the former emperor.
Other tales about the emperor include that he released deadly snakes on a party and threw coins into a crowd to watch people fight for them.
Claims that historical figures could have been gay or transgender is nothing new. For example, another British museum included poet Alfred Lord Tennyson’s home on an LGBT walking tour list, despite there being no evidence he was gay, as previously reported by The College Fix. The claim is based on his close friendship with a male poet. Tennyson was married to a woman. The BBC said Tennyson’s friendship with Arthur Hallam “may have been homosexual.”
A new book from gender studies professors also argues vampires are a “queer icon.” Other professors or campus events have tried to make the case that Christianity is accepting of homosexual activity or have applied queer theory to the Bible.
IMAGE: Jose Ribeiro/Musei Capitolini