3, 3), in connexion with the history of Elagabalus, whose elevation to the Roman purple was mainly due to the extraordinary local influence of his sacerdotal place.
Varius, though still only a boy, was appointed high priest of the Syrian sun-god Elagabalus, one of the chief seats of whose worship was Emesa (Horns).
His most important extant works are: in prose, Gratiarum Actio, an address of thanks to Gratian for his elevation to the consulship; Periochae, summaries of the books of the Iliad and Odyssey; and one or two epistolae; in verse, Epigrammata, including several free translations from the Greek Anthology; Ephemeris, the occupations of a day; Parentalia and Commemoratio Professorum Burdigalensium, on deceased relatives and literary friends; Epitaphia, chiefly on the Trojan heroes; Caesares, memorial verses on the Roman emperors from Julius Caesar to Elagabalus; Ordo Nobilium Urbium, short poems on famous cities; Ludus Septem Sapientum, speeches delivered by the Seven Sages of Greece; Idyllia, of which the best-known are the Mosella, a descriptive poem on the Moselle, and the infamous Cento Nuptialis.
The lives, which (with few exceptions) are arranged in chronological order, are distributed as follows: - To Spartianus: the biographies of Hadrian, Aelius Verus, Didius Julianus, Septimius Severus, Pescennius Niger, Caracallus, Geta (?); to Vulcacius Gallicanus: Avidius Cassius; to Capitolinus: Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Verus, Pertinax, Clodius Albinus, the two Maximins, the three Gordians, Maximus and Balbinus, Opilius Macrinus (?); to Lampridius: Commodus, Diadumenus, Elagabalus, Alexander Severus; to Pollio: the two Valerians, the Gallieni, the so-called Thirty Tyrants or Usurpers, Claudius (his lives of Philip, Decius, and Gallus being lost); to Vopiscus: Aurelian, Tacitus, Florian, Probus, the four tyrants (Firmus, Saturninus, Proculus, Bonosus), Carus, Numerian, Carinus.
Marius Maximus, who lived about 165-230, wrote biographies of the emperors, in continuation of those of Suetonius, from Nerva to Elagabalus; Junius Cordus dealt with the less-known emperors, perhaps down to Maximus and Balbinus.
In this position he continued to labour, to write, and to assail the lax Catholics and their clergy until at least the time of Bishop Calixtus in the reign of Elagabalus.