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Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra



Zenobia, was born around 240 A.C. with the name Iulia Aurelia Zenobia, in the Arabic language is Znwbya Bat Zaddai or الزباء بنت عمرو بن الظرب ب حسان ابن أذينة بن السميدع, was a Syrian queen of the Palmyrene Empire in the 3rd century. In Greek Ζηνοβία is translated as Xenobia or Septimia Zenobia (she added that name to her name when she married Septimius Odaenathus). On official documents she would put Bat-Zabbai ("Daughter of the al-zabba"), also was called Al-zabba literally meaning "The One with Long Lovely Hair".

Zenobia married King of Palmyra Septimius Odeanathus by 258 as his second wife. In 267, Zenobia’s husband was assassinated. Upon his death she became the ruler of the empire. In 269, she conquered Egypt expelling the Roman prefect of Egypt, Tenagino Probus, whom she beheaded when he attempted a recapture. She then proclaimed herself Queen of Egypt also.
Zenobia with her large army made expeditions and conquered Asia Minor as far as Ancyra or Ankara and Chalcedon, then to Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon. In her short lived empire, Zenobia took the vital trade routes in these areas from the Romans. She was known as a "Warrior Queen".
Ruling until 274 when she was defeated and taken as hostage to Rome by Aurelian. Zenobia appeared in golden chains in Aurelian’s military triumph parade in Rome. So impressed by her, Aurelian granted her clemency, and freed Zenobia. Further, he granted her an elegant villa in Tibur (modern Tivoli, Italy). She lived in luxury and she became a prominent philosopher, socialite, and Roman matron. Zenobia married a Roman governor and senator whose name is unknown. They had several daughters, whose names are also unknown, but who are known to have married into Roman noble families. There is a claim, after Aurelian’s defeat Zenobia committed suicide, however, this is not likely. She would have further descendants surviving in the fourth and fifth century.

Zenobia was described as beautiful and intelligent. She had a dark complexion, her teeth were pearly white, she had black bright eyes that sparkled, and had a beautiful face. Zenobia had a strong and melodic voice and many charms. Zenobia was well educated and knew Greek, Aramaic, Egyptian, and Latin. She was very interested in history and the works of Homer, Plato, and other writers from Greece. She also enjoyed hunting animals and drinking.

The guard that appears behind her shows the cataphract, the armour of the Nabatean cavalryman, a truly nightmare for the Aurelian's troops. Wears a long hooded coat of iron mail. A sort of corset of overlapping iron plates is strapped over this around his trunk. His arms and lower legs are protected by flexible armour iron plates too. His protection is finished off and made nearly total by a helmet with attached bronze face mask, mail gloves and iron shoes.

:bulletred: Scrap :pointr: Zenobia's Portrait

:deviator: Original Size: 7087 x 5315 pix.

© BlackWolf.Studio JAN. 2008.
Image size
7087x5315px 21.53 MB
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NaomiARey's avatar
One of my fav chars in history. Ty for the art!