Empress Zenobia: Palmyra’s Rebel Queen by Pat Southern

By Pat Southern

The historical resources for the lifestyles and occasions of Zenobia are sparse, and the surviving literary works are biased in the direction of the Roman perspective, a lot as are the resources for 2 different well-known ladies who challenged Rome, Cleopatra and Boudica. In Empress Zenobia, Pat Southern seeks to inform the opposite aspect of the mythical third century queen's position in background.
As queen of Palmyra (present-day Syria), Zenobia was once stated in her lifetime as attractive and shrewdpermanent, accumulating around her on the Palmyrene court docket writers and poets, artists and philosophers. It was once acknowledged that Zenobia claimed descent from Cleopatra, which can't be precise yet is indicative of the way she observed herself and the way she meant to be obvious by way of others at domestic and overseas. This full of life narrative explores the mythical queen and charts the development of her unequivocal statement, not just of independence from Rome, yet of supremacy. firstly, Zenobia stated the suzerainty of the Roman Emperors, yet eventually started to name herself Augusta and her son Vaballathus Augustus. There should be no clearer problem to the authority of Rome within the east, drawing the Emperor Aurelian to the ultimate battles and the submission of Palmyra in advert 272.

Zenobia's tale has encouraged many melodramatic fictions yet few real volumes of any authority were released. Pat Southern's booklet is a full of life account that's either modern and authoritative, in addition to completely engaging.

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The province of Osroene was reduced PA L M Y R A A N D R O M E 37 in size and administered from the new capital at Carrhae, which was made a colonia. Since the legionary fortresses of Samosata and Zeugma on the upper Euphrates were no longer on the frontier with Parthia, detachments were sent to Dura Europos. The province of Mesopotamia was created, although as in Trajan’s day the Romans controlled only the northern half of the territory. 75 Severus was proud of his achievements, and advertised the annexation as a bulwark for Syria, but the historian Dio, as epitomized by Xiphilinus,76 pointed out that having extended their Empire to take in the peoples bordering on the Parthian Empire, the Romans now fought their wars for them, using up valuable resources for very little return.

By 166 the Romans had regained control of northern Mesopotamia, and set up a Roman candidate on the throne of Armenia. Despite the Roman successes, it was another three decades before trade resumed in Palmyra. 70 By the time that the caravan inscriptions started to reappear, an endemic insecurity had set in, caused largely by escalating aggression between Rome and Parthia, and to a lesser extent by civil war among the Romans. THE RISE OF SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS After the assassination of Commodus in ad 193 the scramble to fill the vacuum developed into war.

One of the inscriptions, dated to ad 167, significantly just after the Parthian campaigns of Lucius Verus from ad 161 to 166, names Julius Julianus, prefect of ala I Thracum Herculiana. A unit of mounted archers, ala I Ulpia singularium, is attested at about the same time. There seems to have been an increase in the number of units brought into Palmyra in the late second or 24 EMPRESS ZENOBIA early third century. In some cases, inscriptions can be ambiguous. 22 The Roman government probably felt that there was no necessity to place troops in Palmyra in the first century.

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