Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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c. 240-after 274
From: Syria
Fields: Government and Politics, Military and Warfare
Key Words/Phrases: Syrian warrior queen, fought Egypt and Rome
Zenobia (flourished 3rd century AD), queen of Palmyra, wife of King Odenathus, born in Palmyra (now Tadmor, Syria). Following the assassination of her husband, in which she is believed to have been implicated, Zenobia succeeded to power as regent for their young son. Within three years, she extended her rule to all of Syria, to Egypt, and to most of Asia Minor, ostensibly in alliance with Rome. In 271, however, because of Zenobia's aggressiveness in the East, the Roman emperor Lucius Domitius Aurelian took up arms against her. After gaining control of nearly all of Zenobia's domain, Aurelian besieged the city of Palmyra. It fell, and Zenobia was captured and taken to Rome. Later she was given an estate at Tibur (now Tivoli, Italy), where she spent the rest of her life in pensioned retirement. A beautiful and brilliant woman, Zenobia is remembered for her ruthless ambition.

"Zenobia" Microsoft Encarta.
Copyright 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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