) is the name commonly used for the daughter of (= "bat
" or "bath
") Zabaai ben Selim. The widow of Septimius Odenathus, she reigned as Queen of Palmyra
as regent for her infant son Vaballathus. Something of a militant, she embarked on a campaign of conquests that eventually saw her as the ruler of much of Syria
and Asia Minor
. By playing off Persia
to the east against Rome
to the west, she hoped to dominate them both.
, she crushed an Egyptian who challenged Roman rule and proclaimed herself Queen of Egypt. She had always claimed to be descended from Cleopatra VII of Egypt
, and many modern historians believe she was.
The Roman emperor Aurelian led a military campaign that resulted in the conquest of her kingdom in 272. Zenobia was captured and paraded wearing gold chains in Aurelian's Triumph (274). She was granted a villa in Tibur (now Tivoli, Italy), where she spent the rest of her life as a philosopher and socialite. Some historians (ancient and modern) believe she married a Roman senator and that they had children, so the line continued at least into the 4th century.
Beloved (©1983) was a best-selling historical romance about Zenobia written by Bertrice Small.