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Zonobia
Greek: Xenobia
Arabic: Az-Zabba


(240?-late 3rd century) Queen of Palmyra, a Roman colony, and ruler of a short-lived empire stretching from Egypt to Anatolia (269-272).
Zenobia's conquest of several of Rome's eastern provinces happened apparently not in opposition to Rome, rather it was a power battle between local rulers. Yet, with the position she was quickly gaining it soon became clear to Rome that she had to be stopped before she became too strong.
Much of what is told about her lacks historical accuracy. From what is told about her, she was very beautiful, very chaste, well-educated and cultured. The dating of certain years, as well as her biography before and after her years in power has many uncertainties. Arab historians made claims on her being of Arabic origin, while other storytellers tell that she was of mixed Carthaginian and Egyptian descent. He reportedly called Alexandria "my ancestral city".
Zenobia has achieved a legendary status, being the heroine of many Western novels. In her native Syria, she is one of the most celebrated historic figures.

Biography
Around 240?: Born in Palmyra into one of the most influential families.
Ca. 258: Marries King Odaenathus of Palmyra.
267 or 268: Odaenathus and his eldest son are assassinated, and Zenobia becomes regent for her young son, Wahballat, but starts calling herself queen.
269: In cooperation with local leaders, she takes control over Egypt, taking the title Queen of Egypt.
— Still in 269, she marches on to Anatolia, managing to take control of its eastern half.
272: Her armies are defeated by Emperor Aurelian at Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) then at Emesa (modern Homs, Syria). Eventually she is captured by Emperor Aurelian and taken as prisoner to Rome.
274: Zenobia is marched through Rome in golden chains. She is then freed by the emperor and marries a Roman senator to live with him for the rest of her life in Tibur (modern Tivoli, Italy).




By Tore Kjeilen