Empress Zenobia: Palmyra's Rebel Queen

Empress Zenobia: Palmyra's Rebel Queen


By (author) Pat Southern

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  • Publisher: Hambledon Continuum
  • Format: Hardback | 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 234mm x 28mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 17 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1847250343
  • ISBN 13: 9781847250346
  • Illustrations note: 10 bw illustrations
  • Sales rank: 464,407

Product description

This book offers a fascinating insight into this key historical figure and her fight against the Romans. The ancient sources for the life and times of Zenobia are sparse. The surviving literary works that do exist are biased towards the Roman point of view, as are the sources for two other famous women who challenged Rome, Cleopatra and Boudica. Zenobia was acknowledged in her lifetime as beautiful and clever, gathering writers and poets, artists and philosophers around her at the Palmyrene court. It was said that Zenobia claimed descent from Cleopatra, which cannot be true but is indicative of how she saw herself and how she intended to be seen by others at home and abroad.This lively narrative explores the legendary queen and charts the progression of her unequivocal declaration, not only of independence of Rome, but of supremacy. Initially Zenobia acknowledged the suzerainty of the Roman Emperors but finally began to call herself Augusta and her son Vaballathus Augustus. There could be no clearer challenge to the authority of Rome in the east, drawing the Emperor Aurelian to the final battles and the submission of Palmyra in AD272.

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Author information

Pat Southern is an expert on Classical History and is the author of many authoritative books in this area including The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, The Late Roman Army and biographies of Augustus and Domitian (all published by Routledge).

Review quote

"Verdict: Southern's biography is an accessible and vital addition to Roman historical knowledge. Exhaustive research and extensive footnotes make this an excellent aid to undergraduate or graduate research. Recommended for academic libraries. Background: Southern (The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine; The Roman Army) examines the life and times of Zenobia, who ruled Palmyra as regent to her son, Vaballathus, in the late third century C.E. The author skillfully presents the turbulent world of the late Roman Empire and Zenobia's rise to power. Using historical records and archaeological evidence, Southern portrays Zenobia as less of a rebel or power-hungry ruler than a leader who had the interest of her people and the security of her realm at heart; she also carefully considers other theories and opinions that have arisen over the centuries." - Melinda Gottesman, Library Journal (Xpress Reviews), February 15, 2009

Table of contents

1: Zenobia in History; 2: Palmyra and Rome; 3: Septimius Odenathus, Corrector Totius Orientis; 4: Zenobia Widowed; 5: Septimia Zenobia Augusta; 6: Aurelian and the Roman Recovery; 7: Aftermath.