London ‒ New York: Continuum, 2008. – 225 p. ISBN 978-1-84725-034-6The ancient sources for the life and times of Zenobia are sparse, and the surviving literary works are biased towards the Roman point of view, much as are the sources for two other famous women who challenged Rome, Cleopatra and Boudica. In Empress Zenobia, Pat Southern seeks to tell the other side of the legendary 3rd century queenʼs place in history. As queen of Palmyra (present-day Syria), Zenobia was acknowledged in her lifetime as beautiful and clever, gathering round her at the Palmyrene court writers and poets, artists and philosophers. 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 from 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 AD 272. Zenobiaʼs story has inspired many melodramatic fictions but few factual volumes of any authority have been published. Pat Southernʼs book is a lively account that is both up to date and authoritative, as well as thoroughly engaging.Contents: Illustrations Preface and AcknowledgementsZenobia in History and Legend The Historical Zenobia The Family of Zenobia The Status and Family of Odenathus The Children of Zenobia and Odenathus The Legend of Zenobia Travellers to Palmyra Zenobia in Literature and ArtPalmyra and Rome Annexation by Rome The Palmyrene Militia Organization of Palmyrene Trade The Caravans and their Leaders Luxury Goods Trade Routes Palmyra, Rome and Parthia The Rise of Septimius Severus Changes in the Palmyrene Militia The Late Severan Dynasty and the Rise of the Persians The Roman Response The Decline of Palmyrene Trade Odenathus, Chief of the Palmyrenes Shapur I, King of Kings The Emperor Valerian and OdenathusSeptimius Odenathus: Restorer of the East Macrianus and His Sons Seize Power Odenathus, Restorer of the East Literary Sources Dux Romanorum Corrector totius orientis? The Campaign against the Persians King of Kings The Last Years of OdenathusZenobia Widowed The Representation of Vaballathus as Ruler Gaining the Support of the Eastern Kingdoms and Provinces Relations with Rome Protection of the Eastern Frontier Queen and Regent Queen and CourtSeptimia Zenobia Augusta Economic and Defence Motives in Palmyrene Expansion The Roman World in 269–70 Arabia Egypt Asia Minor Zenobia’s Rule of the EastAurelian and the Roman Recovery The Roman Recovery of Egypt Aurelian’s March to Syria The Battle of Immae The Defeat of the Palmyrene Garrison at Daphne The Battle of Emesa The So-called Siege of PalmyraAftermath The Rebellion of the Palmyrenes The Revolt of Firmus in Egypt The Fate of Zenobia Zenobia: Rebel and Usurper, or Heroine and Patriot?Glossary Notes Bibliography Index
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