Saturday, June 01, 2013

Zenobia, Empress of Palmyra

Discussion on the BBC Radio programme In Our Time on Zenobia, (240 – c. 275 GreekΖηνοβία Aramaicבת זבי Bat-Zabbai Arabicالزباء al-Zabbā’intellectual military leader of Palmyra b. 240 CE who became Empress of the Palmyrene Empire in the Middle East which she extended to Ankara in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), Egypt, the Holy Land to the Euphrates. Palmyra appears in the Bible as Tadmore (2 Chron 8:4; 1 Kings 9:17), fortified by Solomon. 

With Edith Hall, Professor of Classics at King's College, London; Kate Cooper, Professor of Ancient History at the University of Manchester and Richard Stoneman, Visiting Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Exeter. 

Prof Kate Cooper has some fascinating reflections after the programme: 

One of the most fascinating questions about Zenobia is what she thought she was doing.  Was the establishment of her empire intended as a revolt against Rome, as many believe? Or was she simply, like so many after her, trying to bring peace to the Middle East?

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