/zeuh noh"bee euh/, n.
1. (Septimia Bathzabbai) died after A.D. 272, queen of Palmyra in Syria A.D. 267-272.
2. a female given name.

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in full Septimia Zenobia

died AD after 274

Queen of the Roman colony of Palmyra (267/268–272).

Her husband, a Roman client ruler of Palmyra, was assassinated after recapturing several of Rome's eastern provinces from the Persians. She became her son's regent but called herself queen. In 269 she seized Egypt and much of Asia Minor and declared her independence from Rome. Aurelian defeated her armies and besieged Palmyra; she and her son were captured and taken to Rome (272), where she was paraded in Aurelian's triumph.

Zenobia, portrait bust; in the Vatican Museum, Rome

Anderson-Giraudon from Art Resource

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▪ queen of Palmyra
in full  Septimia Zenobia , Aramaic  Znwbyā Bat Zabbai 
died after 274
 queen of the Roman colony of Palmyra, in present-day Syria, from 267 or 268 to 272. She conquered several of Rome's eastern provinces before she was subjugated by the emperor Aurelian (ruled 270–275).

      Zenobia's husband, Odaenathus (Odaenathus, Septimius), Rome's client ruler of Palmyra, had by 267 recovered the Roman East from Persian conquerors. After Odaenathus and his eldest son (by his former wife), Herodes (or Herodianus), were assassinated in 267 or 268, Zenobia became regent for her own young son Wahballat (called Vaballathus in Latin, Athenodorus in Greek). Styling herself queen of Palmyra, she had Vaballathus adopt his father's titles of “king of kings” and corrector totius Orientis (“governor of all the East”).

      Nevertheless, unlike Odaenathus, Zenobia was not content to remain a Roman client. In 269 she seized Egypt, then conquered much of Asia Minor and declared her independence from Rome. Marching east, Aurelian defeated her armies at Antioch (now Antakya, Turkey) and at Emesa (now Ḥimṣ, Syria) and besieged Palmyra. Zenobia and Vaballathus tried to flee from the city, but they were captured and taken to Rome (272). The Palmyrenes soon surrendered. When they revolted again in 273, the Romans recaptured and destroyed the city. Zenobia and two of her sons, Herennianus and Timolaus, graced the triumphal procession that Aurelian celebrated at Rome in 274. Vaballathus's fate is unknown, but Zenobia married a Roman senator and presumably spent the rest of her life at his villa near Tibur (now Tivoli, Italy).

Additional Reading
William Wright, An Account of Palmyra and Zenobia: With Travels and Adventures in Bashan and the Desert (1895, reprinted 1987); Agnes Carr Vaughan, Zenobia of Palmyra (1967); Richard Stoneman, Palmyra and Its Empire: Zenobia's Revolt Against Rome (1992); Yasamin Zahran, Zenobia Between Reality and Legend (2003).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Zenobia — [zə nō′bē ə] [L < Gr Zēnobia] 3d cent. A.D.; queen of Palmyra …   English World dictionary

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