The Mysterious Fate of A Queen And An Empress

Zenobia, the ancient queen who ruled the kingdom of Palmyra after her husband, Odenathus’ death. She declared Palmyra no longer a client kingdom of Rome, but an independent state, with her son its king and her its regent. A weak short-lived emperor, Claudius Gothicus, recognized her sovereignty in 268. She quickly began taking land which had once been Roman, including the breadbasket Egypt and the wealthy city of Antioch. Palmyra became known as the Palmyrene Empire. But it was not to last.

A new and more able Roman emperor, Aurelian, consolidated his power then moved on on the new Palmyrene Empire. Aurelian beseiged Palmyra in 272. The empress tried to flee east, toward Persia, but was captured when she reached the Euphrates River. Empress Zenobia, and Palmyra, was defeated.

Then things get mysterious. No one knows what exactly happened to Queen Zenobia after 273. Some Arab sources claim she committed suicide to avoid capture. Roman sources say that Emperor Aurelian, not willing to execute a woman, brought Queen Zenobia to Rome as a captive, to be show before Rome during his triumphal parade. Some sources say she was then decapitated. Others claim she married a Roman senator, and lived the rest of her life as a Roman matron. To this day no one knows which story is the truth.