History Podcasts

Zenobia in Chains

Zenobia in Chains



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


ZenobiaThird Century

Zenobia lived in the third century ce in Palmyra (historically known as Tadmor), a city in the Syrian Desert. From about 114 ce Palmyra was part of the Roman Empire. It was located on the caravan routes running from the seaports of Phoenicia, Syria, and Egypt to Seleucia. Inscriptions allude to Zenobia as the daughter of a man named Zabbai, which means merchant, although Greek inscriptions refer to him as Antiochus. She was probably an Arab, but may also have been of Aramaean descent.

Zenobia was the second wife of Odainat, ruler of Palmyra, who aided the Romans in their struggles against the Persian Sasanians. One story tells of her riding into battle at Odainat's side against the Sasanians after their capture of Valerian in 260 ce. Zenobia had at least three sons by Odainat, and when he and his heir were assassinated, she assumed the regency on behalf of her own young son, Vallabathus, in 267 ce.

Rome did not grant Zenobia the same authority as her husband, and one of her first actions on her accession to power was to annex Egypt, where she had local support. At around the same time, she also secured most of Syria, and established a large independent kingdom, which extended as far north as the Bosphorus, and incorporated many major trade routes. Political shrewdness consequently drew many scholars to her court, including the rhetorician and philosopher Cassius Longinus and the historian Callinicus Sutorius. Historians depict Zenobia as an intelligent woman who knew the Egyptian language as well as Greek and Aramaic.

Zenobia is one of thirty so-called pretenders to the status of Roman ruler between 117–284 ce, as noted by "Trebellius Pollio" in an anecdotal work possibly written in the fourth century. She certainly invoked the image of Roman authority for herself in tetradrachms (silver coins) that depicted her likeness along with the honorific Augusta. She also claimed to be descended from Cleopatra, and compared herself to Dido, Queen of Carthage, and to the legendary Assyrian warrior queen Semiramis.

Zenobia's empire did not last long. Early in the sixth century, Zosimus reports that under the emperor Aurelian the Romans quickly reconquered Egypt and Ankara. Near Antioch, they defeated the Palmyrenes, whom Zenobia had commanded on horseback. Zenobia's last battle took place at Emesa in 272 ce. She escaped on a female camel, only to be captured as she boarded a boat to cross the Euphrates. Some accounts assert that she was attempting to secure aid from the Persians. In an astonishingly brazen act, considering her exploits, Zenobia claimed immunity on the grounds that she was a woman.

There are variant accounts of Zenobia's subsequent history. Zosimus claims that she committed suicide on the journey to Rome. Other historians state that, after her safe arrival in Rome, she was made to parade in golden chains in Aurelian's Triumph of 274. Aurelian then released her and she lived in a villa in Tibur (Tivoli) as a Roman matron, married to a Roman senator with whom she had children.

Zenobia fascinated ancient chroniclers, who admired her as noble and beautiful, with "the courage of a man" and the stamina of a soldier (Fraser [2004 p. 114f]). Later Arabic tales depict her as possessing similar qualities. Pollio's reference to Zenobia's chastity—that she never slept with Odainat except when she was likely to conceive—was repeated as a mark of respect by subsequent male historians, such as Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375), who presents Zenobia as a Diana-like virgin hunter and warrior in his De Claris Mulieribus Claris (c. 1361–1375, Of illustrious women).

English poet Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400) relied on Boccaccio's description when composing Zenobia's story in The Monk's Tale (1386–1400). He portrays Zenobia as a wise, skilled, and daring queen of Persian descent, whose ultimate humiliation at the hand of the Romans involved replacing her regnal scepter with a distaff—an implement used for spinning, which was a more fitting tool for a woman, according to prevalent medieval mores. Zenobia subsequently appears as a divinely-inspired, helmet-clad representative of heroic virtue in English dramatist Ben Jonson's Masque of Queens (1609), in which she is the ninth of the eleven queens elevated to the House of Fame.


Contents

Early life and education Edit

Harriet Hosmer was born on October 9, 1830 at Watertown, Massachusetts, and completed a course of study at Sedgewick School [3] in Lenox, Massachusetts. Her mother and three siblings died during her childhood. [4] She was a delicate child, and was encouraged by her father, physician Hiram Hosmer, to pursue a course of physical training by which she became expert in rowing, skating, and riding. He also encouraged her artistic passion. She traveled alone in the wilderness of the western United States, and visited the Dakota Indians. [5] [6]

She showed an early aptitude for modeling, and studied anatomy with her father. Through the influence of family friend Wayman Crow she attended the anatomical instruction of Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell at the Missouri Medical College (then the medical department of the state university). [7] She then studied in Boston and practiced modeling at home until November 1852, when, with her father and her lover Charlotte Cushman, she went to Rome, where from 1853 to 1860 she was the pupil of the Welsh sculptor John Gibson, and she was finally allowed to study live models. [5]

When Hosmer knew herself to be a sculptor, she knew also that in America was no school for her. She must leave home, she must live where art could live. She might model her busts in clay of her own soil, but who should follow out in marble the delicate thought which the clay expressed? The workmen of Massachusetts tended the looms, built the railroads, and read the newspapers. The hard-handed men of Italy worked in marble from the designs put before them one copied the leaves which the sculptor threw into the wreaths around the brows of his heroes another turned with the tool the folds of the drapery another wrought up the delicate tissues of the flesh none of them dreamed of ideas - they were copyists - the very hand-work that her head needed. And to Italy she went.

Rome Edit

While living in Rome, she associated with a colony of artists and writers that included Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bertel Thorvaldsen, William Makepeace Thackeray, and the two female Georges, Eliot and Sand. When in Florence, she was frequently the guest of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning at Casa Guidi.

She was very peculiar, but she seemed to be her actual self, and nothing affected or made up so that, for my part, I gave her full leave to wear what may suit her best, and to behave as her inner woman prompts.

The artists included Anne Whitney, Emma Stebbins, Edmonia Lewis, Louisa Lander, Margaret Foley, Florence Freeman, and Vinnie Ream. [11] Hawthorne was clearly describing these in his novel The Marble Faun, and Henry James called them a "sisterhood of American ‘lady sculptors'." [12] As Hosmer is now considered the most famous female sculptor of her time in America, she is credited with having 'led the flock' of other female sculptors. [13]

Artistic style Edit

Hosmer was drawn to the Neoclassical style, which was easy to study given her presence in Rome. She enjoyed studying mythology, and she created various representations of mythological icons, such as the sculpture of The Sleeping Faun, which includes intricate details of elements such as his hair, the grapes, and the cloth draped over him.

Later life Edit

She also designed and constructed machinery, and devised new processes, especially in connection with sculpture, such as a method of converting the ordinary limestone of Italy into marble, and a process of modeling in which the rough shape of a statue is first made in plaster, on which a coating of wax is laid for working out the finer forms. [5]

Hosmer later lived in Chicago and Terre Haute, Indiana.

Hosmer exhibited her sculpture of Queen Isabella, commissioned by the Queen Isabella Association, [15] in the California State Building at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. The statue was exhibited again in 1894 at the California Midwinter International Exposition. [16]

For 25 years she was romantically involved with Louisa, Lady Ashburton, widow of Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton (died 1864). [17] Lady Ashburton provided Harriet a studio close to the Ashburton home in Knightsbridge, London. [18]

Hosmer died at Watertown, Massachusetts, on February 21, 1908, and is buried in the family plot at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. [19] Aside from the work she produced, Harriet Hosmer made her mark on art history and feminist and gender studies. [ citation needed ] As the National Museum of Women in the Arts put it, "Harriet Goodhue Hosmer defied 19th-century social convention by becoming a successful sculptor of large scale, Neoclassical works in marble." [20]

In the 19th century women did not usually have careers, especially careers as sculptors. Women were not allowed to have the same art education as men, they were not trained in the making "great" art such as large history paintings, mythological and biblical scenes, modeling of figure. Women usually produced artwork that could be done in their home, such as still lives, portraits, landscapes, and small scale carvings, although even Queen Victoria allowed her daughter, the Princess Louise, to study sculpture.

Hosmer was not allowed to attend art classes because working from a live model was forbidden for women, but she took classes in anatomy to learn the human form and paid for private sculpture lessons. The biggest career move she made was moving to Rome to study art. Hosmer owned her own studio and ran her own business. She became a well-known artist in Rome, and received several commissions.

Hosmer commented on her break from tradition by saying "I honor every woman who has strength enough to step outside the beaten path when she feels that her walk lies in another strength enough to stand up and be laughed at, if necessary." [14]

Mount Hosmer, near Lansing, Iowa is named after Hosmer she won a footrace to the summit of the hill during a steamboat layover during the 1850s. [21]

During World War II the Liberty ship SS Harriet Hosmer was built in Panama City, Florida, and named in her honor. [22]

A book of poetry, Waking Stone: Inventions on the Life Of Harriet Hosmer, by Carole Simmons Oles, was published in 2006.

Her sculpture, Puck and Owl, is featured on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail. [23]

The Hosmer School in Watertown, Massachusetts is a public elementary school named in her honor. [ citation needed ]

Hosmer made both large and small scale works and also produced work to specific order. Her smaller works were frequently issued in multiples to accommodate demand. [24] Among her most popular were 'Beatrice Cenci', which exists in several versions.


Queen Zenobia’s Rise

Wikimedia Commons Artwork suggesting that Zenobia sentenced her husband’s killer to death. (It’s not been proven this happened.)

At the beginning of her rule, she followed in her husband’s footsteps, working along with Rome’s interests. However, the Roman Empire was undergoing its Imperial Crisis, and internal conflicts prevented the Empire from maintaining control far beyond the borders of Rome.

With the center of Rome crumbling, Zenobia turned her focus to expanding her own empire. In 269 A.D., she focused on strengthening her own military and concentrating her power in the East. In 270 A.D., she broke off friendly relations with Rome and began taking over their lands.

She began by annexing Egypt in 270 A.D., defeating the Roman army led by Probus, admiral to Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. With her hold on Egypt secured, she turned her attention to securing Asia Minor and Phoenicia. She also focused on establishing diplomatic ties and negotiating trade agreements with neighboring lands to further strengthen her empire.


A Sculpture’s Unusual Journey to SLAM

Zenobia in Chains by Harriet Goodhue Hosmer is a Museum favorite, but most visitors do not know the interesting story behind its arrival in the galleries.

The sculpture was originally owned by St. Louisan Wayman Crow, an early patron of Hosmer’s work who knew her through his daughter. Crow helped bring Hosmer to St. Louis in 1850 to attend anatomy classes at a medical college to improve her craft.

Installation view of Sculpture Hall, 1913

In 1881 Crow lent Zenobia in Chains to what was then the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts [1], which was part of Washington University at the time, for its inaugural exhibition. Crow’s heirs donated Zenobia in Chains to the university after his death in 1885. Although the sculpture was officially part of Washington University’s collection, it was exhibited at the Museum on long-term loan until the early 1940s, when Washington University sold the sculpture.

It’s unclear where Zenobia in Chains spent the next few years. By the early 1950s the sculpture was exhibited at the Cherokee Cave and Museum, an unusual tourist attraction on South Broadway. Visitors could tour the natural cave and view art, including sculptures such as Zenobia, and also curiosities such as bones from extinct animals, old coins, costumed dolls, and the Damascus Palace from the 1904 World’s Fair.

Vintage postcard for the former Cherokee Cave and Museum

Cherokee Cave closed in 1961, and the contents of the museum were sold at auction. A private collector purchased Zenobia in Chains at the sale, and his heirs contacted the Museum in 2008 to see if there was interest in acquiring it. Zenobia then returned to the galleries once more at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

[1] The Saint Louis Art Museum began as the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts, an independent entity within Washington University.


Zenobia’s Uncertain End

After this humiliation, she was granted freedom and sent off to live in a villa where she married a Roman and lived as one for the rest of her life. Other accounts say that she committed suicide or that she went on a hunger strike. No reliable account is available for historians to make a certain statement, but Zenobia’s legacy lives on. She is a symbol of pride for Syria and just one of many strong ancient rulers who stood up to Rome. Her face has since adorned Syrian currency, a move that would still make Rome so mad.

A weekly newsletter for History Buffs like you. Once a week. Cool stuff only.


Zenobia

Great physical strength, tremendous beauty, respected intellect and chastity, all overlaid with the suspicion of murder and betrayal, have come to stand for the third-century warrior queen of Palmyra. The scarcity of detail concerning all but five historic years of her life has not helped to demystify her image nor shed light upon her true character. Even the course of her five ruling years differs enormously from one account to another, and the majority of these accounts come from the pens of those whom she ambitiously opposed, the Romans. The Scriptores Historiae Augustae, a collection of biographies attributed to the fourth century, details the Roman emperors from 117 to 284, and most existing information concerning Zenobia can be traced to this source. Though the Scriptores was apparently authored by six, only two, Trebellius Pollio and Flavius Vopiscus, are credited with the period of the queen's rule. The discrepancies between these two accounts alone point to the impossibility of separating Zenobia from the legend that surrounds her.

Where most contemporary historians have resisted the urge to fill in missing details, the Eastern nomads of Zenobia's day did not show comparable discretion. One popular story told of her great desert-chief father who was blessed with numerous wives and sons. Though from time to time he needed a daughter to seal contracts with neighboring tribes, Zenobia's arrival in the family was not one such occasion. When her father tried to dispose of her, she was hidden away and grew up with the household's many boys, thus accounting for what were considered her manly talents of hunting, shooting for the kill, and enduring physical hardships. This scenario, however, does less to provide a credible summation of the queen's childhood than it does to illuminate the tradition of ascribing a powerful woman's strength to masculine influences.

Under whatever conditions she was raised, and by whom, Zenobia's native tongue was Aramaic. She was most likely of Arabic descent, though Pollio wrote that she "claimed to be of the family of the Cleopatras and the Ptolemies." But if her ancestry remains uncertain, at least she can be accurately placed in history.

Following the death of Severus Alexander in 235, the Roman power center was losing its capacity to control a farflung empire extending from the Cadiz to the Euphrates and from Britain and the Danube to Libya and Egypt. Though Emperor Alexander had fully committed his armies in an attempt to maintain law and order throughout the kingdom, his death heralded a period of great disturbance one short-lived emperor followed the next. Consequently, in the north of Syria, the people of Palmyra realized that they would be unable to rely on the Empire for protection, and as the safest caravan route in the region ran through their city, along an avenue lined with more than 375 Corinthian columns, lack of such protection could greatly jeopardize their wealth. Thus, the Palmyrenes both strengthened their local army and took charge of their own political administrative affairs, which actions seem to have well-suited the decentralized Empire.

As Palmyra became increasingly autonomous, Septimius Odainat emerged as the city's uncrowned king. When Roman Emperor Valerian was held captive and killed by Sapur I of Persia, Odainat aligned himself with the Empire in a war against Persia which lasted eight years until the Palmyrenes defeated King Sapur in 260. Having preserved the Empire's eastern frontier and reconquered Mesopotamia for Rome, Odainat was rewarded by the incoming emperor Gallienus in 262 with a title hitherto born only by emperors, Restitutor totius Orientis, Corrector of all the East.

However, there was another title Odainat desired. Taking on the Persian style, he deemed himself "King of Kings." Because the Empire had been busy on other fronts and Odainat had shown such loyalty in driving back the Persians, Rome did not object to such grand displays of autonomy. As it was, no one turned a wary eye toward Palmyra until 267, the year Odainat was murdered along with his son and assumed heir Hairan. Though the murder was attributed to Odainat's nephew Maeonis, many did not believe him responsible and blamed instead someone they thought a more likely candidate, his wife, Bat Zabbai— better known as Queen Zenobia. Whether she was suspected because her son Vaballath became heir in her stepson's stead, or because she was actually guilty, will never be known. History has neither relieved nor condemned her.

Whereas Emperor Gallienus recognized the boy-king Vaballath as heir to the throne, and Zenobia his regent, in 268 Gallienus's successor Claudius set aside the decision. Claudius's actions could not have pleased the queen, who was busy assembling a court known both for its material riches and intellectual prowess. The Greek philosopher Cassius Longinus became her most trusted advisor and would serve in such capacity until his death it is likely that he tutored Vaballath while assisting Zenobia in her study of Greek and Roman authors. Though she is known to have most often used Arabic or Greek in conversation, the queen was versed in five languages including Aramaic, Egyptian, and Latin. Another trusted advisor was her chief general Zabdas and two other names appear to figure prominently in her court, the historian Callinicus Dutorius and one Nicomachus.

Following her husband's death, Zenobia was preparing to continue Odainat's course of action by extending the limits of Palmyra further north and south, when Emperor Claudius died and was replaced by Emperor Aurelian who Vopiscus describes as a "comely man … rather tall … very strong in muscles … endowed with manly grace …a little too fond of wine and food." Regardless of these rumored excesses, he managed to strike commendable blows against the Goths who plagued the Empire in northern Italy and, with such successes to his name, he began pulling the crumbling Roman power center back together again. Where Palmyra was concerned, Aurelian recognized Vaballath, conferring Odainat's titles upon him and allowing him to rule a small Armenian province. Most significantly, he ordered coins struck, bearing Vaballath's portrait on one side, and on the other, his own.

Though undoubtedly relieved to see Vaballath recognized, Zenobia intended that she, not Aurelian, command the east with her son. Thus, in 269, to the shock of the existing world, she sent Zabdas to invade one of the wealthiest provinces in the Roman Empire—Egypt. She had already acquired most of Syria which had simply been annexed to the Palmyrene kingdom. The following year, Egypt was hers. One key point of attack was the little-resisting Antioch in the north. There, the queen ordered the mints to halt production of coins in the name of Claudius. Instead, coins were issued bearing her name and the name of her son. The severity of such an insult to the Empire cannot be underestimated it was, in fact, equivalent to a declaration of war. Twice during her reign, the Palmyrenes consulted oracles to discover if their good fortune would see them through. In Syria, their offering to the Venus Aphacitis floated on the surface of the goddess's cistern, indicating that she had rejected them. The Apollo Sapedonius at Seleucia was more succinct:

Accursed race! avoid my sacred fane Whose treach'rous deeds the angry gods disdain.

But the queen was not deterred. Not only had Palmyra's borders extended south and north, but the city was declared independent of Rome, and Aurelian was so occupied with internal unrest that he could not yet send his soldiers against her. When the arrogant woman could be ignored no longer, he sent his general Probus to take any necessary steps in order that Lower Egypt be restored to Rome. By autumn of 271, his orders had been carried out, and Aurelian headed across the Straits in pursuit of the infamous queen about whom he'd undoubtedly heard many rumors. She was said to walk for miles alongside her troops, rather than ride in her chariot. She wore a helmet, Pollio wrote, "girt with a purple fillet, which had gems hanging from the lower edge, while its center was fastened with the jewel called chochlis, used instead of the brooch worn by women, and her arms were frequently bare." She could drink with the best of men, but was said to do so only to get the better of them. Then, as Pollio confirms, there was the matter of her rumored chastity: "Such was her continence, it is said, that she would not know her own husband save for the purpose of conception." Also detailed by Pollio was the queen's well-known beauty: Her face was dark and of a swarthy hue, her eyes were black and powerful beyond the usual wont, her spirit divinely great, and her beauty incredible. So white were her teeth that many thought that she had pearls in place of teeth. Her voice was clear and like that of a man. Her sternness, when necessity demanded, was that of a tyrant, her clemency … that of a good emperor.

As Aurelian pursued Zenobia through the east, he met little opposition until reaching the city of Tyana which, under orders from Zenobia, bolted its gates against him. "In this city," cried Aurelian, "I will not leave even a dog alive." However, according to Vopiscus, Tyana's famous mystic, Apollonius, visited Aurelian's tent in ghostly form the night he took Tyana. Meanwhile, Zenobia passed through the city and was making her way to Antioch where she would be able to choose her battleground and make her stand. Vopiscus provides a narration of Apollonius's terrifying visitation which some have since ascribed to the queen's ingenuity:

Aurelian, if you wish to conquer, there is no reason why you should plan the death of my fellow-citizens. Aurelian, if you wish to rule, abstain from the blood of the innocent. Aurelian, act with mercy if you wish to live long.

According to legend, when the emperor announced his decision the following day to spare the city, his soldiers were so indignant that they reminded him of his threat not to leave even a single dog alive. Said Aurelian, "Well, then, kill all the dogs." And, as Vopiscus remarks:

Notable, indeed, were the prince's words but more notable still was the deed of the soldiers for the entire army, just as though it were gaining riches thereby, took up the prince's jest, by which both booty was denied them and the city preserved intact.

Zenobia reached Antioch considerably ahead of Aurelian, in time to convince the populace that she and Zabdas could defend the city against the Romans. Aurelian approached from the east, and Zenobia's troops fell back on the line of the Orontes River, just outside Antioch, and there the two armies faced each other. Despite the desert heat, the queen's horses and men were weighted down with chain armor. Soon, in a reversal of his usual strategy, Aurelian sent his infantry across the river first, followed by his cavalry which, rather than engaging the enemy, feigned fright and retreated. Zabdas pursued the Romans some 30 miles near the village of Immae. With the enemy forces suitably exhausted beneath their heavy armor, Aurelian ordered his cavalry to attack and easily defeated them.

Escaping back to Antioch, Zabdas and the survivors convinced the citizens that they had conquered the Romans by parading a man resembling Aurelian through the streets. Their ploy was successful. Zenobia and her general withdrew under the cover of darkness before the people of Antioch could awake to find themselves without protection. However, again Apollonius's ghost is said to have appeared to Aurelian, convincing him to spare the city. His men then tracked the queen to Emesa where, on the bank of the Orontes, Zenobia's last battle took place. Though some sources say she had by then a force of 70,000 men, Zosimus, a fifth-century Greek, reports that the slaughter inflicted upon her troops was "promiscuous" (unrestricted).

Zenobia and Zabdas escaped the massacre and headed the approximately 100 miles back to Palmyra. Aurelian followed and set up camp outside the city's walls. Thanks at least in part to Palmyra's famous sharpshooters and archers, the siege dragged on and on. Tired of watching their comrades picked off by Zenobia's arrows, many of Aurelian's soldiers rebelled and were replaced by slaves. But Aurelian had heard reports of the food and water shortages increasing within the walls. Ordering the siege suspended for two days, he forwarded the following letter, penned in Greek and later recorded by Vopiscus, to Palmyra's queen:

From Aurelian, Emperor of the Roman world and recoverer of the East, to Zenobia and all others who are bound to her by alliance in war. You should have done of your own free will what I now command in my letter. For I bid you surrender, promising that your lives shall be spared, and with the condition that you, Zenobia, together with your children shall dwell wherever I, acting in accordance with the wish of the most noble Senate, shall appoint a place. Your jewels, your gold, your silver, your silks, your horses, your camels, you shall … hand over to the Roman treasury. As for the people of Palmyra, their rights shall be preserved.

Zenobia's response, according to Vopiscus, was written by Nicomachus in Aramaic as dictated by Zenobia, then translated into Greek however, the authorship of this historic letter has been the subject of great controversy with some believing it was actually inspired by Longinus, others believing he tried to dissuade the queen from ever sending it.

From Zenobia, Queen of the East, to Aurelian Augustus. None save yourself has ever demanded by letter what you now demand. Whatever must be accomplished in matters of war must be done by valour alone. You demand my surrender as though you were not aware that Cleopatra preferred to die a Queen rather than remain alive, however high her rank….If [the forces] we are expecting from every side, shall arrive, you will, of a surety, lay aside that arrogance with which you now command my surrender.

The siege was renewed, and Zenobia went to work securing aid from the Persians with whom the Palmyrenes had a common enemy in Rome. On a female camel, known for their fast flight, Zenobia set off for Persia. It is unclear when or how Aurelian learned of her escape, but as she was heading into a boat to cross the Euphrates, his men overtook and captured her. Once the citizens of Palmyra discovered their queen had fallen into Aurelian's hands, their defense crumbled.

A trial of Zenobia and her chiefs was held in Emesa where her life and that of Zabdas were spared. Longinus and Nicomachus, however, were not so fortunate. Zenobia has been accused of betrayal by faulting them for the proud letter sent to Aurelian. Some have gone so far as to say that she placed the entire blame for her uprising against the Empire on Longinus. Others, on the contrary, maintain she would not have turned against her councillors. Regardless, at Emesa, Aurelian ordered them beheaded. "But the woman," wrote Vopiscus, "he saved for his triumph."

Aurelian had to return to Palmyra to quell another revolt in which Sandarion, the governor he'd left behind, had been killed along with his 600 bodyguards. Evidently when the emperor reached the city, he gave his men free reign as is evident by a letter to his deputy Bassus:

The swords of the soldiers should not proceed further…. We have not spared the women, we have slain the children, we have butchered the old men, we have destroyed the peasants.

Upon his return to Rome, Aurelian was granted the highest honor the Roman Senators could grant, a triumphal entry through the imperial gates in which his army, booty, and prisoners would be displayed. "It was," wrote Vopiscus, "a most brilliant spectacle." Chariots, wild beasts, tigers, leopards, elephants, prisoners, and gladiators paraded through the streets. Each group was labeled with a placard identifying captives and booty from 16 conquered nations for the spectators. One placard identified Odainat's chariot, another that of Zenobia. But, as she had often walked with her soldiers on foot, Zenobia did not ride that fateful day. Rather, she walked, without a placard, though the expectant crowd had no trouble recognizing her, "adorned with gems so huge that she labored under the weight of her ornaments." Pollio continues:

This woman, courageous though she was, halted very frequently, saying that she could not endure the load of the gems. Furthermore, her feet were bound with shackles of gold and her hands with golden fetters, and even on her neck she wore a chain of gold, the weight of which was borne by a Persian buffoon.

Aurelian later returned yet again to Palmyra, putting down another rebellion eventually, repeated plundering and a shift in the trade routes put an end to Palmyrene civilization. How long Vaballath survived after his mother's capture will never be known. It is popularly believed that Zenobia's life was spared by her adversary, and that, adapting remarkably well to her new circumstances, she married a Roman senator, living in the manner of a Roman matron on a Tibur estate presented to her by the very Empire against which she'd so daringly risen.


Temple Games

The Orange Iguanas are 11-year-old Justin , who likes to play the piano ever since he saw his sister playing it, and 13-year-old Jennifer , who has ten cats. The Purple Parrots are 12-year-old Chad (aka "Chadwick"), who plays baseball, and 11-year-old Tiffany , who dances ballet.

Wrap the Golden Chains (Climbing Wall)

The first game was a race for the boys to climb up the wall in front of them and fasten four golden chains to the clasp at the top of the wall one at a time. At first the boys were both even, but with just under 20 seconds to go, Chadwick dropped his second chain and had to go down to retrieve it on the other hand, Justin managed to properly fasten two chains instead of one, earning the Orange Iguanas a half Pendant of Life.

Gift of Gold (Bungee Soap Ramp)

The second game pitted the girls against each other to grab golden gifts from the top of a soapy ramp, which they had to scale on their knees with loops on the sides to help them as handholds of sorts. Tiffany kept slipping before she could grab anything, but eventually got just a crown from the top. On the other hand, Jennifer 's strategy of only using the loops on one side of the ramp served her well, and she managed to get three pieces of treasure from the top, earning the Orange Iguanas another half Pendant.

Rebuild Palmyra (Pulley Pillar)

The third Temple Game stated that Palmyra would eventually be rebuilt, but the teams only needed to build a column, with the players alternating and placing one ring at a time using the two-person pulley. This game was infamous because the rope connecting the two players would often get caught, stranding both players on a team in the middle, and this did happen to the Purple Parrots for the final third of the game. However, it did not matter much, because Tiffany spent the first half of the game trying to drop the first ring on the pole— she tried to just place in on the pole, but she never managed to in a last ditch effort, Tiffany tried to toss it on the pole with 27 seconds left, and ended up losing it. A spotter put it back on top of her stack, but then Chadwick had to try placing the first ring on the column and the Purple Parrots , having completely run out of momentum, were both stuck. They lost humiliatingly, having failed to even start while Justin placed the eighth and final ring for the Orange Iguanas ' column with three seconds to go, earning them the full Pendant of Life and a sending the.

Temple Games Results
Team Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Pendants Won
Orange Iguanas Won Won Won 2 Pendants
Purple Parrots Lost Lost Lost 0 Pendants


72. Banishment of Egyptian Bishops

And the General Sebastian wrote to the governors and military authorities in every place and the true Bishops were persecuted, and those who professed impious doctrines were brought in in their stead. They banished Bishops who had grown old in orders, and had been many years in the Episcopate, having been ordained by the Bishop Alexander Ammonius , Hermes, Anagamphus, and Marcus, they sent to the Upper Oasis Muis, Psenosiris, Nilammon, Plenes, Marcus, and Athenodorus to Ammoniaca, with no other intention than that they should perish in their passage through the deserts. They had no pity on them though they were suffering from illness, and indeed proceeded on their journey with so much difficulty on account of their weakness, that they were obliged to be carried in litters, and their sickness was so dangerous that the materials for their burial accompanied them. One of them indeed died, but they would not even permit the body to be given up to his friends for interment. With the same purpose they banished also the Bishop Dracontius to the desert places about Clysma, Philo to Babylon, Adelphius to Psinabla in the Thebais, and the Presbyters Hierax and Dioscorus to Syene. They likewise drove into exile Ammonius, Agathus, Agathodæmon, Apollonius, Eulogius, Apollos, Paphnutius, Gaius, and Flavius, ancient Bishops, as also the Bishops Dioscorus, Ammonius, Heraclides, and Psais some of whom they gave up to work in the stone-quarries, others they persecuted with an intention to destroy, and many others they plundered. They banished also forty of the laity, with certain virgins whom they had before exposed to the fire beating them so severely with rods taken from palm-trees, that after lingering five days some of them died, and others had recourse to surgical treatment on account of the thorns left in their limbs, from which they suffered torments worse than death. But what is most dreadful to the mind of any man of sound understanding, though characteristic of these miscreants, is this: When the virgins during the scourging called upon the Name of Christ, they gnashed their teeth against them with increased fury. Nay more, they would not give up the bodies of the dead to their friends for burial, but concealed them that they might appear to be ignorant of the murder. They did not however escape detection the whole city perceived it, and all men withdrew from them as executioners, as malefactors and robbers. Moreover they overthrew monasteries, and endeavoured to cast monks into the fire they plundered houses, and breaking into the house of certain free citizens where the Bishop had deposited a treasure, they plundered and took it away. They scourged the widows on the soles of their feet, and hindered them from receiving their alms.


Zenobia’s Legacy

Much like her birth, the exact circumstances of Zenobia’s death are uncertain. Some Arab sources say that she committed suicide to avoid capture. Roman sources claim that Aurelian, unwilling to put a woman to death, brought her as a captive to Rome. The queen, it was said, had always longed to visit Rome, “and this hope was not unfulfilled,” the Augustan History recorded with irony: “for she did, indeed, enter the city . . . but vanquished and led in triumph.” Some sources claim she was decapitated there. Others recount that she married a Roman senator and lived out her life as a Roman matron. Whatever befell her, Zenobia has captured the imagination of generations of writers, enthralled by the exploits of this powerful queen who defied Rome.


Watch the video: golden chains of zenobia (August 2022).