Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.

  ZENOBIA (Septimia), Queen of Palmyra, wife of Odenathus, and mother of Timolaus, Herenuianus, and Vabalathus. [ODENATHVS ; VABALATHVS.]  Though claiming her descent from the Macedonian kings of Egypt, she is suposed by some Christian writers to have ben a Jewess (Jost, Geschichte des Israel, vol. iii., p. 166 ; Milman Hist. of the Jews, vol. iii. p. 175 ; cf. Gibbon, Rom. Emp., ed. Smith, vol. ii., p. 20, note a.)  After the death of Odenathus (A.D. 266-267) Zenobia attempted to place under her sway Syria, Asia, and Egypt, and assumed the title of Queen of the East [BACILICCA on an inscription found in Palmyra, dated 582 of the Seleucidan era = A.D. 271, Bull. de l'Athén. Franc., 1855, p. 36.]  Aurelian made war with her, and defeated her at the battles of Daphne and Emesa.  After the capture of this latter city, Zenobia fled to Palmyra, which was besieged by Aurelian.  She attempted to escape, but was captured by the cavalry of Aurelian, and Palmyra soon afterwards surrendered.  Zenobia - together with the Emperor Tetricus, who had given himself up to Aurelian at the gret battle of Chalons, A.D. 274 [TETRICVS] - had to take a captive's part in the triumph of Aurelian, but afterwards (as well as Tetricus) was treated with great clemency, being allowed to pass the remainder of her life with her sons in a handsome villa at Tibur or Tivoli, which had ben presented to her by her conqueror.

   A full historical and numismatic account of Zenobia and the Princes of Palmyra has been written by Dr. von Sallet (Die Fürsten von Palmyra unter Gallienus, Claudius, und Aurelian, 1866), who, from coin-dates, inscriptions and ancient authors, has drawn up the following chronological table:-
     A.D. 264─Odenathus conquers the Persians, and is recognised by Gallienus as ruler of the East.
    266─267.─Odenathus and his son and coregent Herodes are murdered by Maeonius.
    266─267. (August 29.)─First year of the reign of Vabalathus, son of Odenathus and Zenobia.  Under the reign of Claudius, Zabdas and Timagenes, the generals of Vabalathus and Zenobia, conquer the insurgents Egyptians.  Homage rendered by the Egyptians to Vabalathus Imperator, the Deputy of the Emperor Claudius.
    270 (Spring).─Aurelian Augustus.  Recognition of Vabalathus in Syria and Egypt as Vir Consularis Romanorum IMperator Dux Romanorum ('Υπατικδ ΑΥΤοκράτωρ Cτρατηγδς 'Ρωμαίων.) Zenobia Augusta.  Coins with heads of Aurelian and Vabalathus.
    270 (August 29.)- Beginning of the fifth Egyptian year of the reign of Vabalathus; coins with his and Aurelian's head.
   270-271 (August 29.)-- Revolt of Vabalathus and Zenobia against Aurelian.  Vabalathus assuems the title of Augustus.  Alexandrian and Latin coins of Vabalathus with the title of Augustus.  Alexandrian coins of Zenobia Augusta, who also assumes the title of Queen.  Battles of Daphne and Emesa (Immae?)
    271.  (Beginning of the Autumn.) Conquest of Egypt.
    271.  (In the second half of the year.)  Conquest of Palmyra.  Zenobia and Vabalathus taken prisioners.  End of the Palmyrian rule.  Revolt and conquest of Firmus in Egypt and of Achilleus (?) in Palmyra.  Aurelian recognised as sole Emperor in Syria and Egypt.
    The only genuine coins of Zenobia are Alexandrian ones, bearing the date L. E. (year 5) of Vabalathus, and issued at the same time as the coins of Vabalathus Augustus with the same date.

View whole page from the |Dictionary Of Roman Coins|