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Roman Empire

Ruler: Vabalathus with Aurelian as Vir Clarissimus, Rex Imperator, Dux Romanorum
Reigned: Above rank, 270-271 AD: Augustus 271-272 AD
Denomination: Billon Tetradrachm
Mint: Alexandria
Date of Issue: 270/271 A.D.
Obverse: Laureate and Diademed bust of Vabalathus "ΑϒΤ. ΚΟϒΒΑΛΛΑΘΟX ΑΗΝΟ" "ε" to right of bust =year 6
Reverse: Laureate bust of Aurelian. "ΑϒΡΗΛΙΑΝΟC ΚΑΙ. ΑΘΗΝΟΔOFC CEB"
Reference: RCVM 11721, BMCG 2284
Weight: 9.7 gms
Diameter: 20.5 mm

VABALATHUS (sometimes called Athenodorus)

  • PALMYRA was an ancient city of Syria, in an oasis on the northern edge of the Syrian Desert, about 240 km northeast of Damascus. According to tradition, it was founded by Solomon, king of Israel and in the Bible is called Tadmor. Palmyra became a Roman outpost and a city-state within the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD.
  • VABALATHUS Following the assassination of Odenathus, Zenobia and their son, Vabalathus, jointly succeeded him.
  • Gallienus refused to grant Vabalathus the titles that had been conferred on Odenathus, as did Claudius Gothicus, although neither emperor was able to challenge the power of Palmyra in the East.
  • Aurelian, however, granted him the titles of Vir Clarissimus, Rex Imperator, Dux Romanorum.
  • That was not enough and Vabalathus had himself declared Augustus. Aurelian retaliated and Vabalathus and Zenobia were defeated in battles at Immae and Emesa.
  • They retreated to Palmyra but were beseiged by the Romans in 272.
  • Zenobia attempted to take off on a camel to seek the help of the Persians, but was caught and taken to Rome with her son to be paraded in 's triumph.
  • A further rebellion ensued when the Roman garrison was slaughtered, but this was put down by Aurelian, with no clemency being shown.

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