Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra – Summary

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra – Summary

Zenobia had a deep understanding of affairs of state, and her husband’s successes (recovery of the Roman East), were said to have been due to her counsel. She became Queen of Palmyra when her husband died in 267. Within two years she had conquered Egypt and expelled the Roman prefect, who was beheaded when he attempted to reclaim the territory. Zenobia claimed descent from Cleopatra and was said to profess the Jewish religion. She was beautiful and intelligent, with a dark complexion, pearly white teeth and bright black eyes. She was more beautiful than Cleopatra, and had a reputation for extreme chastity. Zenobia’s forces were dealt a crushing defeat by Aurelian’s forces near Antioch in 272. She and her son escaped initially, but were captured on the Euphrates by the Emperor’s horsemen. She appeared in golden chains in Aurelian’s military triumph parade in Rome. There are varied theories on her final...
Cleopatra VII, Pharaoh – Summary

Cleopatra VII, Pharaoh – Summary

Cleopatra (at age 18) began to assert herself as sole ruler of Egypt at the expense of her co-ruling brother Ptolemy XIII (10), but within three years her enemies placed Ptolemy on the throne as the sole ruler. Thinking he would please Caesar, Ptolemy instead angered him by murdering the great Roman military and political leader Pompey. Cleopatra saw an opportunity and had herself smuggled into Ptolemy’s palace in a carpet to meet with Caesar. She became his mistress and with the defeat of Ptolemy’s army at the Battle of the Nile, Caesar backed her claim to the throne naming Ptolemy XIV as co-ruler. After allegedly poisoning her new co-ruler, Cleopatra made her son (by Caesar) Caesarion her co-regent and successor. After Caesar’s death, she would align herself with Mark Antony with whom she had three children. After Antony’s defeat at Actium and his subsequent suicide, Cleopatra would follow – committing suicide with an asp bite on the...