ZZNOBIA, z4-no'b1-4, queen of Palmyra (q v.). Her native name was Septimia Bath zabbai, and she was instructed in the sciences by the celebrated Longinus, and made such progress that besides her native tongue she spoke the Latin, Greek, Coptic and Syrian lan guages. She also patronized learned men, and herself formed an epitome of Egyptian his tory. She was married to Odenathus, king of him both in the war and the chase, and the success of his military ex peditibn against the Persians is, in a great de gree, attributed to her prudence and Gallienus, in return for services which to preserve the East to the Romans after the capture of Valerian by Sapor, king of Persia, acknowledged Odenathus as emperor, and on his death, 267 A.D., Zenobia assumed the sov ereignty, under the title of Queen of the East. She. preserved the provinces which had been ruled by Odenathus, and was preparing to make other conquests, when the succession of Aurelian to the purple led to a remarkable change of fortune. That martial prince, disgusted at the usurpation of the richest provinces of the Fast by a female, determined to make war upon her and having gained two battles, Antioch and Emesa, beseiged her in Palmyra, where she defended herself with great bravery. At length,
finding that the city would be obliged to sur render, she quitted it privately; but the emperor, having notice of her escape, caused her to be pursued with such diligence that she was over taken just as she got into a boat to cross the Euphrates, in 272. Aurelian spared her life. hut made her serve to grace his triumph. The Roman soldiers demanded her life, and accord ing to Zosimus she purchased her safety by sacrificing her ministers, among whom was the distinguished scholar, Longinus. She was allowed to pass the remainder of her life as a Roman matron, and her daughters were mar ried by Aurelian into families of distinction. Her only surviving son retired into Armenia, where the emperor bestowed on him a small principality. Consult Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall' (ed. Bury, 'Life of Aurelian' by Vnpiscus in 'Auguste Historic Scriptores' (Eng. trans., Bernard 1740); Ware, (Zenobia, or The Fall of Palmyra' (1837).