When the next, short-lived Roman emperor, Claudius Gothicus, acceded, he had no choice but to recognize her sovereignty. Zenobia had achieved her aim: to make Palmyra an equal to Rome. Little by little, with astuteness and the wise advice of her counselors, Zenobia widened the break with Rome. Keeping the Persians at bay to the east, she annexed various neighboring states, including all of Syria and most of Anatolia modern-day Turkey. In she sent her forces into Egypt and seized Alexandria.
By she had taken control of all of Egypt, its wealth, and the grain it supplied to Rome. Her empire looked unstoppable.
Zenobia; Or, the Fall of Palmyra by William Ware
Taking power in , Aurelian possessed a rigid military discipline forged in battle on the imperial frontiers. Aurelian retaliated, taking back territory from Zenobia as his legions advanced through Asia Minor. Sources recount that Zenobia attempted to flee the siege of Palmyra on a dromedary. Caught by Roman troops, she was brought before Emperor Aurelian, a scene depicted in this painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Pleading for her life, Zenobia reportedly blamed her anti-Roman policy on one of her advisers, the Greek-born philosopher Cassius Longinus, whom Aurelian then had executed.
They laid siege to Palmyra, but Zenobia was confident that her archers and cavalry could repel them.
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If that did not work, perhaps the Romans would succumb to hunger and the merciless desert climate. 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. Stung by this rebuff from a woman, Aurelian redoubled his efforts to take the city. In desperation, the queen tried to flee eastward to Persia but was captured—the Augustan History relates—when she reached the Euphrates River. The city soon surrendered. Some Arab sources say that she committed suicide to avoid capture. William Ware. None, apparently, had been spared.
The aged were there, with their bald or silvered heads — little children and infants — women, the young, the beautiful, the good — all were there, slaughtered in every imaginable It was but in another way.
Zenobia; Or, the Fall of Palmyra
All greatness is born of ambition. Let the ambition be a noble one, and who shall blame it? I confess I did once aspire to be queen, not only of Palmyra, but of the East.
That I am. I now aspire to remain so. Is it not an honorable ambition?
Does it not become a descendant of the Ptolemies and of Cleopatra? We hoped that it might escape, and were certain that it would, unless fired from within, — as from its insulated position the flames from the neighboring buildings could not reach it. But we watched not long ere from its western extremity the fire broke forth, and warned us that that peerless monument of human genius, like all Inbunden Engelska, Spara som favorit.
Skickas inom vardagar.
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