Odenathus, Septimius [key], d. 267, king of Palmyra. His family (the Septimii) had dominated Palmyra for many years, and Odenathus by his policy of cooperation with Rome raised his state to its zenith. As a Roman general he warred against Shapur I of Persia after the defeat of Valerian. He won (260) a resounding victory over Shapur for Emperor Gallienus and drove the Persians back until he threatened Ctesiphon. He also put down (261) an insurrection against Gallienus in Emesa. Odenathus' main interest was to protect Palmyra's trade with the East against the Persians. He willingly permitted his state (including Syria, NW Mesopotamia, and W Armenia) to be autonomous within the Roman Empire. He and his eldest son were murdered, and soon after his death his second wife, the beautiful and ambitious Zenobia, brought Palmyra to ruin.
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