Zenobia zĭnōˈbēə [key], d. after 272, queen of Palmyra. She was of Arab stock and was the wife of Septimius Odenathus. He was murdered, probably through her contrivance, and she obtained rule of his lands in the name of her son. She expanded the territories further to rule E Asia Minor, Syria, N Mesopotamia, and even Egypt. Her ambition outran her prudence, and after she had dared to call her son emperor, the Romans under Aurelian marched against her, took (272) Palmyra, and captured her. She was brought to Rome and exhibited at Aurelian's triumph. Later she was pensioned and lived in retirement at Tibur. By her beauty and intelligence, Zenobia attracted much admiration and sympathy, but her name has also been a symbol of ruthless arrogance.

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