• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

THE RISE AND FALL OF PALMYRA IN THE 3RD CENTURY

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

THE RISE AND FALL OF PALMYRA IN THE 3RD CENTURY Palmyra was set around an oasis in the desert a busy trading place on the Silk Road full 'of the camel caravans.'1 Palmyra had a great deal of history and became a bustling city independent of foreign rule, set between two very powerful Empires; Rome and the Sasanid Persian Empire, Palmyra became adapt at balancing peace between the two rival Empires. Due to this ability a member of the ruling family, Septimius Odaenathus, was made a senator in Rome. While Palmyrene relations were mostly friendly with Rome in the third century, Rome had faced three decades of civil wars and usurpers, the Western provinces of the Empire had broken away from Rome, forming a rebel Roman state known as the 'Gallic empire,'2 in the east Roman frontiers were under pressure from Sasanid Persians, 'Rome needed Palmyra.'3 When Emperor Valerian was defeated in Edessa and captured by the Persians in AD260 the prospect of trouble for Palmyra was very real as they had been so favoured by the Romans. So Odaenathus decided to give his full support to the Romans, taking his army, Odaenathus fought against the Sasanid for many years successfully, reaching their capital Ctesiphon two times. ...read more.

Middle

Zenobia then declared herself Empress or Augusta as well as Queen or Regina 'the most illustrious queen, mother of the king of kings.'18 At the height of Zenobia's and Palmyra's power she held large portions of the eastern territories including the cities of Antioch and Alexandria; these cities were two of the three largest cities in the Roman Empire. Zenobia lived in luxury, 'she lived in regal pomp. It was rather in the manner of the Persians that she received worship and in the manner of the Persian kings that she banqueted; but it was in the manner of a Roman emperor that she came forth to public assemblies, wearing a helmet and girt with a purple fillet, which had gems hanging from the lower edge.'19 However Zenobia's thirst for power bought about the downfall of her, her empire and Palmyra itself. The new Emperor Aurelian had recently taken the thrown paid great attention to all of Zenobia's arrogant declarations. Aurelian was talented and vigorous, unlike previous emperors; he was a skilled commander. It was Aurelian who drove the barbarians back when they threatened Italy; he also slew disloyal senators and rebuilt the walls of Rome. ...read more.

Conclusion

Envoys were sent from all around the world to the celebrations and to see Zenobia paraded down the streets 'she could not endure the load of her gems. Furthermore, her feet were bound with shackles of gold and her hands with gold fetters, and even on her neck she wore a chain of gold.'36 What happened to Zenobia is still unclear, some sources have Aurelian beheading her 'he had paraded her in Rome in triumph in the accustomed fashion, he beheaded her.'37 Others state Aurelian gave her an estate on the Tiber, 'Zenobia spent the rest of her days in the city (of Rome) and was accorded the highest respect.'38 Whatever her ending, Zenobia's achievements have assured her place in history with Cleopatra and Boudicca. The rise and fall of Palmyra fits in with the crisis of the third century which Rome faced. Palmyra came into focus as being an important city with no power of its own and yet it rose to threaten the two powerful empires of the day; Rome and Persia. Palmyra never recovered from Zenobia's defeat but the city would never have achieved the fame it did without her. Zenobia is a figure in history which shows what great achievement and splendour women can accomplish with fortitude, intelligence and an army. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Ancient History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Ancient History essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Did the Suez Crisis hasten the end of the British Empire?

    5 star(s)

    Therefore the effects of Suez would not have been so widely felt had their not been any nationalist movements within the colonies. The second factor to consider is the international pressures Britain found herself facing in the post-war world. Springhall states that in a world of Cold War ideologies and

  2. Was the Fall of the Roman Republic inevitable?

    Upon returning to Rome, Sulla was greeted with chaos. Cinna and Marius had been in almost dictatorial charge of Rome from 86 and did very little in the way of constructive action to solve the unrest plaguing Italy. Sulla mobilised his small force and gained support from the lengths of the country to overthrow them.

  1. What are the strengths an weaknesses of Herodtus' account of the Persian wars?

    "The Problem of Herodotus" as we should call it is that the narrative "speculates on the reality of the world it presents, not only by authorial interventions and constant references to its sources, but also by such devices as the tale told in indirect speech and by the presentation of alternative and competing narratives"11.

  2. With reference to the Res Gestae and Suetonius' Life of Augustus, to what extent ...

    figure who boasted the support of the Roman people and had largely overcome resistance to his rule.

  1. With Reference to 'Suetonius', 'Res Gestae', and other sources, how successfully did Augustus create ...

    Equally important was the use of coinage, which was effective, as every person in Rome would, at some point handle coins. Augustus' coins portray representations of divinity, and there was very often a reference to the god Apollo, as Augustus attributed military victories to him, such as the Battle of Actium.

  2. Alexander the Great and His Army.

    His phalanx edges diagonally to the right, moving off the area Darius has cleared to help his own battle plan.

  1. Duane W. Roller's "Cleopatra: A Biography" Book Review

    When mentioning Ptolemy IX and ?his son Ptolemy XII? (43), for example, it would be more relevant to refer to Ptolemy XII as Cleopatra?s father.

  2. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire with Regards to its Economics.

    Though the Roman Empire had proved to be vast and wealthy state, the centuries leading up to its decline proved to be filled with economic missteps from inflation to hoarding gold and silver. Economic weaknesses and their social repercussions were largely to blame for the decline that Rome went through during the third century.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work