Queen Zenobia

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Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Queen Zenobia, a famous military leader of the ancient world. Born in around 240 AD, Zenobia was Empress of the Palmyrene Empire in the Middle East. A highly educated, intelligent and militarily accomplished leader, she claimed descent from Dido and Cleopatra and spoke many languages, including Egyptian. Zenobia led a rebellion against the Roman Empire and conquered Egypt before being finally defeated by the Emperor Aurelian. Her story captured the imagination of many Renaissance writers, and has become the subject of numerous operas, poems and plays.


Edith Hall
Professor of Classics at King's College, London

Kate Cooper
Professor of Ancient History at the University of Manchester

Richard Stoneman
Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 30 May 2013 21:30


Edith Hall at the University of London


Kate Cooper at the University of Manchester


Richard Stoneman at the University of Exeter


Zenobia - Women's History


Zenobia - Wikipedia


Site of Palmyra - UNESCO





Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Chapter 11 (various publishers)


David Nicolle and Angus McBride, Rome’s Enemies 5: The Desert Frontier (Osprey Publishing, 1991)


Andrew M. Smith II, Roman Palmyra: Identity, Community and State Formation (Oxford University Press, 2013)


Pat Southern, Empress Zenobia: Palmyra's Rebel Queen (Continuum, 2009)


Richard Stoneman, Palmyra and its Empire: Zenobia’s Revolt against Rome (University of Michigan Press, 1995)


Scriptores Historiae Augustae vol. III (Loeb Classical Library, 1989)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestEdith Hall
Interviewed GuestKate Cooper
Interviewed GuestRichard Stoneman
ProducerThomas Morris

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