Canal March

The Empire of Palmyra and Zenobia, the Roman Empress

María José Hidalgo de la Vega

"Zenobia was the only woman in Roman antiquity to create an empire," says María José Hidalgo de la Vega, professor of ancient history at the University of Salamanca. The eclectic empire of Palmyra, although ephemeral—it only lasted five years—, managed to put the most important power of the time, the Roman Empire, in check. Before Zenobia, Palmyra was already a strategic point between East and West; its geographical location had given it control of trade routes and the nickname "pearl of the desert", but thanks to it the kingdom extended from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean and gained its independence, until the Roman army, commanded by Aurelian, invaded the conquered territories.

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