[Daily article] May 23: Zenobia

Zenobia (c. 240 – c. 274) was a third-century queen of the Syrian-
based Palmyrene Empire. Her husband Odaenathus became king in 260, and
elevated Palmyra to supreme power in the Near East by defeating the
Sassanians and stabilizing the Roman East. After his assassination, she
became the regent of her son Vaballathus and held de facto power
throughout his reign. In 270, Zenobia launched an invasion which brought
most of the Roman East under her sway, culminating with the annexation
of Egypt. In reaction to Roman emperor Aurelian’s campaign in 272,
Zenobia declared Palmyra’s secession from Rome, naming her son emperor
and assuming the title of empress. The Romans were victorious after
heavy fighting; the queen was besieged in her capital and captured by
Aurelian. He exiled her to Rome, where she spent the remainder of her
life. Zenobia fostered a multicultural and intellectual environment in
her court, which was open to scholars and philosophers. Many tales have
been recorded about her fate. Her rise and fall have inspired
historians, artists and novelists, and she is a national hero in Syria.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


Hundred Years’ War: Joan of Arc was captured at the Siege of


Siyyid `Alí-Muhammad Shírází proclaimed that he was “the
Báb”, after a Shia religious concept, marking the beginning of the
Bábí movement, the forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith.


During a strike against the Electric Auto-Lite company in
Toledo, Ohio, a mob of nearly 10,000 began a riot and a five-day running
battle with the Ohio National Guard.


Delegates of the 14th Dalai Lama and the government of the
newly established People’s Republic of China signed the Seventeen Point
Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, affirming Chinese
sovereignty over Tibet.


To resolve a 29-year-old territorial dispute, the International
Court of Justice awarded Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca to

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. The act of throwing something or someone out of a window.
2. (Britain) The high-profile removal of a person from an organization.
3. (computing, neologism, humorous) The act of removing the Microsoft
Windows operating system from a computer in order to install an
alternative one.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  To one who has enjoyed the full life of any scene, of any hour,
what thoughts can be recorded about it, seem like the commas and
semicolons in the paragraph, mere stops.  
–Margaret Fuller

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