People of Palmyra
The city grew wealthy from trade caravans

During the Crisis of the Third Century the defeat and captivity of emperor Valerian at the hands of the Persian Sassanian monarch Shapur I in 260 left the eastern Roman provinces largely at the mercy of the Persians. Odaenathus stayed on the side of Rome; assuming the title of king. The Palmyrene leader won a decisive victory near the banks of the Euphrates later in 260 forcing the Persians to retreat. In 261 Odaenathus marched against the remaining usurpers in Syria, defeating and killing Quietus and Balista. As a reward, he received the title Imperator Totius Orientis "Governor of the East" from Gallienus, and ruled Syria, Mesopotamia, Arabia and Anatolia's eastern regions as the imperial representative. Palmyra itself remained officially part of the empire but Palmyrene inscriptions started to describe it as a "metrocolonia", indicating that the city's status was higher than normal Roman colonias. In practice, Palmyra shifted from a provincial city to a de facto allied kingdom. Odaenathus was assassinated in 267




The Palmyrene Empire (270–273), broke away from the Roman Empire during the crisis of the third century. It encompassed the Roman provinces of Syria Palaestina, Arabia Petraea, Egypt and large parts of Asia Minor.

The second wife of King Septimius Odaenathus, Zenobia became queen of the Palmyrene Empire following Odaenathus' death in 267AD. She ruled the Palmyrene Empire as regent for her son Vaballathus, who had become King of Palmyra in 267. In 270 Zenobia managed to conquer most of the Roman east in a relatively short period, and tried to maintain relations with Rome. However, in 271 she claimed the imperial title for herself and for her son and fought a short war with the Roman emperor Aurelian, who conquered Palmyra and arrested the self-proclaimed Empress. A year later the Palmyrenes rebelled, which led Aurelian to destroy Palmyra.



During the Hellenistic period under the Seleucids (between 312 and 64 BC), Palmyra became a prosperous settlement owing allegiance to the Seleucid king.

In 64 BC the Roman Republic annexed the Seleucid kingdom, and the Roman general Pompey established the province of Syria. Palmyra was left independent, trading with Rome and Parthia but belonging to neither. The earliest known Palmyrene inscription is dated to around 44 BC

Palmyra became part of the Roman Empire when it was annexed and paid tribute early in the reign of Tiberius, around 14 AD.The Romans included Palmyra in the province of Syria.The Roman imperial period brought great prosperity to the city, which enjoyed a privileged status under the empire.

During the first century Palmyra developed from a minor desert caravan station into a leading trading centre, with Palmyrene merchants establishing colonies in surrounding trade centres

Palmyrene trade reached its apex during the second century, aided by two factors; the first was a trade route built by Palmyrenes. The second was the Roman annexation of the Nabataean capital Petra in 106, shifting control over southern trade routes of the Arabian Peninsula from the Nabataeans to Palmyra.


Zenobia began her military career in the spring of 270, during the reign of Claudius Gothicus., she annexed Roman Arabia. In October by an invasion of Egypt,ending with a Palmyrene victory and Zenobia's proclamation as queen of Egypt. Palmyra invaded Anatolia the following year, reaching Ankara and the pinnacle of its expansion.[