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Roman PalmyraIdentity, Community, and State Formation$
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Andrew M. Smith II

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199861101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199861101.001.0001

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The Palmyrene Empire

The Palmyrene Empire

A Crisis of Identity

(p.175) 7 The Palmyrene Empire
Roman Palmyra

Andrew M. Smith II

Oxford University Press

The Persian king Ardashir won a decisive victory over Artabanus V in ad 224, marking the foundation of the Sassanian Dynasty and the introduction of a new ideology of rule. Not content with the diplomatic and economic relations upheld by their predecessors, the Sassanian lords sought to reconstitute the old Persian Empire and to reclaim all the lands once controlled by the legendary Darius and his son Xerxes. It was a noble vision which Ardashir’s son, Shapur, pursued vigorously. This chapter describes the changes that followed the rise of the Sassanid Persians; the deteriorating state of affairs for the Palmyrene community and Septimius Odenathus’ assumption of a prominent political and military role; Odenathus’ aggressive stance against Shapur; the events following the death of Odenathus; and the expansion of Palmyrene power and dominance under Odenathus’s wife and son, Zenobia and Vaballathus. It also addresses the question of whether Palmyrene operations deep within Roman territory represented a separatist movement to establish Palmyrene dominance over Syria or all of the Near East, or whether it was an abortive bid of Palmyra’s rulers as Romans to seize the empire.

Keywords:   palmyra, septimius Odenathus, sassanian Dynasty, shapur, zenobia, vaballathus

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