The Empire That Almost Was
Once, in the dying days of Antiquity, there existed a great empire in the East. A breakaway of The Roman Empire during the Crisis of the Third Century, this empire, the Palmyrene Empire, controlled some of Rome's richest and most exotic provinces- Syria, and Egypt, the land of the pyramids and the Nile, of exotic spices and great pharaohs. A Judeo-Christian empire, with an Imperial family claiming descent from the Seleucid Dynasty, rulers of Egypt and Persia. Ruled by the Queen Zenobia, more beautiful than Cleopatra, Palmyra stretched from Egypt to Anatolia. Even today, it is an icon of Syrian Nationalism. Alas, it was not to last. In 273, only three years after its inception, The Palmyrene Empire was crushed by the Aurelian, Emperor of Rome, who crushed the fledgling nation in the bud. The fates of its Queen, Zenobia and her young son Vaballathus, whom she ruled for in practice, are unknown to this day.