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Zenobia and Mavia- Ancient Warrior Queens

Continuing our effort to break the gender role confirmation bias in modern society for the sacred cow belief that somehow women are not warriors (what we believe is a source of great cognitive dissonance for many young women) we bring you two Arabian queens who, motivated by female rulers before them, rose to rule the Levant in quick succession in the 3rd and 4th century- Zenobia and Mavia.

Both of these women were born into paltry beginnings, daughters in nomadic tribes that quickly ascended to tribe leaders due largely to their intelligence and courage.

Zenobia continued building her empire after the death of her husband, Odaentheus, expanding her empire of Palmyra from this



Palmyra under Odaenthus

   to this


Palmyra under Zenobia


Rome obviously had difficulty accepting this amount of expansion so close to their own empire and after three rigorous battles between 272 and 274 were able to defeat Zenobia (or she made a truce – history is not precise in this regard) leaving her empire to exist essentially under Roman rule.


Zenobia in chains

Zenobia in Chains, Harriet Hosmer 1859


The area struggled under Roman Rule until Mavia 100 years later, rallying “semi-nomadic tribes” in the area of modern Syria for rebellion.  Her conquest was of a greater scale, and military conquest of greater magnitude, although less is recorded about her. Eventually, the Roman empire sought truce with her, combining forces against the Goth.

These women are only a few of the examples in history of valiance, courage, and military might.  Transcending the false Roman perceptions that women were conniving, fearful and inconsistent, these women new the destiny of themselves and their people and acted on it.  They are only two examples in history of many women leaders.  Let them inspire you to do something great today!  #bethechange #themilieux #womenwarriors



Latikia, Syria



One comment on “Zenobia and Mavia- Ancient Warrior Queens

  1. Wow – that was a great story to share. YES, throughout history it is amazing that there were many strong and powerful women! Two fantastic statues / pictures you posted.

    Liked by 1 person

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