Odaenathus

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Lucius Septimius Odaenathus, Odenathus or Odenatus (, Greek: , (), the Latinized form of the Syriac Odainath, was a ruler of Palmyra, Syria and later of the short lived Palmyrene Empire, in the second half of the 3rd century, who succeeded in recovering the Roman East from the Persians and restoring it to the Empire.

Life

His full name was Lucius Septimius Odainath.Vogüé, Syrie centrale, Nos. 23, 28; Cooke, North-Semitic Inscriptions. Nos. 126, 530 He was of Arameans descent as his name suggests. His gentilicium Septimius shows that his family received the Roman citizenship under an emperor of the Severan dynasty, and thus it was the leading family in Palmyra since the 190s. He was the son of Lucius Septimius Herod (Hairān), the "senator and chief of Tadmor", the son of Vaballathus (Wahballath), the son of Nasor.Gawlikowski, Michel, "Les princes de Palmyre", Syria 62 (1985) 251-61.

The year when Odaenathus became chief of Palmyra is not known, but already in an inscription dated 258 he is styled "the illustrious consul our lord" (N.S.I. No. 126). In his wife, the renowned Zenobia, he found an able supporter of his policy.

The defeat and captivity of the emperor Valerian in 260 left the eastern provinces largely at the mercy of the Persians; the prospect of Persian supremacy was not one which Palmyra or its ruler had any reason to desire. At first, it seems,...
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