Zenobia, an illustration from Pierre Le Moyne's 'La Gallerie des femmes fortes'

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

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Queen Zenobia, called Znwbyā Bat Zabbai in her native Aramaic, was the queen of Palmyra, the ancient Roman colony in present-day Syria. She led a rebellion against the Roman army. While Queen Znwbyā lost to the Romans, she remained a legend of courage. Renaissance European artists sometimes depicted her, as in this example by French artist Abraham Bosse. This engraving is a page from an illustration of “La Gallerie des femmes fortes.” The French poem lauded historical women warriors, from Znwbyā Bat Zabbai to Joan of Arc.

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