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Ancient Art Council Lecture: The Saga of Queen Zenobia and the Oasis City of Palmyra

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Herbert Gustave Schmalz (British, 1856‒1935). Queen Zenobia’s Last Look on Palmyra, 1888. Oil on canvas; 72 13/64 x 60 15/32 in. (183.4 x 153.6 cm). South Australian Government Grant, 1890, 0.86. Art Gallery of South

Herbert Gustave Schmalz, Queen Zenobia’s Last Look on Palmyra, 1888. Oil on canvas; 72 13/64 x 60 15/32 in. (183.4 x 153.6 cm). South Australian Government Grant, 1890, 0.86. Art Gallery of South

Richard Beleson, Fellow of the American Numismatics Society

This lecture will focus on the history of Queen Zenobia and the city of Palmyra. Palmyra was an oasis city in the Syrian desert and one of the key stops along the Silk Route. It thrived in the first to third centuries AD, but was destroyed and left in ruins by the Romans when its leader, Queen Zenobia, threatened the stability of the Empire. In more recent history, Palmyra’s world famous historical ruins were destroyed by its occupation by ISIS in 2015.

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