Samiramis And Zenobia


Samiramis And Zenobia Essay, Research Paper

A role model is an important person who has an important role in society. He is

an example to his people and everybody wish to follow him and be like him in

order to have the same fame that he has. Actually, people make role models ;

they believe in some people and in their ideologies and they let them be famous

by spreading or applying their ideas . We can say that, in order to be

classified as a role model, one should be different than other people. One may

have an extra capacity or intelligence which he proved and that made the people

love or hate him. A role model is, therefore, any tyrant or loving person that

made some different thing from other people. Each role model should have some

ideologies that he has to accomplish or try to apply on people. Therefore , even

if he doesn’t make his values and norms valued in real life , he may left some

souvenir and some hope in some people’s life. Well, role models exist and have

existed since ancient times. They contributed in creating and marking our

history by their behaviours. This paper deals with two considered to be role

models: the first one, from the ancient time, is Samiramis, and the other is

Zenobia. Two important women who can prove that females were and will always

influence and be a contributing member in life and in history. Some historians

claim that the existence of Samiramis is a fairy tale . Some others argue about

its period of time . However, because her name was connected to the story of

Nenoi and the building of Babel we cannot deny or reject her existence in real

life . Well, Samiramis was born in a strange situation . Some say that she was

born in a region near Syria and that her mother was a maid , who mother left her

in the desert after her birth and it is said that the birds fed her . When she

was one year old, a shepherd called Samiramis found her. She was a child having

a magnificent beauty; therefore, he gave her the name of Samiramis. As she grew

up in age, Samiramis became popular for her extreme beauty in addition to her

high intelligence. After a period of time , the governor of Nenoi called Mnones

saw her. Charmed by her beauty, he fell madly in love with her and decided to

marry her. Also, when the king Nenos saw Mnones’s wife that is Samiramis he

ordered Mnones to give him Samiramis, and he promised him that he would give him

in return his daughter. Mnones loved too much his wife and he couldn’t accept or

bear the idea of losing her in addition to the fact that he doesn’t dare to

disobey the king’s orders; therefore, Mnones killed himself . After Mnones’s

death, Samiramis had to marry Nenos. This latest died after 52 years from

reigning the country, and he left the kingship to his wife as his only son was

still very young. Samiramis spread the news of her reign all over the country

and declared that every member in the country should obey her orders . She put

in her finger the king’s ring and she sat on the throne. Unfortunately,

Samiramis misused her power. She wanted to have an immortal image and an

unforgettable name, so she let her people build her the great city of Babylon

which needed two million workers to achieve it . In addition to the great city

of Babylon, Samiramis ordered her people to build various castles in which she

lived and where she had too many gardens established on her honour. What we

should add is that each one of these monuments had her name and a paragraph that

certifies the power Samiramis had . It was, therefore, known according to these

texts that Samiramis had the strength of a man and that she was able to control

the powers of nature ,for example she certified that she is the one who forced

the rivers to flood whenever she liked. Samiramis was an intelligent woman, and

she used this intelligence during war. When she went to conquer India, for

example, she covered the camels she had with bull’s skin, so they would look

like these latest .So ,when she and her army reached India, the elephants were

afraid of the bulls and they ran away and that’s how she won the first part of

the war. Nevertheless, later on, her trick was discovered, and the Indian army

directed by their Indian prince followed them. While turning back to her

territories, Samarium’s was struck in her hand by an arrow sent from the prince

. When she came back to her country, Samiramis found out that her only son had

taken over the throne, and he rejected his mother. Feeling a big defeat,

Samiramis killed herself in 2069 B.C., and since that time, she was considered

immortal, and the symbol of the pigeon always symbolised her, and her

immortality. Now that we wrote about Samiramis, the great queen that reigned

during ancient history, during the period before 2069 B.C., it is time to switch

to a new period of time that of Zenobia who died about 260 A.D. Zenobia, born in

Palmyra, was the wife of Odenathus, a chief of various tribes in the desert. He

had many alliances with the Romans. Therefore, he was known as "Augustus,

leader of the east". Indeed, Augustus did win a lot of battles because of

the help of the Romans. This latter’s nephew assassinated him, because of

jealousy that’s why Zenobia took revenge, and destroyed all the territories of

her husband’s nephew in return to what he did .Now that Augustus is dead , one

of his children should take his place and rule the country but since they were

minors, they couldn’t rule the country, so she governed first in the name of her

sons, but later she called herself the queen of Palmyra in Syria, put on the

king’s crown and became the sole ruler. Zenobia was as beautiful as Samiramis

even though she was more respectful than this latter. She had a rare

intelligence, had a knowledge in Latin, Greek, and hieroglyphics. She took the

famous Faotegenes as her teacher, and she knew a lot about Homers and Plato, as

she was a familiar with their books. As we said, Zenobia was famous for her

beauty and she was known for being courageous, brilliant and intelligent. For

instance, she used to follow her husband to the forest during the hunt season,

and she was never afraid of the fierce animals like lions and tigers. It is also

known that she helped her husband gain the wars he made. She wasn’t a weak

woman, and she denied her feelings. When she governed, she showed her people all

the love she had, and treated them as she was dealing with her children. She had

a strange monetary policy, as she used to spend huge sums of money on poets,

philosophers, and artists. In addition, she used to bring them from their native

countries, and let them live next to her. Zenobia reigned in Palmyra. Her place

resembled to paradise on earth. It contained huge gardens and buildings. All the

streets were clean. Her residence used to be like a small city, it had a temple

called the temple of the sun, having in its centre countless numbers of

pyramids. Near the temple was her castle which was as big as a big city. As time

went by, Zenobia added to her husband’s territories Egypt; therefore, her

occupations were expanded from the Euphrates river till the Mediterranean sea,

including Jerusalem, Antioch, and Damascus. The Roman emperor did not want to

consider her as a real queen. This is why he sent his army to her so many times,

but each time, they were defeated. But when Lucus Domitius Aurelian became the

Roman Emperor, he decided to defeat Zenobia, and he denied the fact that a woman

would still be an ally of Rome. Therefore, he sent his army towards Palmyra to

attack it and to face Zenobia, who used to call herself Augustia, referring to

the good relationship with Rome. When Zenobia heard of Aurelian’s plans, she was

prepared to face him. She knew about his approach as she was hunting. Therefore,

she came back to her town, hoping to defeat him. The servant of the Aurelian

army told Zenobia that she should give back the Roman empire all the territories

she took, such as Egypt and Syria, as they were Roman territories. He declared

that the case was not the same as it had been before Aurelian’s reign.

Everything should change. Zenobia would not be allowed anymore to wear Roman

clothes, or have any alliances with them. After listening to what the servant

said, Zenobia got furious, and she told him that she was not going to give up

the territories she had, only to please Aurelian, and she declared that she was

hoping and planning to have a larger and a more expanded empire. After what she

said, she took her army to confront Aurelian’s one, and they had a big battle in

which she lost. After the battle, Aurelian declared that Zenobia was really a

strong woman, who should be honoured and he added by saying that he was very

pleased for having met a woman like her . Then, Aurelian and his army took the

city of Palmyra, and they captured Zenobia. This latter, not accepting her

defeat, gave up eating, thus she killed herself so she won’t see what her

destiny as a slave in Aurelian’s palace would leave to her . As we can see is

that we are dealing here with two women Samiramis and Zenobia . The first one

Samiramis, lived in the period known as the ancient history, whereas Zenobia

lived before 260 A.D. a period of history known as the new period in history .

What should be noticed is that these two women aren’t ordinary ones , they

didn’t have an ordinary life , but they contributed in the life and fate of many

others . Both , Samiramis and Zenobia were wives to famous kings (and both of

them were very beautiful) , and when their husbands died , they both were the

ones who took the power and ruled the country and they spread the news of their

reign . In addition, Samiramis let herself have the king’s ring in her finger,

whereas Zenobia did put on the king’s crown . Each one had some political values

and norms, Zenobia wanted to enlarge her territories and to expand her lands. In

the same way Samiramis wanted to immortalise her image to her people that’s why

she asked to build the great garden of Babylon . In addition , she conquered a

lot of territories and proved that she had the strength of a great warrior. And

we can add that Zenobia used to spend a lot of money for the intellectuals so

she is a person who loved educated people therefore she loved education . We can

say briefly that these two women had a similar life as ruler of a country , and

what is important to say is that both of them killed themselves while feeling

defeat. Samiramis felt the defeat when she found that her son rejected her and

took over the power, and Zenobia felt the same and killed herself while being a

slave at the Indian prince . Both of them couldn’t bare the idea of defeat after

being at the top of their reign . Or we may consider that they don’t like from

their people to see them like this after having a enormous strength and power .

Finally what is to say that I’m not being sexist while choosing two important

women to talk about in this project . But it is important to prove that women

since ancient times did have a certain power and they did contribute in history

. These two women are considered to be role models as their legend or story is

still popular . and as we said that it is people who make the role models ,

well, Samiramis and Zenobia are important role models that had an influence on

people especially on women who took these two as an example and that try to

imitate them and let women have an important role in life.

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