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Her husband became king in 260, elevating Palmyra to supreme power in the Near East by defeating the Sassanians and stabilizing the Roman East.
After Odaenathus' assassination, Zenobia became the regent of her son Vaballathus and held de facto power throughout his reign.
In addition to archaeological evidence, Zenobia's life was recorded in different ancient sources but many are flawed or fabricated; the Augustan History, a late-Roman collection of biographies, is the most notable (albeit unreliable) source for the era.In 270, Zenobia launched an invasion which brought most of the Roman East under her sway and culminated with the annexation of Egypt.By mid-271 her realm extended from Ancyra, central Anatolia, to southern Egypt, although she remained nominally subordinate to Rome.Zenobia was a cultured monarch and fostered an intellectual environment in her court, which was open to scholars and philosophers.She was tolerant toward her subjects, and protected religious minorities.
If the accounts of her accompanying her husband are true, according to Southern, Zenobia would have boosted the morale of the soldiers and gained political influence, which she needed in her later career.