The Annals of Tacitus (1st
Queen of Palmyra
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra is
one of the
grandest & most underrated heroines of antiquity! She
come from a long line of fabulous Syrian & Abyssinian queens,
Legendary Queen of Sheba. She adored & emulated Cleopatra &
met a similar fate. Assyrian records speak of mighty Arab warrior
Zabibi, who revolted but was finally subdued in 738 B.C. Here is
at the end of her career, betrayed by the Romans she had served
her life, her city in flames, & surrendering to the soldiers of
Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, (circa 278 A.D.) born
Septima Bath-shabbi, consort of Odaenathus, the Dux Orientus succeeded
his throne as his widow & on behalf of her son, the lawful
successor. She ruled with very capable hands and was determined to
surpass his excellence and make Palmyra mistress of the Roman Empire in
She was a scholar in her own right and was instructed
in the sciences by the celebrated Longinus. Besides her native tongue,
she spoke the Latin, Greek, Coptic and Syrian languages. She patronized
learned men and herself formed an epitome of Egyptian history. The
Talmud speaks of her goodness to rabbis. She was a conqueror and
commanded a fine army, protecting the Roman flank from the Persians and
subduing Egypt. In spite of her loyalty and capable leadership Zenobia
was betrayed when the new emperor Aurelius took the throne because of
then stood up to the tyranny of the Romans in the grandest heroic
fashion. She led her
troops into Phoenicia and Palestine, conquered the land to the borders
of Egypt and defeated the world-governing Roman army. Personally leading her troops into
battle on horseback was an important ingredient for Zenobia's success.
A woman's presence in battle is inspiring (like a mythical goddess)
common among early Arabs, in a pre-Islamic tradition; called the Lady
of Victory. Her hair flowing and her body partly exposed, this Lady of
Victory appealed both to valor and passion. In addition
to this, the fact that every man that met her fell in love with her due
to her beauty and charm makes her even more fascinating.
Life of Aurelian, by Vopiscus in Augustae
Historiae Scriptores (translated into English by Bernard in 1740)
| Helen of Troy
Helen of Troy ( circa 1194 B.C. ) was referred to as " The most beautiful
woman who ever lived" and "The Face that launched a Thousand Ships".
The Trojan War resulted when Paris, the prince of Troy
carried her off during the reign of her husband the Spartan King
Here Helen has just seen
the sea lights of her husband's enormous amphibious invasion
fleet on the horizon heralding the beginning of the Trojan Wars.
To recover Helen, the Acheans under
Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus lay ferocious siege to Troy.
The war raged to no avail for ten years
until Hector was killed by Achilles and he by in turn by Paris with a
poisoned arrow in his one vulnerable spot - the classic Achilles' heel
while he rode in his chariot parading Hector's corpse...
At last a wooden
horse was contrived. Odysseus had masterminded a strategy to break the
stalemate... The Trojan Horse...
whose hollow interior many elite Achean Warriors hid themselves...
Leaving Their Giant Gift outside the city and withdrawing their army
and fleet to Tenedos, feigning to have raised the siege. The Trojans
conveyed the wooden horse into the city.
Later that night the Greeks stole out
& opened the gates, & Troy was taken. The Spartan King Menelaus
recovered Helen & forgave her. She was thought for ages to be
merely a part of mythology - partly because of lack of evidence &
partly because of the portrayal of Olympian pagan religion as a reality
in history's only extant account - Homer's immortal epic poem
"The Iliad" - prejudiced the scientific & academic
archaeologists excavated Troy. Now, Helen
of Troy is one of the Legends of History...
History? Herodotus and Thucydides, like ancient pagan writers
generally, accepted the Trojan War as historical, but criticized what
they politely called "epic statements" in detail. Traditional
genealogies, collated by Hecataeus of Miletus and others , enabled
Eratosthenes to date the fall of Troy to 1194 B.C. This is
consistent with the Roman scholar Pliny the elder and Egyptian
records from Rameses' time as well. The belief in Olympian gods
and monsters was as commonplace then as our superstitions are today and
some people are
still prone to embellish true events with "epic statements".
The 7 Wonders;
Queen Amyitis & her Hanging Gardens
Queen Amyitis ( circa 605-562 B.C.) was the
daughter of the king of the Medes. She married King Nebuchadnezzar of
Babylon to create an alliance between the nations. The ancient
city of Babylon (Iraq) ruled the world in it's day just as the Roman
Empire did in hers. It boasted as it's showpiece one of the 7 wonders
of the Ancient World; The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, built espescially
for her. Her
homeland was lush & fertile, rugged & mountainous, & she
found the flat, barren sun-baked terrain of King Nebuchadnezzar
decided to recreate her homeland by building an artificial mountain
with rooftop gardens.
In any case Queen Amyitis' Hanging gardens
had to be an amazing sight: A green, leafy, artificial mountain
towering above the plains. Vaulted terraces raised one above another,
and resting upon cube-shaped pillars. These were hollow and filled with
earth to allow trees of the largest size to be planted. The pillars,
the vaults, and terraces were constructed of baked brick and asphalt.
Called "The Cradle of Civilization", t. Ancient
Babylon, (Today's Iraq) was the birthplace of our modern courts
and justice system based upon the legendary "Code of Hammurabi".
Of the original Seven Wonders of the
Ancient World, only The Great Pyramids in Egypt are still standing
Queen Jezebel of the Northern Kingdom
Jezebel, (circa 842 B.C.) Queen of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was
born a Phoenician princess, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre. In
the centuries since her death, she has attracted numerous references in
popular culture, none of them flattering.
Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible she dominated her husband King Ahab
of Israel and led him to abandon the worship of Yahweh and promote
worship of the demon gods Baal and Asherah on a national scale with
ritual child sacrifices.
In the biblical story, Jezebel was the arch nemesis of
the prophet Elijah. She brought 800 priests of Baal to Israel and
ordered many prophets of the Hebrew God to be massacred and her name
became associated with false prophets.
In some interpretations, her dressing in finery and
putting on makeup led to the association of the use of cosmetics with
"painted women" or prostitutes. Jezebel's name means 'Where is the
Prince?', a ritual cry from worship ceremonies in honor of Baal during
periods of the year when the god was considered to be in the underworld.
Kriemhilde (circa 453 A.D.) (A.K.A. Grimhild, Hild, Brünhild)
Like the legendary Helen of Troy, was not only a mythical figure, but
also a historical one as well, wife of Attila the Hun and sister of
She marries Attila in one reliable historical account
and kills him in revenge for the death of her former husband on their
wedding night. Her name means ‘armored warrior woman’ and the English
word Grim derives from her name too. In her earliest legends she was
originally a daemonic mythical figure representing darkness and death.
Here she is illustrated according to the 13th century Middle
High German version preparing to confront her cowardly brothers with
her dead husband’s shield and sword, demanding action!
In another version
she demands revenge for her murdered father. She is depicted here as
the heroine of the The Nibelungenlied, greatest epic of Teutonic
Queen Boudica of the
| Warrior Queens and
generals like Boudica (left) gave
strategic guidance, planning and performed rituals to their Celtic gods
here letting loose a wild hare as part of the ritual to the war god and
of the chase.
Popular new myths have arisen in
the 21st century portraying the
Celtic women leading the men into battle. This
is simply not true. The truth is, Boudica running around in a
mini-skirt with sword held high and charging into battle with the men
following behind as seen on the History Channel recently is fantasy,
and poor fantasy at that. They also ran shows saying Nebuchadnezzar was
a werewolf and appearances by GOD in the Bible like on Mount
Sinai were really aliens from outer space flying down in UFOs so
they can definitely get a bit loopy at times.
Since the last decade of the 20th century with controversy of women's
new roles in politics and the military, TV shows like Xena warrior
princess have had more of an impact on our cultural consciousness than
events of history. Authors are omitting important details and twisting
and “embellishing” historical texts like Annals of Rome by Tacitus to
suit their revisionist agendas. Truth is not determined by the force
with which you argue and these authors argue very forcefully but offer no facts or
references to extant or verifiable history. I can argue very
forcefully that men have always given birth to babies just like women
but it will not make it true.
| The warrior woman has emerged in recent
times in our popular culture as ferocious and deadly as the mightiest
male warriors of myth and history. The weaker sex? Not in these
stories! The oddest part of this fun new phenomenon in fantasy art,
cartoons, novels and movies is the eagerness of certain writers to
pretend they always existed and to present historical figures in this
light. Generals participating in battle plans? Yes! Judges and mayors?
Yes! Battlefield combatants? Almost never. I have a collectible copy of
Tacitus Annals of Rome printed in the 1880’s. She rode as a passenger
in a chariot before battle and her daughters were before her in the
bus-wagon like seating. Because of the
removal of history from schools and the influence of television the
dividing line between history and myth & legend is becoming
increasingly blurred. Celtic
Women were more like Warrior Queen Boudica (above left) and were more
like cheerleaders on those days in history when the battles were
actually fought. If their man was cowardly on the battlefield, they
were eyewitnesses and you can rest assured he wished he was dead when
he got home.
The Amazons ever REALLY live?
The legends of the Amazons
have a basis in historical fact according to Herodotus, the Father of
History. (book four)
He wrote thousands of
years ago that the Scythian warrior women encountered by the Greeks had
the characteristics of the mythical Amazons and they were an amazing
tribe of people.
The Scythians who
lived in today's Southern Ukraine lost all their men in the war with
Darius so they procreated with their slaves, who it was their custom to
blind so they posed no political threat. These warrior women had to
kill at least three men in combat before surrendering their
virginity and raising children.
They wore the same armor
as the men and used the same weapons. Many historians doubted Herodotus
accounts but Russian archaeologists in the 19th century found graves
and tombs with women buried in full armor with weapons in the region
and dated to the time period to substantiate his reports.
The Amazons were
persistent in their appearances in the shadow area between myth and
history. they were mentioned in the Iliad at the battle of Troy which
was only until recently thought to be a myth until archaeologists
Helen of Troy' MMIV was
rendered entirely in Prismacolor Colored Pencils... 'Prismacolor
Paintings' if you will - because this kind of picture is not at
all what comes to mind when people hear the word 'drawing'. These
relatively new soft oil based colored pencils are not the first Dry
Painting Medium: the term 'Pastel Paintings' originated in the 17th
century. The Prismacolors were also liquifed with solvents and applied
with brush in certain areas.
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With a background in traditional
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