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to be drawn from the contemplative sliades of Athens, to mix in more active scenes, to train up young princes to virtue and glory, to guide the busy and ambitious passions of the great to noble ends, to struggle for, and at last to die in the cause of liberty.
During the residence of Longinus at Athens, Trebellius the emperor Valerian had undertaken an expedition against the Persians, who had revolted from the Roman yoke. He was assisted in it by Odenathus, king of Palmyra, who, after the death of Valerian, carried on the war with uncommon spirit and
Gallienus, who succeeded his father Valerian at Rome, being a prince of a weak and effeminate soul, of the most dissolute and abandoned manners, without any shadow of worth in himself, was willing to get a support in the valour of Odenathus, and therefore he made him his partner in empire by the title of Augustus, and decreed his medals, strucken in honour of the Persian victories, to be current coin throughout the Empire. Odenathus, says an historian, seemed born for the empire of the world, and would probably have risen to it, had he not been taken off, in a career of victory, by the treachery of his own relations. His abilities
were so great, and his actions so illustrious, that they were above the competition of every person then alive, except his own wife Zenobia, a Lady of so extraordinary magnanimity and virtue, that she outshone even her husband, and engrossed the attention and admiration of the world. She was descended from the ancient race of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, and had all those qualifications which are the ornament of her own, and the glory of the other sex. A miracle of beauty, but chaste to a prodigy: in punishing the bad, inflexibly severe ; in rewarding the good, or relieving the distressed, benevolent and active. Splendid, but not profuse ; and generous without prodigality. Superior to the toils and hardships of war, she was generally on horseback; and would sometimes march on foot with her soldiers. She was skilled in several languages, and is said to have drawn up herself an Epitome of the Ale.randrian and Oriental history.
The great reputation of Longinus had been wafted to the ears of Zenobia, who prevailed upon him to quit Athens, and undertake the education of her sons. He quickly gained an uncommon share in her esteem, as she found him not only qualified to form the
tender minds of the young, but to improve the virtue, and enlighten the understanding of the aged. In his conversation she spent the vacant hours of her life, modelling her sentiments by his instructions, and steering herself by his counsels in the whole series of her conduct; and in carrying on that plan of empire, which she herself had formed, which her husband Odenathus had begun to execute, but had left imperfect. The number of competitors, who, in the vicious and scandalous reign of Gallienus, set up for the empire, but with abilities far inferior to those of Zenobia, gave her an opportunity to extend her conquests, by an uncommon tide of success, over all the East. Claudius, who succeeded Gallienus at Rome, was employed during his whole reign, which was very short, against the Northern nations. Their reduction was afterwards completed by Aurelian, the greatest soldier that had for a long time worn the imperial purple. He then turned his arms against Zenobia, being surprised as well at the rapidity of her conquests, as enraged that she had dared to assume the title of Queen of the East.
He marched against her with the best of his forces, and met with no check in his ex
pedition, till he was advanced as far as Antioch. Zenobia was there in readiness to oppose his further progress. But the armies coming to an engagement at Daphne, near Antioch, she was defeated by the good conduct of Aurelian, and leaving Antioch at his mercy; retired with her army to Emisa. The emperor marched immediately after, and found her ready to give him battle in the plains before the City. The dispute was sharp and bloody on both sides, till at last the victory inclined a second time to Aurelian; and the unfortunate Zenobia, not daring to confide in the Emisenians, was again compelled to retire towards her capital, Palmyra. As the town was strongly fortified, and the inhabitants full of zeal for her service, and affection for her person, she made no doubt of defending herself here, in spite of the warmest efforts of Aurelean, till she could raise new forces, and venture again into the open field. Aurelian was not long behind, his activity impelled him forwards, to crown his former success, by compleating the conquest of Zenobia. His march was terribly harassed by the frequent attacks of the Syrian banditti ; and when he came up, he found Palmyra so strongly fortified and so
bravely bravely defended, that though he invested it with his army, yet the siege was attended with a thousand difficulties. His army was daily weakened and dispirited by the gallant resistance of the Palmyrenians, and his own life sometimes in the utmost danger. Tired at last with the obstinacy of the besieged, and almost worn out by continued fatigues, he sent Zenobia a written summons to surrender, as if his words could strike terror into her, whom by force of arms he was unable to subdue.
AURELIAN, EMPEROR OF THE ROMAN WORLD,
AND RECOVERER OF THE EAST, TO ZENOBIA
“Why am I forced to command, what
you s ought voluntarily to have done already? “ I charge you to surrender, and thereby “ avoid the certain penalty of death, which 16 otherwise attends you. You, Zenobia, “ “ shall spend the remainder of your life, “ where I, by the advice of the most ho“ nourable senate, shall think proper to place you. Your jewels, your silver, your gold,
, your finest apparel, your horses, and your “ camels, you shall resign to the disposal of