Zenobia, (died about 274 A.D.), a queen of Palmyra, a city-state in what is now Syria. She ruled in the name of her son after her husband, King Odenathus, was murdered (probably at her instigation) in 267 A.D. Zenobia expanded Palmyra's power, sending her armies to occupy Asia Minor and Egypt. The Roman emperor, Aurelian, became alarmed and in 271 attacked and defeated her forces. Zenobia fled but was captured and taken to Rome. Aurelian pardoned her and she lived near Rome for the rest of her life. Zenobia was romanticized by later writers, who portrayed her as a second Cleopatra.