During the third century, Rome’s control over the Syrian Region of the empire was weakened by repeated attacks on the part of the Sassanids, who has succeeded the Parthians in Iran. This created an unstable situation, which several near eastern principalities tried to turn into their advantage by seeking independence. Odainat thus turned Palmyra into a nearly autonomous kingdom. He managed to remain loyal to Rome and at the same time safeguarded his caravan station’s busy trade with the east by counterattacking the Sassanides troops and driving them back to the gates of their capital, Ctesiphon, in Iran. This valor earned him Rome’s gratitude. He was assassinated in AD 267 AD. His wife Zenobia, who was rumored to have plotted his murder, succeeded him as ruler of Palmyra.
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