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Coin depicting Zenobia as empress
Coin depicting Zenobia as empress

Zenobia (c. 240 – c. 274) was a third-century queen of the Syrian-based Palmyrene Empire. Her husband Odaenathus became king in 260, and elevated Palmyra to supreme power in the Near East by defeating the Sassanians and stabilizing the Roman East. After his assassination, she became the regent of her son Vaballathus and held de facto power throughout his reign. In 270, Zenobia launched an invasion which brought most of the Roman East under her sway, culminating with the annexation of Egypt. In reaction to Roman emperor Aurelian's campaign in 272, Zenobia declared Palmyra's secession from Rome, naming her son emperor and assuming the title of empress. The Romans were victorious after heavy fighting; the queen was besieged in her capital and captured by Aurelian. He exiled her to Rome, where she spent the remainder of her life. Zenobia fostered a multicultural and intellectual environment in her court, which was open to scholars and philosophers. Many tales have been recorded about her fate. Her rise and fall have inspired historians, artists and novelists, and she is a national hero in Syria. (Full article...)

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Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778) was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who formalised the modern system of naming organisms called binomial nomenclature. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy".

Born in the countryside of Småland, Linnaeus received most of his higher education at Uppsala University and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He studied abroad between 1735 and 1738, and published the first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands. Upon his return to Sweden, he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on several journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, and published several volumes. At the time of his death, he was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe.

Painting: Alexander Roslin

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