Queen Zenobia’s ‘Campaign’ for British Women’s Suffrage

  • Vivian Colbert Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Keywords: Zenobia, reception studies, British suffrage movement, nineteenth century, feminism


This article focuses on the feminist reception of Zenobia of Palmyra in Great Britain during the long nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. A special focus lies on her reception by the British suffragettes who belonged to the Women’s Social and Political Union. Even though Zenobia’s story did not end happily, the warrior queen’s example served to inspire these early feminists. Several products of historical culture – such as books, pieces of art, newspaper articles and theatre plays – provide insight into the reception of her as an historical figure, which is dominated by the image of a strong and courageous woman. The article will shed light on how exactly Zenobia’s example was instrumentalised throughout the first feminist movement in Britain.