31 October 2009


On this day at the Russian Imperial Court, we are told, they would chant this Troparion commemorating the Holy Martyrs Zenobia and Zenobius:

As brother and sister united in godliness
Together you struggled in contest, Zenobius and Zenobia.
You received incorruptible crowns and
Unending glory and shine forth with the grace
Of healing upon those in the world.

Since a saint's day is an annual event -- and I religiously celebrate St Zenobia's Day every year* -- I won't repeat her story here, but point you to my first post of 31 October 2007 (when I was also a day late. Shame!). Their history is complex -- not to say confused -- and it's all the fault of the 10th C Byzantine monk, Symeon Metaphrastes, who fully deserved his nickname, 'the Re-writer'.

Click over to that post -- Zenobia: Martyr Saint of Cilicia and her brother -- and see what you can make of it. Annual reflection has not made me any wiser. You might be luckier.

* Late again, I'm afraid, despite the best efforts of the 'Orthodox Church in America' webpage to remind me that it falls on the 30th of October, thanks to their October Liturgical Calendar (whence this image as well as the Troparion [translated and arranged in Western musical notation by ©I'vow Bakhmetev])


  1. Thank you for the wealth of information on Saint Zenobia! This is the first time I've found such an extensive amount of details about her and her brother. I'm going to grab a cup of coffee and sit down and enjoy your blog. Thanks again!

  2. Anonymous3/11/09 18:15


    Are there any good written sources for the palmyran army in the IIIrd century? I'm particularly interested in costumes, armour, colours, etc.

    Best Wishes


  3. @ Theo, first have a look at my post on Sassanian Stuff which talks about the heavy-armoured cavalry, the clibanarii.

    I don't know of any publication specifically on Palmyran warriors, but there is good information in the Men-At-Arms Series from Osprey Military, 'Rome's enemies 3: Parthians and Sassanid Persians' (www.ospreypublishing.com). Also see -- if you can find it -- M. Mielczarek, 'Cataphracti and Clibanarii', Lodz, Poland 1993.

    More should be written about this fascinating subject!

  4. Anonymous4/11/09 19:44


    Many thanks.

    I agree!

    Best Wishes



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