Judith Weingarten is valiantly answering on behalf of Zenobia, the eastern queen who rose against the might of Rome, and saw off several emperors - as a woman warrior, she's one of my favorites. Weingarten has a solid academic background, and that's why I enjoy her blog Zenobia: Empress of the East - the posts are quality rather than quantity. She's also the author of a series of historical novels based on Zenobia (I have not read them, but if the research is anything like her blog, then it's very solid - but also with some innovation).
1. My Principal virtue is: ambition:
Sometimes I believe that I shall win glory enough, and sometimes that mine shall be a great history, sometimes an incredible tale and the subject of poems. ‘ Lady Allat,’ I whispered, ‘may I be the conqueror among them all, that I may write my name above the great story of those deeds.’
2. The qualities a man should have are: courage, a noble mind.
3. The qualities a woman should have are: to conduct herself with the pride and courage befitting a man.
4. What I appreciate most about my friends is: loyalty and wit.
5. My main fault is: stubbornness
6. My favourite thing to do is: horse-riding (riding camels come second) .
7. My idea of happiness is: my country.
8. My idea of misery is: quarrelling with my husband.
9. If not myself, I would like to be ... Julia Mamea
10. The country I’d like to live in is: Palmyra
11. My favourite prose author is: Callinicus who wrote the History of Alexandria, 10 vols, dedicated to me, ‘the New Cleopatra’.
12. My favourite poet is: the Syrian poet (all of whose work, alas, has disappeared)
13. My favourite hero in fiction or myth is: Simon, son of Barabas, my closest friend.
14. My favourite heroine in fiction or myth is: Semiramis
15. My hero in real life is: Odenathus, my husband.
16. My heroine in real life is: Julia Mamaea.
17. The character from history I despise the most is: the Emperor Gallienus, who gave a secret order to Maeonius to murder his cousin, Odenathus.
18. My heroine from history is: Julia Domna
19. What I hate the most is: informers.
20. The military event that I admire most is: the first battle of Emesa, when Odenathus rescued Syria from the Persians, killed the Persian prince, and drove their army back across the Euphrates.
21. The gift of nature that I would like to have is: testicles.
22. This is how I’d like to die: like a philosopher, and having my statue in the family’s tower tomb
23. My present state of mind is: tumultuous; still waiting for J. Weingarten to finish my story.
24. The faults for which I have the most indulgence are: flattery.
25. My motto is: Kiss the hand you cannot bite, and pray for it to be broken.
The Chronicle of Zenobia: The Rebel Queen - Amazon.co.uk
The Chronicle of Zenobia: The Rebel Queen - Amazon.com