Photo of the original book. Text quoted in the post.

a woman of lustie courage (note #5 from the Levine library)

I occasionally post about books from my late father’s library, which line my office walls. Today I took down a book that’s in poor condition, missing its front matter and with an illegible spine. It appears to be An epitome of chronicles, Conteyninge the whole discourse of the histories as well of this realme of England, as al other cou[n]treys, with the succession of their kinges, the time of their reigne, and what notable actes they did … gathered out of most probable auctours. The authors are Thomas Lanquet, Thomas Cooper, and Robert Crowley, and it was printed in London by William Seres in 1559.

By the way, chronicles of this type are an evident influence on George R.R. Martin’s books and the Game of Thrones series that he inspired. They are all about the deeds of the great.

I’ve lately been interested in Zenobia, Queen of Palymra, having read Nathanael Andrade’s 2018 biography. So I looked her up in the Epitome of Chronicles, which simply list of the events known to the authors in each year since the Creation. In the year 4228 (also identified as the Year of Christ 267, we are told:

Zebenna, Wife of Odeantus, a woman of lustie courage, and of great policie in warre, with her young sonnes, Herennianus and Timolaus, in despite of [the Emperor] Galienus (who consumed his life in lyfe in lechery and bankettynge) took on her the governaunce of the easte, and was called Empresse.

Then, under the year 272 CE, we are told that Aurelianius, who had been “made emperorour” on account of his “valyuaunt prowes and expertnes in marshall policie … overcame Zebennia, or Zenobia, which [named?] her selfe empresse of the easte, and besieging the citie Palmirena, toke and brought her prisoner in triumphe to Rome.”

Modern historians would concur, except as to her sons’ names.

See also Zenobia of Palmyra; Coryat’s Crudities (note #1 from the Levine library); Reformation propaganda (note #2 from the Levine library); A 1582 Catholic translation of the Bible into English (note #3 from the Levine library) and the progress of the king (note #4 from the Levine library)

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.