Historical Overview Section

Palmyra, a wealthy and elegant city in present-day Syrian now sadly somewhat trashed by ISIL was located along the caravan routes linking Persia with the Mediterranean ports of Roman Syria and Phoenicia,

When the Seleucids took control of Syria in 323 BC the city was left to itself and became independent. In 41 BC, the Romans under Mark Antony tried to occupy Palmyra but the Palmyrans escaped to the other side of the Euphrates, as they had received intelligence of the Roman approach showing that at that time Palmyra was still a nomadic settlement and its valuables could be removed at short notice. It was not until the reign of Tiberius that Palmyra was made part of the Roman province of Syria. It steadily grew in importance as its position on the trade route linking Persia, India, China, and the Roman empire allowed it to grow rich under Roman control. During the following period of great prosperity, the Aramaean and Arab inhabitants of Palmyra adopted customs and modes of dress from both the Iranian Parthian world to the east and the Graeco-Roman west, creating a fascinating melting pot of cultures - and military practices.

Beginning in 212, Palmyra came into conflict with the Sassanid Persians and after Roman Emperor Valerian was captured by the Sassanids, Palmyran armies campaigned deep into Persia for revenge - and for their own ulterior motives as whilst the Palmyrans under their leader Odaenathus did nothing to usurp Roman authority, they fairly clearly were keen on having their own independent empire. Odenatheaus was on his way to Cappadocia to fight what would have been an interesting matchup against the Goths over there when he was assassinated, together with Hairan, by his nephew Maeonius When the Palmyran leader Odaenathus was assassinated by his nephew Maconius, his wife Septimia Zenobia took power, ruling Palmyra on the behalf of her son, Vabalathus.

Zenobia rebelled against Roman authority with the help of Cassius Longinus and took over Bosra and lands as far to the west as Egypt, establishing the short-lived Palmyrene Empire covered by this list. Next, she attempted to take Antioch to the north. In 272, the Roman Emperor Aurelian finally retaliated and captured her and brought her back to Rome. He paraded her in golden chains but allowed her to retire to a villa in Tibur, where she took an active part in society for years. This rebellion greatly disturbed Rome, and so Palmyra was forced by the empire to become a military base for the Roman legions. Diocletian expanded it to harbor even more legions and walled it in to try and save it from the Sassanid Persian threat.

Using the army in ADLG

  • Oddly enough, this army may well not be all about the Cataphracts. Instead think of it as a reasonably early Roman army with a slightly more useful mix of additional toys to help widen out and face off mounted opponents
  • Cataphracts are always best Elite
  • Don't underestimate the value of massed bowmen in this arny, as it has plenty of foot and mounted options to either protect or divert attention away from them.

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army
106 Palmyran (v4 Devonian Classic List)
4 Legionaries Heavy swordsmen armour impact
1 Horse Archers Medium cavalry bow
2 Auxilia Medium swordsmen impact
1 Archers Bowmen
2 Auxilia Medium swordsmen impact
4 Cataphracts Cataphract
2 Archers Bowmen
1 Light Archers Light infantry bow
1 Horse Archers Medium cavalry bow
Ordinary Unreliable
1 Caravan Guard Medium camelry bow Mediocre
1 Caravan Guard Light camelry bow Mediocre
1 Horse Archers Medium cavalry bow ------
2 Horse Archers Light cavalry bow ------

Rob Taylors 3Ts List from 2021 (v4)
3 Heavy Cavalry Cataphract Elite
3 Heavy Cavalry Cataphract ------
2 Roman Legionaries Heavy swordsmen impact support ------
3 Horse Archers Light cavalry bow ------
2 Light Infantry Bow Light infantry bow ----
4 Roman Auxiliaries Medium swordsmen impact
2 Bowmen Bowmen
2 Light Infantry Bow Light infantry bow
Ordinary Included Unreliable
1 Heavy Cavalry (Incl Gen) Cataphract
2 Horse Archers Light cavalry bow

Burton 2020 - winning Palmyrans @ 325 points
Cataphracts x 4 elite included ordinary
Light Horse x 1 javelin
4 Legions armoured impact
1 HI Sword Local
1 LH Bow
Ordinary general
Bowmen x 2
Auxiliaries x 3 impact
Cavalry x 1 HC
LF Bow x 1
LH Bow x 2
Cataphracts x 3 ordinary
Light Camel Bow x 2
Cataphracts x 3
hC x 1
Auxiliary x 3
Bow x 2
1 LF Bow
35 units

300 Points
4 Legions Armoured Impact, 1 with support
2 LF Bow
Competent General

3 Cataphracts with included Competent General
3 HI with Sword
1 Medium Cavalry Bow

4 Bowmen
3 MI Impact Sword
Ordinary General

4 LH Bow
6 cataphracts full fat
2 LH Impact
General Zenobia

200 points USTT 18
4 Cataphract Cataphract Elite
2 Regular Cavalry Medium cavalry bow ------
2 Equites Sagittarii Light cavalry bow ------
3 Roman Legionaires Heavy swordsmen armour impact
2 Other Archers Light infantry bow
1 Roman Cavalry Heavy cavalry
1 Roman Legionaires Heavy swordsmen armour impact missile support
2 Roman Auxiliaries Medium swordsmen missile support
2 Regular Archers Bowmen
2 Caravan Guards Light camelry bow

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