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Zenobia was a 3rd-century Queen of the Palmyrene Empire. Zenobia had expanded the empire, conquering Egypt and expelling the Roman prefect, Tenagino Probus, who was beheaded after he led an attempt to recapture the territory. She ruled over Egypt until 274, when she was defeated and taken as a hostage to Rome by Emperor Aurelian.
In 1578 news came of a discovery in Rome of a labyrinth of underground tombs, thought to hold the remains of early Christian martyrs. Skeletons were sent to Catholic churches & religious houses in German-speaking Europe to replace holy relics that had been destroyed during the Reformation. The “catacomb saints,” were reassembled, richly dressed w/ crowns, jewels, & armor. Posed inside churches & shrines as reminders to the faithful of the heavenly treasures that awaited them after death.