Photo of the ancient city of Palmyra. Image Credit: WikCommons

The area known today as Syria has historically been synonymous with the Levant, a wider region that was particularly pivotal in the late medieval period. Site to many kingdoms over its 12,000 years of habitation, it has been regularly annexed by neighbouring empires. One exception to this was the emergence of the Palmyrene Empire in the third century AD, which conquered much of its surrounding Asian neighbours prior to annexation by the Romans in 273AD. Post the collapse of the Roman Empire, Syria was initially subject to caliphate rule and was split between rival empires. It then fell to the Ottoman Empire in 1506 which lasted until its partition in 1918. A short-lived Kingdom of Syria was established in 1920, after which France occupied the area. Since 1946 Syria has been an independent, republican state.

You can find out more about female rulers of Syria below!


El-Azhari, Taef. Queens, Eunuchs and Concubines in Islamic History, 661–1257. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2019

Buck, Andrew. The Principality of Antioch and its Frontiers in the Twelfth Century. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2017

Buck, Andrew. “Women in the Principality of Antioch: Power, Status, and Social Agency.” Haskins Society Journal 31 (2020): 95–132

Hodgson, Natasha. Women, Crusading and the Holy Land in Historical Narrative. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2007.

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