Rebellions and Breakaway Empires A. D. 259 - 273 As if the collapse of the economy and the barbarian invasions were not disastrous enough for the beleaguered Roman population to deal with, the mid to late Third Century was a time when several powerful generals rebelled against the empire and set up their own "splinter empires." In A. D. 259, Postumus, Emperor Valerian's capable general of the legions on the Rhine, rebelled and established an empire ruling Britain, Spain, and Gaul (Modern France). He ruled his empire wisely and well for over ten years. These provinces were not recovered until Aurelian became emperor of Rome and the weak Tetricus II decided to give up his throne and allow the Roman Empire to reclaim its lost provinces. Aurelian was merciful to Tetricus and allowed him to retire to private life. Rebellion also broke out in Egypt and Syria during Gallienus' reign. One story that has been told and enjoyed throughout the centuries is that of Queen Zenobia's heroic struggle for the freedom and independence of Palmyra, a small kingdom located on the border between Syria and Mesopotamia. This inspiring tale describes courage and resourcefulness of a woman who very ably led an army against the entire might of the Roman legions to defend her country's freedom from Roman oppression.
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