Age of Empires Series Wiki
Civilization Technology tree Strategy
I'm a queen, and as long as I live I will reign

The Palmyrans were once the inhabitants of the ancient kingdom of Palmyra which prospered in the 3rd century AD and are a playable civilization introduced in Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome.

In the game, they are primarily an offensive civilization, but they are also an economic civilization with many economic bonuses involving trade, tribute, and Villager efficiency. However, one of their major cons is expensive Villagers which cost 75 food (as opposed to the usual 50) which can hamper their progress early in the game. Palmyrans are mostly effective in random map and are most powerful in the Bronze Age but they can also be effective on other Ages as well if handled properly.


Campaign appearances[]

The Year of the Four Emperors and the Odaenathus, Lord of Palmyra and scenarios from the Imperium Romanum and Enemies of Rome campaigns respectively are played as the Palmyrans.
The Palmyrans appear exclusively as enemy AI players in:

The Rise of Rome[]

Imperium Romanum[]


The Rise of Rome[]

  • Villagers work 44% faster for some tasks, 36% faster for some tasks, 0% faster (or at least much less faster) for others.
  • Coinage is not available.
  • Heavy Transport is not available.
  • Plow is not available.

Definitive Edition[]

  • Start the game with +50 food. With update 38862, they start with +75 food.
  • Villagers work 25% faster for all tasks.
  • Coinage is available.
  • Heavy Transport is available.
  • With update 38862, Plow is available.

AI player names[]

Although the civilization is based on the kingdom of Palmyra in classical antiquity, only 4 AI player names actually represent leaders from there, while the rest of the AI names represent leaders from Pontus, Numidia and other.

  • Zenobia - Queen of the Palmyrene Empire 267-272
  • Syphax - King of Western Numidia 3rd century BC
  • Massinissa - First King of Numidia 202-148 BC
  • Mithridates - Name of several rulers in Parthia, Pontus, Iberia and others. Most notably Mithridatus VI (the Great), king of Pontus 120-63 BC
  • Pharnaces - Name of rulers in Phrygia and, most notably, Pontus. King of Pontus 2nd century BC (Pharnaces I); 97-47 BC (II)
  • Temurides - Unknown, possibly fictional
  • Jugurtha - King of Numidia 160-104 BC
  • Odaenathus - King of Palmyra and the Palmyrene Empire c. 260-267, husband of Zenobia
  • Vaballathus - King of the Palmyrene Empire 267-272, son of Zenobia and Odaenathus
  • Zobdas - Misspelling of Zabdas, a Palmyrene general under Zenobia


Palmyra was an ancient settlement near the Eqfa spring in the Syrian desert, founded ca. 2000 BC. The Palmyrans themselves were a mix of Amorites, Arameans and Arabs, and spoke Palmyrene, an Aramic dialect and used Greek as their commercial and political language.

Initially a petty sheikhdom, the city grew rapidly in importance thanks to its strategic position as an oasis, which made it an important stop for merchants traveling in the silk road from China and India, as well as for local caravans trading in the region. Growing in wealth, the city prospered more and more by taxing the passing by caravans who stopped to rest, and grew to become one of the strongest trading powers in the region by trading with the many rare commodities from the far east such as silk, spices and perfumes. The Palmyrenes used this wealth to build grandeous monuments, colonnades and impressive tombs, and to design Greco-Roman and Persian influenced funerary reliefs for the high class citizens of the city.

Not going unnoticed by the Romans, it was declared a Roman colonia in the 2nd century and its royals and nobility were granted Roman citizenship under the reign of Septimius Severus and many adopted the Septimii's surname as a sign of loyalty and gratefulness to the Romans.

Septimius Odaenathus was the first Palmyrene to be granted the title of king, and he and his wife, Queen Zenobia, fought off two major invasions coming from the east and the north by Persians and Goths respectively, and were granted many honorary titles and privileges by the Romans, who would've been crushed had not the east been defended by the now prospering Palmyrans.

Odaenathus was murdered in 267 after a successful campaign in Asia Minor against Goths raiding there, and was succeeded by his son. The real power in Palmyra, however, was his mother, Queen Zenobia, who ruled as a regent and held de facto power in the kingdom. She rebelled against Rome and conquered all of Rome's eastern provinces, establishing the Palmyrene Empire that spanned from the Black Sea to the Nile, and included the previous Roman provinces of Asia Minor, Mesopotomia, Syria, Arabia, as well as Upper and Lower Egypt. Declaring herself Augusta, the Romans, slowly recovering from the crisis of the third century, promptly returned to Palmyra, and defeated Queen Zenobia in 272, taking her back to Rome where she was paraded in chains, and later in 273, sacked Palmyra and ended its civilization. It ceased to become a major power and never recovered, subsequently falling into Byzantine, Persian, and later Arab rule and never became the power it was again.

Nowadays, the ruins and monuments left by the Palmyrans are located in the Tadmur district of present-day Syria.


  • Despite being a Mesopotamian people, they have the Roman architecture, although their buildings historically resembled the Babylonian set much more. This is likely because the Palmyrans reached their historical apex as a Roman client state, and briefly took control of Rome's eastern territories during the Crisis of the Third Century.
  • Some AI players are named after Parthian and Numidian rulers.
  • The Palmyrans have the largest amount of civilization bonuses, with 5.
  • The Palmyrans are the only civilization to lack Logistics.