The Zenobia Foundation aims to advance the study of historical Eastern-Western relationships in the most dynamic meeting place of peoples and cultures in human history: the Eastern Mediterranean basin. Zenobia attempts to reach this goal through the organisation of congresses and symposia, publication of books and catalogues, support of exhibitions and research travel and, above all, the advancement of scholarly research.

The Foundation is proud to bear the name of Zenobia, the third-century queen of the Syrian desert city of Palmyra, who ruled over part of the Roman empire in a time of change in the Mediterranean area. As a legendary and historical persona, she lives on in ‘Western’ Greco-Latin art and literature, as well as in the ‘Eastern’ Arabo-Persian tradition.


Zenobia organises two conferences on a yearly basis. The larger conference traditionally takes place in Autumn in Amsterdam and focuses on a specific historical figure, or on a specific area or city of the (Eastern) Mediterranean Basin. In previous years, subjects have included such varied topics such as Augustus, Mohammed, Carthage, Spain and Crimea.

The smaller conference – the yearly Zenobia lecture – takes place in Spring in the National Archaeological Museum of the Netherlands in Leiden and is ideally connected to running exhibitions. The first lecture was given by Dr. Diederik Burgersdijk in 2016 and concerned the destruction of cultural heritage in Palmyra, Syria.

In addition, every two years Zenobia presents an award, the Zenobia Essayprijs, to a publication which fruitfully discusses historical East-West relations and/or their reception.

Zenobia also awards a yearly research travel grant to young researchers whose academic objectives correspond to Zenobia’s interest in historical East-West relations.


We warmly welcome gifts from those who share Zenobia’s objectives.

Sponsors may choose between becoming Zenobia’s friend, benefactor or patron.

Yearly gift*       Privileges
Friend € 25
  • Discounted access to our conferences
  • A complimentary copy of Architectuur in Egypte
Benefactor € 50
  • Discounted access to our conferences
  • Invitations to special events
  • One complimentary Zenobia publication of your choice
Patron € 100
  • Discounted access to our conferences
  • Invitations to special events
  • Two complimentary Zenobia publications of your choice
  • Honourable mention in communication regarding the Zenobia Essay Award and Travel Grant


* For a period of five years, as required by the regulations of ANBI.

If you wish to give to Zenobia, we invite you to get in touch with us at info@stichtingzenobia.nl.

Our details for wire transfers:

Name: Stichting Zenobia
IBAN NL46 TRIO 0391 1649 02


The Zenobia Foundation oversees two series of publications. The first is the accessible, Dutch-language Zenobiareeks (“Zenobia Series”), currently consisting of four titles, the most recent one being a translation of Philostratos’ Paintings and Sophists. The other is a more scholarly, English-language series, consisting of the proceedings of our annual Autumn conference. The scientific series includes the books Empires of the Sea, and Late Antique Responses to the Arab Conquest.

Contact information

Any questions you may have may be directed to the foundation’s secretary, Michèle Meijer (secretaris@stichtingzenobia.nl).