Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Odaenathus/archive1

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Odaenathus (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs)

Nominator(s): Attar-Aram syria (talk) 02:36, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

This article is about Odaenathus, king of Palmyra, king of kings of the East, saviour of Rome (at least in the minds of Roman writers), and the actual reason for Palmyra's rise! His wars against Persia healed the wounded pride of Rome which was shattered by the capture of emperor Valerian, the first Roman emperor to be captured by an enemy! But Odaenathus is overshadowed by his wife, Zenobia, and thats why not a lot of people know his story even though Zenobia contributed nothing to the power of Palmyra; she merely used what her husband built, including his army, generals and resources. Yet, she gets all the glory; the idea of a warrior queen is more attractive for people. I tried to give him the article he deserves, and I hope reviewers will enjoy this read. The article is already GA, and was copy-edited by the very helpful Gog the Mild.Attar-Aram syria (talk) 02:36, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

Image review

  • Suggest adding alt text
  • File:Odenaethus_bust.jpg: source link is dead - I found an available archive link but it gives a different licensing from the current tag
Seems it might have originally been non-commercial (which is not allowed). Or do you remember if it was the current licence back when you found it? FunkMonk (talk) 15:04, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Nikkimaria, I found the current location of the image[1], seems to be free, no? The licence and link just have to be changed. FunkMonk (talk) 17:24, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
I was a beginner when I uploaded it years ago, and did not know that non-commercial not allowed. But for now, I updated the tag and the link and all should be fine
  • File:Bas_relief_nagsh-e-rostam_al.jpg should include an explicit tag for the original work
  • File:Hairan_I.jpg: I am not sure why the given tag was applied, please explain
I got the image from a journal published in 1937. This volume's copyrights were not renewed in the US after 1963. I was introduced to this trick by FunkMonk during the nomination of Cleopatra Selene of Syria (see here [2]), which led to the upload of this image
  • File:Antoninian_Vaballathus_Augustus.jpg: source link is dead, should include an explicit tag for the original work
Done (and link replaced)
  • File:Dynt2.png: what is the source of this image? Nikkimaria (talk) 14:52, 1 June 2019 (UTC)

Thanks for this Nikkimaria. Is it all satisfying now?.--Attar-Aram syria (talk) 23:21, 2 June 2019 (UTC)


  • I'll have a look soon. In case the second bust image has to be deleted, we're lucky we got that second one from Copenhagen... FunkMonk (talk) 15:04, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
Thanks mate. I will be working on this very soon
  • Zenobia is duplinked in pretty close proximity. I think I once linked the duplink tool, but here it is again:[3]
  • The names of various persons and places could be linked in the image captions.
  • Any reason why this image[4] is not used?
  • There seem to be some much more recent European depictions[5][6] of Odaenathus (and Zenobia) which could maybe be fun to show under legacy?
  • Link Palmyrene Kingdom in the intro, or would that just be a redirect to Palmyrene Empire?
  • I think you told me once the busts are identical, perhaps state if that's the case?
Alright FunkMonk, sorry for taking so long. I eliminated the duplinks and linked the names in captions. When it come to the more recent European depictions, Im not sure they can be used here, because it was the fame of Zenobia that led to their creation, not the legacy of Odaenathus. The king's appearance in those paintings is solely related to him being her husband. However, I will research the topic and if any more recent European depictions were made for Odaenathus himself for his deeds, then I will integrate this into the article. The link to a Palmyrene kingdom will just take you to the Palmyrene Empire. Now, the main reason why I took so long, was because you mentioned the busts. I decided that I needed to understand more about this topic, so I spent the last three five days traveling to different libraries and getting my hands on sources that address the topic. I found much, and photocopied many pages and Im using them now to create a new article about the portraits of Odaenathus. What I discovered is that it is more probable that the portraits shown in the article now do not represent Odaenathus. Those portraits have many parallels in Palmyra, and are really not special. However, the only special busts, one shows the subject wearing a tiara (like the son of Odaenathus) and the other showing the subject wearing a diadem (like that of the Seleucid kings) are the most likely depictions of Odaenathus. No other busts shows a diadem or a tiara; those were signs of eastern and Hellenistic monarchical power. Plus, we know from the portrait of Hairan (Herodianus) wearing the tiara that this object was the crown of Palmyra. According to modern research, those two busts are the only 90% certainty depictions of Odaenathus. The bad news is: we have no free photos. I have no idea why it was decided by Wiki that non-commercial use is not accepted. The photo of the bust with the tiara is the only evidence we have. It is an old photo, and the statue itself was discovered in 1939 and it is now lost. Meaning that we will never have any other photo of it. IFPO were nice enough to release their archive for free, but non-commercial use, and the photo of the tiara bust (the tiara is broken but you can notice a hole in the bust where the tiara would have been inserted) exist in this archive this link and this (photo of the upper part of the bust showing the opening for inserting the rest of the tiara). Therefore, it is important that we get the photo one way or another!
Interesting, You think that info is too much to incorporate into the article? And how about this image?[7] As for non-commercial, I have no idea how it was decided, but I think it's due to the "used for any purpose" statement. FunkMonk (talk) 18:44, 9 June 2019 (UTC)
Well, thanks to Wiki not so bright rule, we cant have the only photo of the bust that most likely depict Odaenathus. I had to remove the photo of the infobox and replace it with a more likely depiction that is not very clear. I incorporated the info to the article and used the image you noted
  • "and 'Ôden in Aramaic" But isn't Palmyrene a form of Aramaic? Which would mean that 'Ôden is in some specific other kind of Aramaic?
Guess the author is referring to imperial or standard Aramaic. Palmyrene is an Aramaic language, but it evolved enough to be called its own language, so some words can have a different pronunciation in Palmyrene. The source itself does not specify this (guess the author is expecting the readers to automatically understand this, and thats a common feature in academic texts where the authors think that all their readers are specialists in the field)
  • "the name of his father, Hairan" and "Hairan could also be of Aramaic etymology". I think this could be stated more ambiguously than saying one thing in the text and another in the note. I think the note should be consolidated into the main text, so it doesnø't seem like you are contradicting yourself.
I deleted that note. Stonemann and Powers are historians but not linguists. Specialists tend to support the Arabic etymology
  • "No images of Odaenathus have been discovered" Rather no definite images? If there are several that could be him, we can't say no images?
  • "thus, he cannot be a son of Hairan son of Odaenathus (I).[17][41] Therefore, it is certain that King Odaenathus is the builder of the tomb" Why is this present tense, when the preceding text is oast tense?
  • "and Hairan son of Maliko son of Nasor (left)" I think you could mention in the caption that it may be a relation of Odaenathus, to establish why the image is relevant?
  • Is there any speculation of why Odaenathus was chosen for his ranks?
I wrote one
  • There is no mention of Odaenathus in the Edessa section, could he somehow be placed in context within that section? Or maybe that entire section should just be shortened a lot and merged with the text at the beginning of rise?
The section of Edessa is a very important background. Readers need it to understand what will come next. I also cant merge it in the rise section because chronologically, Edessa was the last event before Odaenathus declared himself king. But since you noted this, I removed the section and merged it with reign. This way, the declaration of Odaenathus as king can be connected with the events that happened before
I think it works much better now. FunkMonk (talk) 23:18, 10 June 2019 (UTC)
  • "while Balista was captured and executed by the King in autumn 261" Until this point, it seemed like Balista and Odaenathus were allies? Why was Balista killed? Or does "the king" not refer to Odaenathus?
Allies? more like waiting to see what will happen. Once it became clear the coup is failing, Odaenathus choose the side of the emperor and attacked Emessa
Much clearer now, but "when it became clear that Gallienus will eventually win" should be past tense (would)? FunkMonk (talk) 15:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Regarding "the King", I think King should only be a capitalised when part of the name? Such as King Odaenathus?
  • "derived from the Aramaic root" duplink since it is already inked in the first section?
Weird, I used the duplink tool several times and did not show me this
I think sometimes it doesn't recognise them if the other link is a redirect rather than a direct link. FunkMonk (talk) 15:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • "two inscriptions in Palmyrene dialect" Palmyrene link should be moved to first section instead.
  • "destroyed the Jewish city of Nehardea" Link Jewish?
  • "and freeing Edessa and Carrhae" Is it perhaps biased to say they were "freed"?
  • "rowned his son Herodianus (Hairan I)" He should be linked at first mention in the article body.
He is. In the section Odaenathus I
I see, was searching for "Herodianus". FunkMonk (talk) 15:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Since King of Kings is discussed here, I might note it is currently nominated for GA... May benefit from the look of an expert.
  • There seems to be little to no mention of Zenobia from during Odaenathus' lifetime? Had she no significance until he died?
Yes, she was just a stay at home wife according to actual evidence (the Augustan History makes her a partner in campaign command.....) but this is discussed in her own article
Seems it could warrant at least a footnote here then? FunkMonk (talk) 15:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Footnote added at the first mention of Zenobia's exploits
  • "to face an influx of Germanic riders attacking Anatolia" Anything to link?
  • "the story is neglected by most scholars" Or ignored?
  • I don't understand why you have two different bulleted lists repeating much of the same information before and after "Instigators and motives theories". Why not consolidate the two?
I couldnt. Maybe a man named also Odaenathus killed the king according to Syncellus, but what was the motive? should I add the sentense: "according to Syncellus, the king was killed by a man named Odaenathus" to every motive paragraph? Same goes for every assassin mentioned. Thats why its best to list the names of the men who might have done it first, and the people who supported those men second.
  • "meaning that Odaenathus' eldest son and co-king was Hairan Herodianus" What is meant by this? Now it reads like that was his entire name, though the preceding text implies it is the same name in two languages?
Yes, it was common that an upper class Palmyrene have a local and Greek name
  • A lot of terms in the burial section could be linked, such as Mummification, inhumation, sepulchral, architrave.
  • "that Maeonius was proclaimed emperor for a brief period" Emperor of what? And if Palmyra, how come a different title than Odaenathus had?
In the Ruler of the East section, under the bulleted Imperator totius orientis paragraph (last one), I mention that it is the Augustan history that claimed that Odaenathus was proclaimed Augustus (Emperor). Hence, since the account of Maeonius is from that source, the title used is that of an emperor
  • "two Persian tigers" reading this, I would think it refers to a population of tigers from Persia, but the image caption says "he Persians who are depicted as tigers". Could this be consolidated? And how is it known they represent Persians?
Just the hypothesis of Gawlikowski because the only tigers known to the Palmyrenes were the Caspian tigers. I re-wrote it a little to make it clearer
Interesting, by the way, that tiger population is now extinct, so perhaps say "once common". FunkMonk (talk) 15:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Shoudn't the tiger image be listed in the paragraph that discusses his depictions?
It is more important for the legacy section since it is connected to the proposed hero cult. In any case, like all other depiction, it is not certain that the man depicted is Odaenathus
I meant more just a mention, but no big deal. FunkMonk (talk) 15:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I didnt get it the first time. I think its better not to list every possible representation. I am collecting every possible depiction in the new article about this topic in my sandbox talk page
  • "hence, Odaenathus merely retook abandoned city" Cities?
  • "Septimius Odainat, romanized as Odaenathus" Shouldn't the title of the article be shown first?
Is it better now?
Yes. FunkMonk (talk) 15:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
  • "largely at the mercy of the Persians" Links to the modern country of Iran, is that appropriate?
  • "Odaenathus attacked the remaining usurper and quelled the rebellion. He was rewarded with many exceptional titles by the Emperor" Not sure if I missed something, but I didn't understand this from reading the article body itself? It could probably be made clearer.
  • Support - another important Syria history article down, looking forward to what you'll present next. FunkMonk (talk) 17:45, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Jens Lallensack[edit]

Looks good!

Sorry for the late reply Jens Lallensack, but your note about the bust and FunkMonk's note about the same topic made it important that I expand on the topic, which is what I was doing for the past few days (see here)
  • "Odaenathus" is the Greek transcription of the King's name – the intro says its latinized?
I meant romanization. I blame my sometimes clumsy English. Fixed
  • his name, 'Dynt, the name of his father, Hairan, and that of his grandfather, Wahb-Allat, are Arabic, – above it was stated that it was Palmyrene
The name 'Dynt is the Palmyrene version of an Arabic name. Its like today in the west Salah al-Din is Saladin. We can call this the English version of an Arabic name (while the man himself was a Kurd)
  • SE (Seleucid year)) – is it possible to get rid of the double bracket?
It annoys me as well, but I could'nt come up with a solution. We need to indicate what SE means as most readers will not understand it
  • Image caption: Odenaethus' bust from the museum of Palmyra – It was stated in the text that the attribution of any busts to Odaenaethus is far from sure. Maybe indicate this ambiguity in the caption.
  • In two image captions you use the spelling Odenaethus, is that a typo?
  • Bilingual inscriptions from Palmyra record the title of the Palmyrene ruler as ras in Palmyrene – This confuses a bit as it seems to be in contradiction with the preceding sentence. Only in the next sentence it becomes clear – a bit to late, it disrupts reading flow.
  • Section "Ras of Palmyra" – shouldn't most of the content under "Rise" also fall under this heading, as it is about the Ras?
  • the Palmyrenes might have elected Odaenathus to defend the city. – Shouldn't this be discussed together with and its incursions which affected Palmyrene trade,combined with the weakness of the Roman Empire, were probably the reasons behind the Palmyrene council's decision to elect a lord for the city in order for him to lead a strengthened army? These very similar sentences are completely separated.
I have re-organized the rise section, so I hope it looks better now. Sometimes you cant keep simple reading flow when discussing an ambiguous topic. I cant move most of the content under "rise" to "ras". The former section discusses the circumstances for the creation of the title while the latter discusses what Odaenathus did as a bearer of the title.
  • after Philip the Arab – I would add "Emperor Philip the Arab", to help readers like me that are unfamiliar with the less famous Roman emperors.
  • to occupy the area; while – I would not use ";" together with "while" here. Either the one or the other.
  • Odaenathuss – Should it be with apostrophe?
  • After this year, a governor, Septimius Worod, was appointed for the city of Palmyra – was this a roman governor?
Palmyrene appointed by Odaenathus. Fixed
  • The evidence for the second campaign is meager; Zosimus is the only one to mention it specifically. A passage in the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle is interpreted by Hartmann as an indication of a second offensive. – So this Sibylline was written by Zosimus? Not entirely clear. --Jens Lallensack (talk) 20:21, 5 June 2019 (UTC)
Zosimus did not write the the Sibylline which is introduced in the Administration and royal image section. Zosimus mentioned the campaign clearly. But in the Sibylline, a collection of "prophecies" obviously written after the events it prophesized and probably by an anonymous Syrian writer serving Odaenathus, there is a "prophecy" that Hartmann intrepreted as indicating the second capmaign


A great article Attar. This is my second or third review, so go easy on me ;-))

Thanks for taking the time Louis
  • "Mlk Mlk DY MDNH" (Western Aramaic)" -- Did any other rulers of Palmyra/Syria hold this title?
Not as far as I know (well, aside from his successor Vaballathus)
If its only attested for two rulers, it might be valuable to explain/mention this full title in the body of the article. For example "Mlk Mlk" is already mentioned separately, but "DY MDNH" is not as far as I can see. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.
It existed in note 19, but I wrote it in the main text now)
  • "By 263, Odaenathus was in effective control of the Levant, Mesopotamia and Anatolia's eastern region." -- When I click on Mesopotamia, it shows "Upper Mesopotamia". Did Odenaethus take all of Mesopotamia (including Sasanian-ruled Mesopotamia) or just the Roman-held parts?
Only Roman Mesopotamia. I made it clear
  • In the first alinea of the body, you mention several foreign names/words (including Palmyrene, Arabic and Aramaic) without using italics. In the rest of the article, you do use italics however for all foreign languages.
Thats difficult. Where to use it and where not? Should we use Italics for Zonaras? or every mention of Hairan? but those are the forms used in English. Odaenathus itself is not an English name, should we use italics?. What do you think Gog
Note: I used Italics now for Palmyrene names (Italics are not used for proper)
  • "Byzantine historians of the sixth century, such as Procopius, referred to him as "king of the Saracens", meaning of the Arabs." -- Suggestion: add a link to "Byzantine".

More later. - LouisAragon (talk) 12:00, 8 June 2019 (UTC)

  • "The tribes attacking Anatolia were probably the Heruli who built ships to cross the Black Sea in 267 and ravaged the coasts of Bithynia and Pontus, besieging Heraclea Pontica." -- Suggest adding a link to "Pontus"; either Pontus (region) or Bithynia and Pontus. If you're going to choose the latter, please remove the link to Bithynia (Captain Obvious, I know).
  • Support - Read the article two more times but couldn't really find anything. This article is extremely well referenced and written in full compliance with the FA criteria. A superb piece of work. - LouisAragon (talk) 23:17, 13 June 2019 (UTC)

Coord note[edit]

Don't think I could see a source review for reliability and formatting -- you can request at the top of WT:FAC if necessary. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 12:14, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

Source review - pass[edit]

I'll have a look at it. Give me a little time. Gog the Mild (talk) 12:48, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

Thanks Gog for this thorough review
  • Citations 4, 14, 25, 27 have their harv links to their sources broken.
  • Altheim et al (1965) is incorrectly labelled as Altheim & Stiehl.
  • Matyszak (2004) is listed under sources, but not referred to.
  • Eight cites use "p." (not pp.) when referring to multiple pages.
  • Brown (1939) should give the page number range; as should Cataudella (2003), De Blois (2014), Drinkwater (2005), Gawlikowski (2005a), Hartmann (2008) and (2016), Kaizer (2009), Klijn (1999), Kropp & Raja (2016), Potter (2010), Powers (2010), Sartre (2005a), Teixidor (2005), Wadeson (2014), Wintermute (2011).
  • Butcher (1996): has something gone wrong with the formatting? (Several faults, hopefully self evident.)
I dont see errors tbh. Butcher wanted to review the book of Potter, but he had more to say than just a review. So the title used in the article is literally the one used by Butcher (see link)
  • Damascus and Palmyra: a journey to the East: needs an upper case J
  • Maximinus to Diocletian and the 'crisis': needs an upper case C
  • Kaizer (2008): could we turn the upper case into title case please.
Same problem as with Butcher. This is the exact title of the article (see link)
  • Vervaet (2007): title case please.
  • Cooke (1903): ISBNs did not exist in 1903. Are you referring to a later edition?
replaced with oclc because Im using the 1903 edition
  • I consider Gibbon a seriously unreliable source. Could you not find other sources for the two occasions on which you cite him?
I removed the first instance of Gibbon and replaced the sentence with a new one. The second instance is important I believe. The Augustan History listed Odaenathus as one of the thirty tyrants, i.e. usurpers, despite him not claiming the imperial throne or rebelling against an emperor, and Gibbon is the only one to give a possible reason. However, I did indicate that this is the opinion of Gibbon

With the exception of Gibbon the sources used appear reliable. I am unable to find any other sources which would materially add to the content of the article. The sources referred to support the text cited, insofar as I have checked them. I found no unattributed close paraphrasing. I consider the sources to be current, as these things go. A reasonable mix of perspectives are represented. Everything that I would expect to be cited, is.

Gog the Mild (talk) 20:53, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

No problem. A pleasure to work on this excellent quality article again.
  • Cite 228 has a broken harv link.
  • Page number range missing for Kuhn.
  • Kaizer: It doesn't matter what the title etc is in the original, the MoS requires it to be given in title case. (It's a bizarre title IMO, but that's not our problem.)
  • Butcher: See above. But I see what you mean about the rest. A little odd, but it is what it is.
  • Gibbon: it the limited way you use I suppose that it is acceptable.

Gog the Mild (talk) 10:57, 30 June 2019 (UTC)