William Ware (1797-1852) graduated from Harvard and studied to become a Unitarian minister. He achieved literary recognition chiefly from his authorship of two historical romances, Zenobia, or the Fall of Palmyra (first published as Letters from Palmyra, 1836 and 1837) and Aurelian (first published as Probus, 1838). Palmyra was an ancient important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northeast of Damascus and 180 km southwest of the Euphrates at Deir ez-Zor. It has long been a vital caravan city for travelers crossing the Syrian desert. The Wikipedia entry on Queen Zenobia says, "Zenobia rebelled against Roman authority with the help of Cassius Longinus and took over Bosra and lands as far to the west as Egypt, establishing the short-lived Palmyrene Empire. Next, she attempted to take Antioch to the north. In 272, the Roman Emperor Aurelian finally retaliated and captured her and brought her back to Rome. He paraded her in golden chains but allowed her to retire to a villa in Tibur, where she took an active part in society for years. This rebellion greatly disturbed Rome, and so Palmyra was forced by the empire to become a military base for the Roman legions." Aurelian is the sequel to Zenobia and consists of Lucius M. Piso's letters from Rome, to Fausta, the daughter of Gracchus, at Palmyra.