A paradigm-shifting examination of female power in pre-Islamic Arabia Contrary to popular assumption, Arab women were instrumental in shaping world history. Between Rome’s intervention in the Arabian Peninsula and the Arab conquests, noblewomen ruled independently, conducting trade and making war. Their power was often celebrated as queen, priestess and goddess. With time they delegated power to the most important holy men of their age, influencing Arabian paganism, Christianity and Islam forever. Empress Zenobia and queen Mavia supported bishops Paul of Samosata and Moses of Sinai.