Zeno (zēˈnō) [key], d. 491, Roman emperor of the East (474–491). An Isaurian, he succeeded his son Leo II and was the son-in-law of Leo I. During his reign he suppressed several revolts. He was driven from his throne for a period of 20 months (475–76) by the usurper Basiliscus. One of his first acts was to conclude (476) a peace with the Vandal king Gaiseric. He supported orthodox Christianity and attempted to reconcile the Monophysites to the decrees of the Council of Chalcedon through his Henotikon (482), a compromise, which only provoked fresh controversy. Zeno was forced to recognize the de facto rule of Odoacer in Italy and to grant him the title of patrician. He freed the East from the raids of the Ostrogoths by encouraging the invasion of Italy by Theodoric the Great (488). Zeno was succeeded by Anastasius I.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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