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(zē`nō), 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 BasiliscusBasiliscus
, d. c.477, usurper at Constantinople (475–76). He was responsible for the failure of the expedition sent (468) against the Vandals by his brother-in-law Leo I.
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. One of his first acts was to conclude (476) a peace with the Vandal king GaisericGaiseric
or Genseric
, c.390–477, king of the Vandals and Alani (428–77), one of the ablest of the barbarian invaders of the Roman Empire. He led (429) his people from Spain into Africa, possibly at the request of Boniface, and quickly subdued a large
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. 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 OdoacerOdoacer
or Odovacar
, c.435–493, chieftain of the Heruli, the Sciri, and the Rugii (see Germans). He and his troops were mercenaries in the service of Rome, but in 476 the Heruli revolted and proclaimed Odoacer their king.
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 in Italy and to grant him the title of patrician. He freed the East from the raids of the OstrogothsOstrogoths
(East Goths), division of the Goths, one of the most important groups of the Germans. According to their own unproved tradition, the ancestors of the Goths were the Gotar of S Sweden. By the 3d cent. A.D., the Goths settled in the region N of the Black Sea.
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 by encouraging the invasion of Italy by Theodoric the GreatTheodoric the Great,
c.454–526, king of the Ostrogoths and conqueror of Italy, b. Pannonia. He spent part of his youth as a hostage in Constantinople. Elected king in 471 after his father's death, he became involved in intrigues in which he was by turns the ally and the
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 (488). Zeno was succeeded by Anastasius I.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



of Citium (in Cyprus). Born circa 336 B.C.; died circa 264 B.C. Ancient Greek philosopher, founder of the Stoic school.

Zeno studied with Crates the Cynic, with Stilpo, a member of the Megarian school, with the philosophers of the Platonic Academy, and with Polemon. In 308 B.C., Zeno founded his own school in Athens. His works have come down to us only in fragments.

Zeno’s teachings, formulated during the birth of the powerful Hellenistic states, are characterized by primary attention to the establishment of the inner freedom of the individual. Zeno founds his ethics on physics, that is, on teachings about nature. With Heraclitus, Zeno declares fire the fundamental element, which he identifies with the divine logos. Necessity, or fate, rules the world, but the world itself is a living whole, permeated by the divine breath (pneuma). In human behavior, inclination, the movement of the soul determining the causes of individual human actions, is primary. Zeno’s teachings on inclination form a prelude to his teachings on virtue. The goal of rational inclination is a virtuous life, which Zeno, in agreement with the Cynics, defined as a life led in harmony with nature. Virtue is the permanent, self-identical condition of knowing reason; following Socrates, Zeno equated the good with reason and knowledge, introducing into ethics a strong current of rationalism (in vices Zeno sees only a lack of knowledge). Zeno’s teachings on valorous and bad actions present the understanding of duty that was to be vital to Stoic thought: duty is the unwritten law with which the individual harmonizes his actions and in which is expressed the general dependency of all things on objective regularities of nature. On the other hand, passion is an excessive inclination, proceeding in opposition to nature and reason. The wise man voluntarily strives to fulfill the demands of omnipotent necessity; he is virtuous and, by the strength of reason, without passions.

In his teachings on society, Zeno developed a cosmopolitan outlook reflecting the process of formation of a world state. He extends throughout the state a law common to all peoples and embracing the entire world; the good of all is higher than the good of the individual. For Zeno, political and moral law coincide. In Zeno’s pedagogical ideas one notes the prerequisites for the study of character. His faith in the determinability of moral action through thought linked him with the Socratic tradition and exerted considerable influence on the development of psychology and ethics.


In I. Arnim, Stoicorum veterum fragmenta, vol. 1. Leipzig, 1921.


Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1940. (See Index of Names.)
Pohlenz, M. Die Stoa, 2nd ed. Göttingen, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


U Rochester 1978. Euclid with asynchronous message-passing. "Preliminary ZENO Language Description", J.E. Ball et al, SIGPLAN Notices 14(9):17-34 (Sep 1979).
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