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Zeno I

Gold coin of Zeno I. Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens (Greece). Photo Marco Prins.
Zeno I (!!)
Zeno I: emperor of the East-Roman (Byzantine) empire (474-475, 476-491).


  • c.440: Tarasicodissa Rousoumbladeotes
  • November 474: Zeno
  • January 475: resigns
  • August 476: returns
  • 9 April 491: natural death
Successor of: Leo I, Leo II


  • father: Kodisas
  • married to: Ariadne, daughter of Leo I
  • children: Leo II

Main deeds:

  • Made career during the reign of Leo I.
  • 467 marries the emperor's daughter Ariadne.
  • 469 Consul (with Flavius Marcianus).
  • 473 Leo I appoints the son of Zeno and Ariadne, called Leo II, as successor.
  • 474 The boy Leo II is consul; death of Leo I, soon followed by Leo II. Zeno succeeds his father-in-law and his son; at the same time, the East-Roman nobleman Julius Nepos, supported by Leo I and Zeno, gains the throne of the western empire.
  • 475 Zeno consul II; he is briefly dethroned by Basiliscus, who is supported by his sister, Verina (widow of Leo I)
  • During this vacuum, a Germanic leader named Orestes expels Julius Nepos from the throne in Rome and makes his son Romulus Augustulus the new emperor of the western empire.
  • 476 Zeno returns with help of the Ostrogothic king Theodoric; meanwhile, the soldiers in Italy have revolted; their leader Odoacer puts an end to the reign of Romulus Augustulus; end of the West-Roman empire.
  • 478 Verina, collaborating with Epinikos, attempts to overthrow the master of offices Illus; he discovers it, and has her exiled to Tarsus
  • 479 Consul III; conspiracy of Marcianus (son of Anthemius, grandson of Marcianus).
  • 482 The empress Ariadne tries to murder Illus, the master of offices; Illus leaves court; pope Acacius published the Henoticon.
  • 483 Insurrection of Illus, who receives support from Verina
  • 484 Theodoric consul; pope Felix III condemns patriarch Acacius (beginning of the Acacian Schism); Verina crowns Leontius emperor; they establish a rival court in Antioch; in the Sasanian Empire, Peroz is succeeded by Valkaš.
  • 485 Theodoric's Ostrogoths expel Leontius and Illus from Antioch.
  • 487/488 Theodoric gets permission to occupy Italy.
  • 488 End of the insurrection of Leontius and Illus; Theodoric starts to invade Italy; in the Sasanian Empire, Valkaš is succeeded by Kavad I.
  • 491, 9 April: Dies in a fit of epilepsy
  • 493 Theodoric kills Odoacer; becomes master of Italy.
Succeeded by: Anastasius I, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

This brief article has been written to offer background information to the real articles on Livius.Org. One day, this webpage will be improved. A list of completed articles can be found here.
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2006
Revision: 9 Dec. 2009
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