The Emperor Zeno


Book Details

Author  Rafal Kosinski
Publisher  Jagiellonian University
Publication Date   July 16, 2019
ISBN  8362261188
Pages  289


The 5th century constitutes a very important period of the shaping of the Christological doctrine. This process, however, had entailed a series of painful conflicts and divisions which gave rise to the emergence of several Christian communities unable to remain in communion with one another. The relevant research, focused mostly on the questions of theological language, usually tends to overlook the complex relations between the history of doctrine and political history. The scholars who had noticed that relation investigated, for the most part, the events that directly followed the Council of Chalcedon (451), and the reigns of the Emperors Anastasios I and Justinian I, devoting relatively little attention to the period of the Emperor Zeno's reign, 474-491. In actual fact, the reign of Zeno, riddled with internal unrest, had a significant impact on religious issues. It was precisely during that period that the hopes of achieving unity of the Christian Church in the Empire had ultimately fallen apart. Zeno's attempts to restore unity among the embattled parties are often simplified with an assertion that the ruler was guided in his actions by Miaphysitic sympathies. Whereas in reality, he had to cope with not only the divisions within the Church, but also multiple revolts whose effect, also on the religious policy, is apparently difficult to overestimate. The figure of Zeno and the policies he pursued have not been researched very thoroughly, and the state of the knowledge is often based on the findings from the beginning of the 20th c. This work is an attempt to present a more complex view of Zeno's religious policy and its impact on the life of the Church in the last quarter of the 5th c.