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Headword: Ζήνων
Adler number: zeta,83
Translated headword: Zeno, Zenon
Vetting Status: high
[Zeno,] emperor of the Romans, did not have in his nature the cruelty which Leo had employed. Nor did he have immovable wrath such as persisted in Leo.[1] And he had ambitious desire in many circumstances; and what he did he did for glory and to inspire wonder, for show rather than honestly. Neither did he have experience in affairs nor knowledge through which to govern his domains safely. He was not so mad for gain and profit as Leo was disposed to be; neither did he make up false accusations against property owners, nor was he entirely above the matter. And the Romans would have got a good reign, if Sebastianus, who was then reigning at his side, had not led him wherever he wished--hawking, as if at the market, everything and letting nothing be conducted in the court of the king without a price. Instead he sold the offices, all of them--partly taking payments for himself and partly for the king. And, if another buyer approached him adding some small thing, Sebastianus preferred him. There was not a single thing in the palace that did he not take and sell. If Zeno made a gift of an office to one of his followers, Sebastianus, as government-merchant, taking this from him at a bargain price, offered it to others for more, and to Zeno he would offer the proceeds of this robbery.
Greek Original:
Ζήνων, βασιλεὺς Ῥωμαίων, τὴν μὲν ὠμότητα, ᾗ ἐκέχρητο Λέων, ἐν τῇ φύσει οὐκ εἶχεν. οὐδὲ τὸ θυμούμενον ἀπαραίτητον αὐτῷ καθειστήκει ἐσάπαξ, οἷον τοῦ Λέοντος διέμενε. καὶ τήν γε προαίρεσιν ἐν πολλοῖς εἶχε φιλότιμον: καὶ ἃ ἔπραττε δόξης ἕνεκεν καὶ τοῦ θαυμάζεσθαι ἔπραττεν, ἐπιδεικτικῶς μᾶλλον ἢ ἀληθῶς. οὐ μὴν οὔτε ἔμπειρος τῶν πραγμάτων ἦν οὔτε εἶχεν ἐπιστήμην, δι' ἧς ἔστιν ἀσφαλῶς τὰς βασιλείας ἰθύνεσθαι. πρὸς δὲ κέρδος καὶ λῆμμα οὐχ οὕτω μὲν ἐμμανῶς ὡς ὁ Λέων διέκειτο: οὐδὲ ἔπλαττε μὴ ὄντα τοῖς κεκτημένοις ἐγκλήματα: οὐ μὴν οὐδὲ παντελῶς κρείττων ὑπῆρχε τοῦ πράγματος. καὶ χρηστῆς ἂν βασιλείας ἔτυχον Ῥωμαῖοι, εἰ μὴ Σεβαστιανὸς ὁ τότε παραδυναστεύων ἦγεν αὐτὸν ἐς ὅπη ἐβούλετο, καπηλεύων ὥσπερ ἐξ ἀγορᾶς ἅπαντα καὶ μηδὲν ἄπρατον ἐῶν ἐν τῇ βασιλέως αὐλῇ διαπράττεσθαι. ἀλλὰ τὰς μὲν ἀρχὰς ἀπεδίδοτο πάσας, ἰδίᾳ μὲν ἑαυτῷ, ἰδίᾳ δὲ λαμβάνων τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰ τιμήματα. καὶ εἰ προσῆλθεν ἕτερος βραχύ τι προστιθείς, ἐκεῖνος ἦν αἱρετώτερος. τῶν δὲ ἐν τοῖς ἀρχείοις γινομένων ἁπάντων οὐδὲν ἦν, ὃ μὴ λαβὼν ἀπεπίπρασκεν. εἰ δέ τινα ἀρχὴν τῶν περὶ αὐτὸν ὄντων ἐχαρίσατο Ζήνων, ὥσπερ πολιτοκάπηλος αὐτὸς ταύτην ὀλίγου παρ' ἐκείνου λαμβάνων, ἄλλοις παρεῖχε τοῦ πλείονος, Ζήνωνι δὲ τὰ κλέμματα παρέχων.
Zeno (again zeta 84) was the eastern Roman emperor from AD 474 to 491. For general information on him see Hugh Elton's DIR entry (web address 1), and for another translation of this entry see Blockley (422-5) under the fragments of Malchus.
[1] For Leo(n) see lambda 267.
Blockley, R.C. The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire. Eunapius, Olympiodorus, Priscus and Malchus. Vol. 2. Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1983
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; definition; economics; ethics; historiography; history; imagery; law; philosophy; politics; proverbs
Translated by: Abram Ring on 24 January 2005@11:10:29.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (x-refs; cosmetics) on 25 January 2005@03:07:19.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 28 November 2005@08:41:26.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 30 November 2012@03:51:42.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 3 December 2012@00:16:52.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 28 November 2014@22:37:17.
Catharine Roth (typo) on 3 June 2018@01:22:40.


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