Isaurian Factions in the Reign of Zeno the Isaurian

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1992


Scholars have long made the following assumption about the Isaurians during the reign of Zeno ; during his reign, Zeno was beset by a variety of Isaurian chieftains and military leaders who fought him, as well as each other, for power in and control of the Roman state. Discussions of the reign of Zeno tend to give an impression of a large group of Isaurian barbarians centered around two principal individuals (Zeno and Illus), who were preying on the Roman state. These two are themselves surrounded by lesser individuals, violent and opportunistic in relation to their importance. This seems to me to be an overly simplistic view which, if examined, will be in- correct