or ZENO, ecclesiastical.
In the year 1508 a volume was published (Venet. ap. Bened. Fontana) containing 105 sermons, divided into three books, ascribed to St. Zeno, bishop of Verona, from a MS. discovered during the fifteenth century by Guarini, in the episcopal library of that city
It was soon remarked that the Roman Martyrologies placed St. Zeno in the reign of Gallienus, while these discourses evidently belonged to a later epoch, and several pieces were detected in the series which were known to be the work of other hands. Hence Sixtus Senensis (Biblioth. Sanct.
iv.) contended that the whole collection was to be regarded as a medley compiled from the writings of many different divines, and altogether excluded the name of Zeno from the catalogue of ecclesiastical authors.
This hypothesis, although frequently controverted, was never confuted until the brothers Ballerini, presbyters of the Church in Verona, undertook to vindicate the memory of an ancient bishop of their diocese, and after a laborious investigation of original documents and a careful separation of all spurious and foreign matter proved incontestably that 93 Sermones
, 16 of considerable length, the rest comparatively brief, on various subjects of faith, morals, and discipline, were the productions of Zeno, who was ordained bishop of Verona, not under Gallienus as had been supposed, but a century later, about A. D. 363, the year in which Julian perished. They likewise inferred from internal evidence, that he was of African extraction, and died in A. D. 380 or 381.
It is unnecessary to enumerate the various editions which appeared in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, since they are either mere copies of the original impression of 1508
, or inferior to it from being deformed by arbitrary changes and interpolations.
The only text which can be used with advantage is that of the Ballerini (fol. Veron. 1739)
, which is accompanied by copious notes and dissertations, and has been adopted by Galland in his Bibliotheca Patrum, vol. v. (fol. Venet. 1769), p. 109
There is an Italian translation of St. Zeno by the Marquis Giovanni Jacopo Dionisi, canon of Verona (fol. Veron. 1784)
to vol. v. c. xii. ; Schoenemann, Bibliotheca Patrum Latinorum,