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This article explores medieval and Renaissance evidence for the origins and meaning of the imperial regalia privileges exercised by the Greek archbishops of Cyprus, said to have been granted by the Emperor Zeno (c. 425–91), along with autocephaly, upon the discovery of the relics of the Apostle Barnabas. Though claimed to have existed ab antiquo, these imperial privileges in fact have their origin in the late sixteenth century and bear the characteristics of western Latin ecclesial and political thought. With the Donation of Constantine as their prototype, they bolster the case made to the Italians and the French for saving Christian Cyprus from the Turks.


Originally published as:

Huffman, Joseph P. “The Donation of Zeno: St Barnabas and the Origins of the Cypriot Archbishops’ Regalia Privileges.” The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 66, no. 2 (April 2015): 235–60. doi:10.1017/S0022046914002073.