Byzantine vs Western Europe

Topics: Roman Empire, Pope, Byzantine Empire Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: October 23, 2011
Byzantine Empire : As the first Christian Emperor of Rome, Constantine claimed to have divine favor for his rule. He defined Christian practices and intervened in theological disputes. This policy came to be known as "caesaropapism", whereby the emperor ruled as both secular lord and religious leader. This tendency to exalt Byzantine emperors as absolute rulers of both state and church was reinforced by the appearance of Justinian in the 6th century. He was an energetic, capable ruler with an energetic, capable wife called Theodora, a very religious Christian. •Extension of the political boundaries of the empire to regain most of the western territories again, only to be lost by later emperors •The development of the Justinian Code, a law code that systemized Roman law going back to the Republic and continuing through the empire •Of the accomplishments listed, the Justinian Code is the emperor's most enduring legacy, since it became the basis of law in western Europe and eventually the United States.

The church in the west : The power of the church was promoted by an unlikely Germanic group known as the Franks. They controlled much of what is now France by the 5th century C.E. when their leader Clovis led his forces on a campaign that wiped out the remains of Roman authority a few years after Rome's fall in 476. Clovis converted to Christianity, under some pressure from his wife, and from then, the Franks' conquests were done in the name of Jesus. One of his descendants, Charlemagne, ruled a kingdom that spread across a huge part of Europe, including both modern day France and Germany. Charlemagne was able to rescue the Roman Pope from captivity, and the Pope returned the favor by crowning Charlemagne as the new "Holy Roman Emperor," uniting church and state. Still, the Pope was the one controlling the crown, and the ceremony took place in Rome. The Catholic Church established its influence in several ways: •Development of a church hierarchy - The Pope in...
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