The Byzantine Empire: The Holy Roman Empire

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The Holy Roman Empire

Xiao H. Feng(Amy)
Prof. Mary A. O'Donnell
November 26, 2007
HIS 1000C (3:35-4:30)

Page 01 The Holy Roman Empire was an attempt to revive the Western Roman Empire, whose legal and political structure had deteriorated during the 5th and 6th centuries and had been replaced by independent kingdoms ruled by Germanic nobles. The Roman imperial office had been vacant after Romulus Augustulus was deposed in ad 476. But, during the turbulent early Middle Ages, the popes had kept alive the traditional concept of a temporal realm coextensive with a spiritual realm of the church. The Byzantine Empire, which controlled the Eastern Roman Empire from its capital, Constantinople (now İstanbul, Turkey), retained nominal sovereignty over the territories formerly controlled by the Western Empire, and many of the Germanic tribes that had seized these territories formally recognized the Byzantine emperor as overlord. Partly because of this and also because the popes depended on Byzantine
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Actually, the power of the emperor never equaled his pretensions. Although the emperors were accorded diplomatic precedence over other rulers, their suzerainty early ceased over France, S Italy, Denmark, Poland, and Hungary; and their control over England, Sweden, and Spain was never more than nominal. The authority of the emperors in Italy and Germany was sometimes nonexistent, sometimes real.
The territorial limits of the empire varied, but it generally included Germany, Austria, Bohemia and Moravia, parts of N Italy, present-day Belgium, and, until 1648, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Some countries (e.g., Hungary) were ruled by the emperor or imperial prince but were outside the empire, while others (e.g., Flanders,

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