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Current time:0:00Total duration:8:06

Video transcript

in previous videos we've talked about the dramatic turnaround in the fourth century in terms of how Christianity was treated in the Roman Empire as you enter into the fourth century it's persecuted by Diocletian but then Constantine takes power he's sympathetic to the Christians he even convenes them in order to unify the Christians to have a more unified sense of what it means to be Christian in order to settle things like the Arian controversy and he converts himself to Christianity as we exit the fourth century you have Theodosius who makes Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire and then begins to persecute other religions now what we're going to do in this video is continue the narrative and in particular we're going to see how there's an evolution between the church in the West and the church in the East in previous videos we already talked about how the Roman Empire itself is initially administered between West and East and then that administration becomes more and more formal Theodosius is the last emperor to truly rule both halves they start getting ruled separately and as you get into the latter half of the fifth century the Western Empire itself falls to Germanic conquerors now in previous videos we talked about how the Emperor's who rule from Constantinople consider themselves to continue the Roman Empire they didn't call themselves the Byzantine Empire as we now call them they call themselves the Roman Empire they consider themselves Roman emperors the West Falls as I just mentioned into a bunch of Germanic kingdoms Justinian is able to reclaim a lot of the land formerly lost in the Western Roman Empire now there's some other interesting actors we see emerging on this map and once again we're now in the sixth century you have these dramatic tribes of Visigothic kingdoms here in modern-day Spain and here in modern-day France you have the Franks and the word France really is referring to land of the Franks another a Germanic tribe now they are about to factor much much more relevantly when I say about I'm saying over the next several hundred years in this eventual division culturally and religiously between east and west as I mentioned in previous videos the division yes it will Center on notions of language in the West especially in the church Latin is used in the East in the church Greek is used their spiritual debates that we will touch on in a few minutes but there's also a power struggle you have the Byzantine Emperor seated in Constantinople you have the Bishop of Rome now known as the Pope really the Pope of Rome who considers themselves more and more the leader of all of Christianity in their argument there is look this is the church that according to tradition was founded by Peter first amongst the Apostles you have the patriarch of Constantinople and patriarch of other significant centers of Christianity to say wait hold on a second yes Bishop of Rome you are very important but we consider you to be first amongst equals you don't have jurisdiction over all of Christendom together we have jurisdiction and this was to some degree the case under Justinian and it was very clear at this time that the Byzantine Emperor was very powerful not just over the temporal realm really referring to the day to day material realm but also a lot of influence on the spiritual realm which was really supposed to be the domain of the bishops or the Pope's or the patriarchs this notion of the pen turkey was codified in the Justinian law this idea that these five centers of Christianity really have extra weight and collectively are really leading Christendom now as I mentioned things get interesting as we fast forward about 250 years so let's go to the Year 800 so one thing you might notice is that group in yellow the Franks have now conquered a lot more and they're conquering it under the leadership of Charlemagne at the same time name you see this green over here Islam has dramatically spread from its founding in the early 7th century all the way now as we're in Chas were exiting the 8th century to cover most of the Middle East Persia bordering on modern-day Pakistan India North Africa and even going into modern-day Spain at the same time especially because of these Islamic conquests the Byzantine Empire and the Byzantine Emperor is significantly weaker so you can imagine the Pope in Rome here saying well who's going to protect me especially from my political enemies now Charlemagne considers themselves something of a protector of Christianity and Pope Leo the 3rd goes to him for protection and Charlemagne is able to actually provide it and in exchange or perhaps in thanks for that the Pope crowned Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor now what's significant about this is it really introduces a fourth actor here because the title Holy Roman Emperor was intentionally given to say look now you Charlemagne you are the heir to the grandeur of Rome you are the heir to the Roman emperors now you might be saying wait isn't that what the Byzantine emperors thought they were didn't they think this was the Roman Empire and at that time their Emperor was an empress it was Empress Irene of Athens and so once again this is creating further tension they're using different languages Latin versus Greek you now have the Western Pope recognizing a different extra could say Roman Emperor in Charlemagne the nature of the West is becoming more Germanic and using the language Latin while the nature of the East is continuing in Greek traditions on top of that what you have in the Year 800 you're actually in this period where you've had several conflicts over this notion of iconoclasm this iconoclasm movement you could say started in 726 when the Byzantine Emperor said enough of these images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary and other figures of Christianity in our churches citing references in the Old Testament saying that hey we shouldn't have these images and so this conical azam or these destroying of icons starts to begin well the Pope in the West they say hey we don't think we have to listen to you I am the Bishop of Rome I have universal jurisdiction and then to add insult to injury now in 800 you have Charlemagne being crowned Holy Roman Emperor now a thread further running through this is something that we talked about in a previous video this notion of flow Quay where in 381 the Council of Constantinople they augment the Nicene Creed where they say and we believe in the Holy Spirit the Lord and giver of life who proceeds from the father well in the West they add the Latin term for lo Quay which means and the son and this is touching on some of these notions in the Arian heresy where where does the holy spirit proceed from if the father and son are really Co divine co-equal of the same substance shouldn't the Holy Spirit proceed from both rather than just one while those in the East said hey this isn't what we agreed to while those in the West we don't think it's so important that you agree to things because we have the seat at Rome the seat that was established by Peter