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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Now, the notion of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Holy Roman Empire does not last much beyond Charlemagne. After his death, over the course of the ninth century, his empire is broken up, his successors are not able to carry on the title. But then we get into the 10th century. As you can see here, the empire of Charlemagne is now broken up. The West, West Francia, starting to resemble modern-day France, not quite exactly. And the eastern two thirds are now under the control of Otto, a German king. And because of his ability to offer protection, and frankly just his power, he is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. One of the reasons why this is significant, once again, it's saying, hey, the Byzantine Emperor isn't really the heir to the Roman Empires. This Holy Roman Emperor, but Otto is able to create a line of Holy Roman Emperors that continues all the way until 1806 when they are conquered by Napoleon Bonaparte. Now, the Holy Roman Empire itself, and Voltaire famously said, "It is neither holy nor Roman, "nor an Empire." Over various days in its history is fragmented. It's many kingdoms with different levels of autonomy. But under Otto, it was quite unified. Now as we get into the 11th century, the divide between East and West becomes even more pronounced. We've already talked about this ongoing power struggle between West and East, between which bishops have primacy over Christendom. We've talked about, hey, who is the real heir to the Roman Empire? We've talked about Latin versus Greek. We've talked about the Germanic kings having influence now, and really following the West. We've talked about the notion of fo-lo-quay. And those aren't all of the issues. On top of that, you have this notion of leavened and unleavened bread. Where in the West, in their mass, when they are consecrating the bread to be viewed as the body of Christ. They used unleavened bread based on the belief that this is what Christ used during the Last Supper. In the East, they said no, we have agreed to use leavened bread. And so this is one further tension. Even more than the actual issues are the sense of, "Well, why do you think you have the right "to tell me what to do?" And as we get into 1053, you have what are known as the Latin churches in Constantinople being shut down by the patriarch of Constantinople. Patriarch Cerularius, or Carry-u-larius. Saying that, "Hey, these guys are going against "what is actually acceptable in Christianity." Now in retaliation, you have Pope Leo IX shutting down what would be known as Greek churches and how they practice in the Italian Peninsula. Either closing them down or forcing them to practice the way the Latins practice. Now there's a whole complicated series of events as we go into 1053 and 1054. Letters are sent back and forth. Eventually, Pope Leo IX sends a delegation to Constantinople. Part of it is to see if they can coordinate against Norman conquerors on the Italian Peninsula. But part of it is also to make clear what Pope Leo IX believes, that, "Hey, you have no right "to criticize us about this unleavened bread. "You don't have authority over us. "I am the pope in Rome. "I have the seat of Peter, first amongst apostles." And the leader of the delegation is a particularly proud and principled individual. When they go to Constantinople, Patriarch Cerularius doesn't even meet them. Essentially he's rebuffing their demands. And so because of that, that delegation decides to excommunicate Cerularius, the Patriarch of Constantinople. The leader of what is now the most important church in the East. Remember, the other significant centers of Christianity are now under Muslim rule. Well, in retaliation to that, Patriarch Cerularius says, "Hey, you can't excommunicate me. "In fact, I'm going to excommunicate you." And he excommunicates the delegation. Excommunication says, "I am saying you "are no longer part of the church." Now, when all of these cross excommunications are happening, many people probably viewed this as, "Hey, this is just a power struggle between folks, "probably not a big deal." But remember, this is over centuries of increasing division. Not only do you have language division, in the West, you have a leaning towards these Germanic kingdoms. In the East, they say, "Hey, we are the real Roman Empire." You have these issues of fo-lo-quay, and other things. And this event in 1054 eventually gets known as the Great Schism, or the East-West Schism because it only gets further and further cemented. And they get only further and further apart. As you get to the end of the 11th century, the Crusades begin. And we'll do more videos detailing the Crusades. Where the Western kings start sending folks at first on the surface to try to help the Byzantines reconquer land from the Muslim empires. But even when they are successful, they don't give that land back to the Byzantines. They actually set up Crusader kingdoms. And as they make their way through the Byzantine Empire, they cause, for the most part, a bit of a stir. They're not particularly respectful through the lands that they pass. And it really comes to a point in 1204 where at the end of the fourth Crusade, the Crusaders actually decide, even though the purpose was arguably to reclaim land from the Muslims, the Crusaders decide to siege and sack Constantinople itself and take over. Now a few decades later, the Byzantine nobility is able to retake it. But that kind of cements the difference between the Latin and the Greek church. Known today as the Catholic Church, followed by roughly one and a half billion people and the Eastern Orthodox Church, followed by roughly 250 million people.