Byzantine Empire Connection of State and Church Essay

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Ben Bass Mr. Marshall Byzantium Empire Report
The longevity of the empire is due to the combination of government, religion, and strong leadership in the system of Caesaropapism; so the Byzantium empire was able to create a strong, functional identity and institution. The Byzantine Empire formally began on May 11, 330 CE (Diehl), and was basically a continuation of the Roman Empire. It originated during the separation of the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western halves. It was Constinople, formerly known as Byzantium, designated as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. “…Constantine chose to live in an eastern city…” “{He} had become deeply involved with the growing religion of Christianity, which had it’s roots in the east” (Martson). The Empire held a strong position for approximately 1,120 years, surprisingly surpassing numerous other empires of that time. The Government was that of Caesaropapism. This basically meant that the Emperor had complete power over everything, thus having an extreme affect on the Empire. In total, there were approximately 97 emperors. The emperors also had control over religious activities, which extended to the nominations of Bishops and dismissal of Ministers, while he could also summon and guide ecclesiastical councils. The Government really got going more towards the end of the Third Century; it was used for ruling, and distribution of power. However, the government changed drastically and the importance of the Senate became of little importance closer to the beginning of the Byzantine Empire.
The Government in Byzantine had a Senate established by Constantine in the 4th century. The most important statesman was The Master Of Soldier (magister militium), a high-level military command position just below the Emperor, this was a brilliant idea; like having groups of small military groups (limities) with a group leader known as the (strategus). Next we have The Master of Offices (magister officiorum), who was used to limit power of the Praetorian Prefect. The Emperor, Constantine, wanted to limit the power of Praetorian Prefect because it gave too much power to the people. With the start of the Byzantine Empire, the Praetorian Prefect had disappeared; however, the Prefect of the city was established soon after the beginning of the Byzantine Empire. Unlike the Praetiruab Prefect, the Prefect of the city allowed the Senate to converse with the Emperor. In the government there was another administration, this one with a more defined purpose. First, there was the Logothete of the Dromus, who served as a “High Chancellor of the empire, minister of police and the secretary of state for Foreign affairs.” (Fav66) Next, there was the Logothete of the Treasury, which of course would be a financial advisory. In addition, there was Sacellarius, which was a Comptroller General. An interesting piece to this was that Byzantium was separated into provinces; yet, the provinces were ruled by governor or Straegus. This person was nominated by the Emperor, which is not a surprise seeing that he holds the supreme power. Although thee Straegus had power, they only controlled the provinces how the Emperor advised them to. They reported directly to him, which would make the governor a secretary for the Emperor. Still on the subject of Government, diplomacy was a big reason for the Longevity of the Byzantine Empire. The passage below gives an idea of the importance of diplomacy:

It was owing to the skills of its Diplomats and the tireless activity of its missionaries that Byzantium withstood its assailants for so many centuries, and through them, too, it extended its civilization throughout the east and left an indelible mark on the world. (fav 54) Diplomacy extended the Byzantines Empire, yet strengthened the control the Empire held over its allies, and Economy; their Diplomatic success was due to their use of money, power, religion, and ‘respect’. A lot of effort was put…