Byzantine Emperor Roles

2022 Words 9 Pages
Up to this point in the year, most of the readings have focused on an general analysis of the Byzantine empire. The majority of the readings have looked at overall time periods or major battles, yet none give the reader an interpretation of Byzantine history through the eyes of a specific group. Contrastingly, Cavallo provides the reader with an in depth account of the subgroups in the Byzantine Empire, and the similarities that are shared by them. This paper will discuss and analyze the roles that bishops, soldiers, and emperors play throughout the history of Byzantine empire, and the way these roles develop overtime. These groups are notable because the well-being of the empire depended on the three working together as a unit, and the evidence …show more content…
A quotation which helps the reader understand the kind of the power emperor wields reads, “The sun acts like an emperor… As the sun presided over the Byzantines’ natural world, so the emperor seemed the pinnacle and supreme organizing principle of their society” (The Byzantines). This shows how powerful the emperor was in Byzantine society, yet regardless of his own power, he would only be an effective leader of the empire with the support of the bishops and soldiers. With all the power the emperor possesses came great responsibilities and daily endeavors he had to look after. Describing the daily procedure of the emperor McCormick says, “Despite his essential position in actually working the levers of power, the emperor tends chiefly to be visible as he revealed himself to his contemporaries in the carefully staged circumstances of imperial ceremonial, rather than actually running the government or leading his private life” (The Byzantines). This quotation shows that the physical appearance of the emperor was very important, and often times his most important duty was his actual presence at ceremonies and processions. The emperor was a very immense figure in the empire since he represented the peak of nobility and authority, and as a result people did anything they could do to associate themselves with …show more content…
Soldiers, emperors, and bishops seemed to be a logical choice not only because they were probably the most influential people in the empire, but also because there was so much crossover between these three groups. Bishops and emperors were possibly two of the most powerful individuals in the emperor, but without the support of the soldiers, they held almost no power. The legacy of the Byzantine empire is made up primarily of the religious, political, and military conquests of the empire, and this legacy would not have been possible without the efforts of these groups. The Cavallo readings have not changed the common understanding of the Byzantines, but it definitely gave some additional insights. To this point in the year the role of the emperor and soldiers have been presented as vital to the success of the empire, but the crossover between the two has not always been highlighted. Nonetheless, Cavallo shows the reader the neither group could have success without the other’s support, and this had a direct correlation to the success of the

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