Holy Roman Empire
Charlemagne's reign saw the standardization of monasticism, worship,
music, and education in the church. Those reforms would give general
shape to western Catholicism that, in some ways, endured into the
modern period. Equally important was Charlemagne's assumption of
the title of Holy Roman Emperor. That act would establish a political
office that would exist in Europe until the end of World War I in the
twentieth century. It also became a cause for friction between Rome
and Constantinople because the Byzantine emperors saw
Charlemagne's act as an intrusion on their legitimate claim to be
the successors of the old Roman Empire.
Seals of Charlemagne, derived from
antique intaglio gems.
This one depicts a Roman emperor.