The Importance Of The Church In Medieval Europe

706 Words3 Pages
As the only institution to survive the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Church was in a highly opportune position to take the reins over Europe. It had the devotion of just about everyone living in Europe and authority over the Western Roman Empire’s successor states as a result. It recognized and took advantage of this opportunity; from legitimizing itself through crowning and baptizing royalty to defining the morays and morals of European society, by the end of the high medieval age, Europe considered itself the whole of Christendom with the Church at its head. It’s clear that the Church had a fundamentally central role in early and high medieval European history.
The Church, as the chief of the official state religion of the once great Roman Empire, had massive influence over the affairs of its successor states. In the Frankish kingdom, bishops played a key role in the political system. Not only were they the governors of cities and participants in political assemblies, but they also were among the king’s closes counsellors in the royal court. Perhaps the most crucial moment in establishing Papal dominance over Europe was the crowning of Charlemagne as Emperor of the Roman Empire over three centuries after its collapse as a way to legitimize his rule. This set a precedent for future monarchs to be coronated by the Pope, granting the Church a great deal of control among European states in the early and high medieval period. This was further compounded by the
Open Document