Ancient Roman Empire - Political Legacy

Political Legacy

See also: Legacy of the Roman Empire

Several states claimed to be the Roman Empire's successors after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire, an attempt to resurrect the Empire in the West, was established in 800 when Pope Leo III crowned Frankish King Charlemagne as Roman Emperor on Christmas Day, though the empire and the imperial office did not become formalised for some decades. After the fall of Constantinople, the Russian Tsardom, as inheritor of the Byzantine Empire's Orthodox Christian tradition, counted itself the Third Rome (Constantinople having been the second). These concepts are known as Translatio imperii.

When the Ottomans, who based their state on the Byzantine model, took Constantinople in 1453, Mehmed II established his capital there and claimed to sit on the throne of the Roman Empire. He even went so far as to launch an invasion of Italy with the purpose of re-uniting the Empire and had invited European artists to Istanbul, including Gentile Bellini.

In the medieval West, "Roman" came to mean the church and the Pope of Rome. The Greek form Romaioi remained attached to the Greek-speaking Christian population of the Eastern Roman Empire, and is still used by Greeks in addition to their common appellation.

The Roman Empire's territorial legacy of controlling the Italian peninsula would serve as an influence to Italian nationalism and the unification (Risorgimento) of Italy in 1861.

The Virginia State Capitol (left), built in the late 1700s, was modeled after the Maison Carrée, a Gallo-Roman temple built around 16 BC under Augustus

In the United States, the founders were educated in the classical tradition, and used classical models for landmarks and buildings in Washington, D.C., to avoid the feudal and religious connotations of European architecture such as castles and cathedrals. In forming their theory of the mixed constitution, the founders looked to Athenian democracy and Roman republicanism for models, but regarded the Roman emperor as a figure of tyranny. They nonetheless adopted Roman Imperial forms such as the dome, as represented by the U.S. Capitol and numerous state capitol buildings, to express classical ideals through architecture. Thomas Jefferson saw the Empire as a negative political lesson, but was a chief proponent of its architectural models. Jefferson's design for the Virginia State Capitol, for instance, is modeled directly from the Maison Carrée, a Gallo-Roman temple built under Augustus. The renovations of the National Mall at the beginning of the 20th century have been viewed as expressing a more overt imperialist kinship with Rome.

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Other articles related to "political legacy":

Sayf Al-Dawla - Political Legacy
... Nevertheless, the picture presented by his contemporaries on the impact of Sayf al-Dawla's policies is less favourable the 10th-century chronicler Ibn Hawqal, who travelled the Hamdanid domains, paints a dismal picture of economic oppression and exploitation of the local people, linked with the Hamdanid practice of expropriating extensive estates in the most fertile areas and practising a monoculture of cereals destined to feed the growing population of Baghdad ... This was coupled with heavy taxation, so that Sayf al-Dawla and Nasir al-Dawla are said to have become the wealthiest princes in the Muslim world ...

Famous quotes containing the words legacy and/or political:

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