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From Rome to Aix la Chapelle
and Rome Again

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From Rome to Aix la Chapelle and Rome Again
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From Rome to Aix la Chapelle and Rome Again

When the Roman Empire in the west slowly transformed to a multitude of Successor states, Rome became a backward and stagnant city. The political center shifted to other areas.

Slowly their developed an new unity with the central germinating influence being the Frankish Empire. When Charlemagne took in Rome crown and imperial title at Christmas of 800, many important problems arose for later times. But there was again an emperor in the west and later a so-called Holy Roman Empire! Who was supreme? The Pope who crowned the Emperor or were they equal but each with his own sphere of influence? Thus, the germ of the long conflict between secular and religious power. Pope Leo III saw this already clear in his mosaic in the triclinium of the Lateran. All Power is derived from God and so the spiritual power is higher. In the so-called Donatio Constantini this idea found also expression. But Aachen (Aix la Chapelle) was the new political center in the heartland of the Frankish Empire and this went on (actually the political center shifted more and more to the Germanic lands)as Rome and Italy grew less important. But at the end of the 10th century the Emperor Otto III. removed his seat to Rome again - his program was Renovatio Imperii. It was a short-lived experiment. The political Axis was in the north, not in Rome for the time being.

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