Byzantine Iconoclasms

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Power is something that everyone craves and desires to have for their own benefit or to help others. The leaders among people hold a great deal of that power, and are forced to compete with each other or make compromises if they want more power. Around the time between 700 A.D and 900 A.D, the church was an influential source of power that was constantly gaining it. The emperors of the Byzantine Empire were also an influential power who still wanted more power. The pressing strength of the church was looming over them, and the emperors felt that a way they could gain more power would be to take over the church and control it. This lead up to the first and second Byzantine Iconoclasm. An iconoclasm literally means image-breaking. This iconoclasm was the emperors banning and destroying all of the images, icons, statues, or any other form of representation other than the Holy Eucharist in the church and anyone who defended those images. Although there were two iconoclasms, they played out almost exactly the same, with the emperors and the Popes taking the same actions and it being resolved by an empress ending the conflicts by restoring the images. One of the main differences in it was that the second time around was the end of it. The emperors of the Byzantine Empire attempted to gain power through subjugating and controlling the church by using the iconoclasms. The most powerful entity of the Iconoclast movement was the highest in the Byzantine Empire’s government, the emperor. A threat to the overall strength of his empire was the catholic church. The church was more for power at the time and made people provide them to make themselves the main power. A strong point of the church were the pictures and artwork made by people to pr... ... middle of paper ... ...antine Empire saw the potential of the church and the threat to their power it posed, so the way that they could remove the threat and bolster their own power would be to take over the church through the Iconoclasms. Works Cited Brubaker, Leslie. Inventing Byzantine iconoclasm. London: Bristol Classical Press, 2012. Print. Fortescue, Adrian. "Iconoclasm." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 8 May 2014 Halsall, Paul. "Internet History Sourcebooks Project." Internet History Sourcebooks Project. Fordham University, n.d. Web. 11 May 2014. Halsall, Paul. "Internet History Sourcebooks Project." Internet History Sourcebooks Project. Fordham University, n.d. Web. 11 May 2014.
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