World_History_Essay - Torres Ortiz 1 World History Essay Throughout history powerful men and women who sought to obtain power would often employ

World_History_Essay - Torres Ortiz 1 World History Essay...

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Torres Ortiz 1 World History Essay Throughout history, powerful men and women who sought to obtain power would often employ different tactics. Some would take up arms and conquer, while others would incite new ideas that supported them. But probably the most powerful and effective way of obtaining power was through the use of religion. This can be seen in many different time periods and in many different cultures: from the Zhou Dynasty in China to the Emperors in Rome. If a leader could get the support of their god or gods, then who could stop them? This religious justification can also be seen during the rise of the Muslim Caliphs and during the Dark Ages in Europe. Though Christianity and Islam are two separate religions, their followers used their faith in order to more effectively govern, expand, and glorify their empire. Christians and Muslim rulers used their religion in order to legitimize their reign. This was done in order to keep the power; a king could be assassinated at any moment by many different people. In order to safeguard their life and rule, leaders sought to gain approval from their god. If a leader could gain this approval, his or her enemies would have a very hard time opposing them, as this would mean opposing the god, which was blasphemy. Religious legitimization also meant that the Empire itself was supported by their God. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian is a prime example of this: his sponsoring of the Hagia Sophia demonstrated “the close relationship between the Byzantine state and the Church that [legitimized] that state” (Berger, Israel, Miller, Parkinson, Reeves, Williams, 272). In addition, “Byzantine Christianity was closely tied to the government, so much so that its emperors are often referred to as caesaropapist , supreme over both church and state,” (“Byzantine Religion and Influence”). This

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