Byzantine Emperor's Image Research Paper

This paper studies how the image of the Byzantine emperor was constructed.
# 146688 | 2,000 words | 17 sources | MLA | 2008 | GB

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In this article, the writer first explains that the Byzantine emperor was the protector of the Christian faith and depicted as being the only legitimate ruler on earth, to coincide with the notion that Byzantium was the only legitimate empire on earth. The writer maintains that this ideology was never contested within the Orthodox faith, precisely because of the power constructed by the image of the emperor. This essay examines how this image of the Byzantine emperor was created. The paper includes color figures.

From the Paper:

"Continually, the image of the emperor is associated, and his position solidified, by the blessing of God on his leadership. John Mauropous praised the emperor Constantine IX for his blessed divinity when a cross appeared in the sky to aid in bringing victory against the Pechenegs in 1046-7. It was essential that the reign of the Byzantine emperor was judged to be upon the approval of God. Consequently, there was a need for the image of the emperor to be permeated with divine connotations. If the emperor was to be seen as God's agent on earth, and is portrayed in this manner, then it was an imperative of the emperor to act in a manner that justified this ideology. Byzantium, in other words, required the emperor to be the epitome of Christian ideals and virtues since it is God who divinely chose the emperor."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Answers Corporation, 'Early Middle Ages' (2008) [Accessed 24th February].
  • Brubaker, L., 'To legitimise an emperor: Constantine and visual authority in the eight and ninth centuries', in P. Magdalino, New Constantines (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 139-158.
  • Cameron, A., Circus Factions (Oxford, 1976).
  • Dagron, G., Emperor and Priest. The Imperial Office in Byzantium (Cambridge, 2003).
  • Dennis, G., 'Imperial Panegyric: Rhetoric and Reality', in H. Maguire (ed.), Byzantine Court Culture from 829 to 1204 (Washington D.C., 1997), pp. 131-140.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Byzantine Emperor's Image (2011, January 12) Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Byzantine Emperor's Image" 12 January 2011. Web. 12 April. 2024. <>