This did not mean the historical disappearance of this vision, still less the end of its concrete realization, as is shown by the history of the Roman Empire in the East, established after Theodosius’s death in 395 and destined, unlike the Western empire, to live on for another thousand years. Best countries to visit in august There, Eusebius’s conception found its most coherent and radical manifestation in Justinian 527 565: one empire, one church, led by one emperor.
In this light, the earthly basileia was the image of the heavenly kingdom; the sovereign was the image of the Father and vicar of the Christ-Logos king; and his function was that of earthly representative and interpreter of the God who rules the universe with justice and goodness.
The fate of the Christian West was very different, in a historical scene dominated by the rapid disintegration of the social, economic, bureaucratic and military fabric in the storm unleashed by the barbarian invasions.
The West seems indeed to have been influenced by a form of apocalyptic Judaism which opposed the king to the prophet; nor had it likely forgotten the pagan senatorial criticism of the imperial cult: so there is nothing surprising in the pope’s opposition to the emperor or even in the rise of the theory of the two powers, which, though not the only one to hold the field, remained alive all through the Middle Ages. Leaving aside the treatment of the problem outlined in histories of the church and of Christianity, specific bibliography is very abundant.
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