"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

How Europe Split Into East And West

The churches of the Eastern Roman Empire(Byzantium) and the former Western empire gradually drifted apart culturally and politically.

The iconoclast controversy sealed the deal: the two churches could not agree whether or not direct depiction of God, Jesus, saints was idolatry.

In general,
European peoples converted to Christianity by the Roman church became Catholics.

Slavic and Balkan peoples converted from pagan ways by the church in Constantinople became Orthodox.


Additionally, European history becomes much clearer if we understand the idea of inheriting the legacy of the Roman Empire.

For centuries Western European rulers legitimized their rule by claiming to be the continuation of the Western Roman Empire.
The Holy Roman Empire, founded by Charlemagne, had an emperor who was nominally an heir of the legacy of Augustus.
Many centuries later, Prussia was lead by Kaisers(Caesars).

What Western Europeans rarely understand about Russia:
Russia has long perceived itself as the natural heir to the Roman legacy.
For centuries they were ruled by Czars(Caesars).

In Russia we see the mirror image of the Western idea of an heir to Roman civilization, through the Eastern ideological lineage.
After the fall of Constantinople, who else?

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