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The Catholic Church was a powerful organisation. But it wasn't a secular superpower. That is quite evident when we look at the precarious situation pope Leo found himself in, when previous to the coronation he had to flee his home turf in Rome to Charlemagne. Leo just survived an assassination attempt and made a deal with Charles, the secular power of the ...


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The coronation of Charlemagne was important, but Charlemagne had the upper hand in his relationship with Leo III. Eastern Roman emperors were crowned by the Patriarch of Constantinople. No one imagined the Patriarch was superior to the emperor. Nor should you imagine that the powerful Charlemagne considered himself anything but superior to the (quite ...


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Grace Ellison was a British journalist who interviewed Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in person. She described one interview in her 1928 book Turkey To-day. This interview would be quoted by Andrew Mango in his 2011 biography titled 'Atatürk' to illustrate Atatürk's secular and rationalist credentials. Of particular relevance here are her questions about the ...


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Religious schism is a long and proud tradition. Just this week the United Methodists had to split into two. But schism is not limited to religion, it occurs in any kind of community of practice. No matter if they have been stated by a God or not, the rules are never quite clear, leaving room for edge cases that if pressed, can become wedges. Religious texts,...


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I believe that honour belongs to Julia Drusilla, the sister of the emperor Gaius (commonly known as Caligula). As explained in A Companion to Women in the Ancient World by Sharon L. James, and Sheila Dillon, Members of the imperial family began to receive worship, especially in the Greek East, from the time of Augustus, but the first woman to be deified ...


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