Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire
Many western Europeans longed for the return of the Roman Empire. During the days of the Empire, they were the strongest and wealthiest people on Earth. By the 800s A.D.,they were just a shadow of their former glory.
In 800 A.D., after coming to Rome to defend the Pope from invasion, Pope Leo III anointed Charlemagne as the emperor of the new Holy Roman Empire. As emperor, he worked with leaders to strengthen and protect the empire. He relied heavily on local counts, who solved problems in small geographical districts.
These counts were instructed in their duties and responsibilities personally by Charlemagne, and they swore allegiance to him. Charlemagne then sent loyal authorities, known as Missi Dominici, on annual tours of his empire to observe how loyal his subjects were to him, and how closely the counts were following the laws he had established.