- May 2018
When we talk about the legacy of Ancient Rome, we usually mean the Western Roman Empire. While that ostensibly "fell" in 476 AD, the Byzantines could claim both legal, and practical, successor-ship to a line of Roman "Emperors" starting with Augustus (Octavian). However, what would be the most legitimate successor state, in the legal if not practical sense, to ancient Rome? The Holy Roman Empire has a certain claim of legitimacy in that regard, and that wouldn't be "overthrown" until Napoleon himself. Within even the primitive legal terms of the period, is there any successor state to Byzantium that could claim even the most flimsy ties to the legitimacy of Augustus (Octavian) in the dynastic sense that even Byzantium was an extension of that legacy?