When did Roman imperial iconography become part of the position of pope? This thesis will highlight the eighth century as a time of notable change in papal authority and identity. The developing papacy — in competition with rival contenders for Rome’s past — produced two key documents that portrayed the pope as an inheritor of the Roman Empire. In these sources, the bishop of Rome took on an entirely new identity as an imperator novus. While the eighth century continued, the pope gradually appeared increasingly imperial, concluding with a coronation that crowned emperor and pope, alike.
Elsenpeter, Henry R., "Imperator Novus: Charting the transfer of Rome’s imperial past to the papacy’s eighth century present" (2022). Classics Honors Projects. 29.
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