power and authority in medieval times

Medieval Authority: Pope vs. Emperor

The Deeds of Frederick Barbarossa written by Bishop Otto of Freising in the twelfth century sheds light on a general mood of the populace or theme of the Roman empire during this time. The general theme presented by Otto is the constant struggle for superior “divine” authority between Roman pontiffs and the emperors of the empire. Another minor theme is the struggle between reason and faith in the populace of the empire. Otto’s history on Frederick Barbarossa contains four books, the latter two being written by Rahewin, so this paper will focus primarily on the first two books of the history which were written by Otto.