The Empire preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, but due to the increasing predominance of the Greek language, it was usually known to most of its western and northern contemporaries as the Empire of the Greeks.[n 3]
The use of the term Empire of the Greeks (Latin: Imperium Graecorum) in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire also implied a rejection of the empire’s claim to be the Roman Empire. The claims of the Eastern Roman Empire to Roman inheritance had been actively contested in the West at the time of the Roman Empress Irene of Athens, due to the coronation of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor year 800, by Pope Leo III, who needing help against enemies in Rome, saw the throne of the Roman Empire as vacant (lacking a male occupant).
Whenever the Popes or the rulers of the West made use of the name Roman to refer to the eastern Roman Emperors, they preferred the term Imperator Romaniæ instead of Imperator Romanorum, a title that Westerners maintained applied only to Charlemagne and his successors.
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