In the previous lecture, we saw the Byzantine Empire try and regain its holdings in the West. These attempts, while initially successful, ultimately failed. With the Roman state largely gone in the West and the fractured nature of Europe with barbarian kingdoms, there really was one final authority in the West, the Church and this is the subject of this lecture. We will be looking at the Church from the death of Jesus up to the death of Pope Gregory the Great. This lecture will lay the foundations necessary for discussing the Church and its interactions with various kings in the future lectures as we explore Anglo-Saxon England, Ireland, and Merovingian Gaul.