Holy Roman Empire seen as a real Roman Empire?

Holy Roman Empire is usually seen as an imposter to the Roman Empire (Byzantines being the true heir). What would it take for the HRE to be seen as a worthy successor state to the Roman Empire?
 
Holy Roman Empire is usually seen as an imposter to the Roman Empire (Byzantines being the true heir). What would it take for the HRE to be seen as a worthy successor state to the Roman Empire?
Maybe the keeping a long time grip of the 1st Rome and maybe ERE Dying early(take your pick) might help?
 
To start with, have the Carolingians solidify control over the Kingdom of Italy and then expand southwards to the remaining Lombard duchies and Byzantine lands. Move the capital from Pavia to either Ravenna, Rome or Milan.
 
The only possibility that comes to mind would be to avoid Odoacer’s dissolution of the office of Western Emperor. From there, the territory and leadership of Italy may change, but so long as the office of Emperor was intact (since that is how the Byzantines stake their claim) they have a reasonable shot at broad legitimacy. Of course, if the Franks or the HRE even come to power in a TL with a POD as far back as 476 is an open question.
 
Holy Roman Empire is usually seen as an imposter to the Roman Empire (Byzantines being the true heir). What would it take for the HRE to be seen as a worthy successor state to the Roman Empire?
Avoid Otto's invite and conquest of Italy. The Kings of Italy will then retain often being crowned Emperor. Then after a few centuries when everyone is clear it's a Roman Empire expand their holdings.
 
There's nothing really to be done about the legality of Charlemagne's coronation in Rome. So that means the HRE's Roman-ness will have to rest on culture and institutions. So:
-Solidify control over Italy (one needs to actually rule the Romans to be taken seriously as Emperor of the Romans, and yes Italians persisted in identifying as Romans for quite a while)
-extend Roman Civil Law to Germany sometime well before Mr. Barbarossa did so iOTL
-either revitalize the Roman """senate""" or make a new """senate""" in whatever the capital ends up being
 
Somehow having the Kings of France become Holy Roman Emperors would probably help, either instead of Otto or else getting control afterwards somehow. Since France was both part of the former Roman Empire and spoke a language descended from Latin, I think they'd have an easier time portraying themselves as the true heirs of Rome than the barbarian Germans.
 
With a Medieval POD, how about we have Byzantium collapse much earlier (one of the Arab sieges come to mind), leaving them as a rump state, while the Franks defeat the Arabs as in OTL and Charlemagne gets crowned after offing the Lombards. This leaves them as the "Roman sucessor" by default, especially as the Caliphate consolidates in Anatolia. This also gives some ideas because we'll see the Roman legitimacy associated to Catholic Christianity.
 
With a Medieval POD, how about we have Byzantium collapse much earlier (one of the Arab sieges come to mind), leaving them as a rump state, while the Franks defeat the Arabs as in OTL and Charlemagne gets crowned after offing the Lombards. This leaves them as the "Roman sucessor" by default, especially as the Caliphate consolidates in Anatolia. This also gives some ideas because we'll see the Roman legitimacy associated to Catholic Christianity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Constantinople_(674–678) This one? if this is sucessful..is game over for the ERE, seriosly, not even a rump State, the Ummayad would moved directly to Constantinople and start controlling the medditeranean...this might even affect toulrs as might not happen or would be more fierce
 
I can see this happening If the Hapsburgs where Wanked and After the seige of Vienna went on a crusade to retake constantinople and having it as part of the Hapsburg realm
 
Protestant reformation never happens. Catholics write the history books instead of protestants and humanists. Most people will end up seeing the HRE as Rome's legitimate successor.
 
Somehow having the Kings of France become Holy Roman Emperors would probably help, either instead of Otto or else getting control afterwards somehow. Since France was both part of the former Roman Empire and spoke a language descended from Latin, I think they'd have an easier time portraying themselves as the true heirs of Rome than the barbarian Germans.
France would also find it far easier to impose control over Rome. It's far easier to ship an army from Marseilles than to have one cross the Alps.
 
France would also find it far easier to impose control over Rome. It's far easier to ship an army from Marseilles than to have one cross the Alps.
For a more France centered HRE you would likely have to go back to Charles the fat and avoiding the Fragmentation of the Kingdom of West Francia. This was what saw the last Carolingian King ruling with very little power while the Capetians counts of Paris based in the Isle de France held effective power allowing them to depose the Carolingians much like how the Carolingians deposed the Merovingians 200 years earlier. I'd say that if France had a strong King he could likely take Lotharingia while reimposing his control in Italy allowing him to take the Imperial title while East Francia develops as a separate Kingdom. Though a French centered HRE would be more "Roman" in character as the Gallo-Roman population the Franks had ruled over were assimilating their Germanic Rulers. This was how the Germanic Frankish tongue became French (or at least several archaic dialects of what we know as modern French) based on the Gallo-Roman dialect of Vulgar Latin.

France and Italy also had more resources and urbanization thanks to its pre-roman past as well, which means that there might be a more continued Carolingian Renaissance if this Empire survives. The Empire also shifting its focus to the Mediterranean with a more Latinzed region as its core gives it weight as being considered as a successor to the Roman Empire. If they had a dynasty like the Ottonians who were developing closer relations with the East, they likely could have negotiated a return of the Western Imperial Regalia as well.

Avoid Otto's invite and conquest of Italy. The Kings of Italy will then retain often being crowned Emperor. Then after a few centuries when everyone is clear it's a Roman Empire expand their holdings.
An a truly Italian and "Roman" centered HRE means that it actually has the best claim here of being the continuation of the Western Empire here. Italy also was the most urbanized and richest region in Western Europe until after the Renaissance. A unified Medieval Italy would be a major power in Europe and the Atlantic because of its wealth. Though it has to first rebuild its dilapidated infrastructure and contend with the Saracens in the South. I could see the "Romans" here working to restore old Roman institutions if they had a capable leader. There was a timeline about this as well by @Carp called the Sons of the Harlot Empress that explores this concept with the Italian noble family of the Tusculani. I highly recommend checking this timeline out, as its very well written and and researched. Though it was a shame that it was abandoned (still a good a read though regardless).
 
Here’s a pretty far fetched (and very improbable) idea for how charlamagne could become a legitimate Western Roman emperor by changing everything yet keeping it all the same. Bear with me:

julius Nepos is never overthrown by Orestes and has a decent reign where the situation in the west solidifies. There’s no great reconquests besides retaking a few nearby places like the Mediterranean islands and southern Gaul. The next couple of decades are nice and the Nepos dynasty basically does what odaecer and theodoric did when it comes to rebuilding Italy and it’s institutions. Things went south for the WRE (again) when the plague hit Italy hard and left it open to the lombards (but a decade or two later than iotl). The emperors appealed to their eastern allies but they got little by way of help as the eastern empire was stretched thin. In this crazy TL Justinian still takes NA (and gives some money and cheap grain to the west in compensation) but mainly focused on fighting the Persians. He won and cemented an advantageous peace that lasted decades but could not send much aid to his western allies. The western emperors lose about as much territory as the East did to the lombards iotl and barely hang on for the next 150 years. At some point the lombards decided to rid the world of the Western Roman emperors once and for all. They attack and in the opening battle kill the emperor and his heirs. The pope and senate ask for aid but the East is weak (same as in iotl) so they ask the Franks for aid. In return for becoming the emperor Charlamagne must defeat the lombards. Which he does with great joy as being the emperor is a big deal. Thus the HRE is a continuation of the WRE as Charlemagne was granted the imperial purple by the remains of the western government.
 
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