The study of the Roman Empire was very important for understanding the Middle Ages in Europe, but even if the date of its “decline” could be determined indisputably, its status as a decisive factor no longer had the influence it once had. In 1453, the Eastern Roman Empire came to an end when it invaded the Turks in its capital, Constantinople. Unlike the Western end, this date is not controversial, although the Byzantine Empire has been shrinking for centuries, and in the fall of Constantinople, it has been only the big city itself for more than two hundred years. However, as important as Byzantium is medieval research, and it is misleading to regard it as a determining factor. At its peak, the Eastern Empire contained less modern Europe than the Western Empire. Moreover, although Byzantine civilization has influenced the course of Western culture and politics, the empire is still very cautiously separated from the turbulent, dynamic society of development, failure, integration and engagement in the West. There is another major flaw in the choice of the Empire as an obvious feature of medieval studies: no real empire has included important parts of Europe for any length of time throughout the Middle Ages. Charlemagne succeeded in uniting modern France with most of Germany, but the country he founded broke into factions only two generations after his death. The Holy Roman Empire is neither called the Holy Empire, nor the Roman Empire, nor the Empire. Its emperor certainly does not have any control over the land that Charlemagne has achieved. However, the fall of the empire faltered in our view of the Middle Ages. One can’t help but notice the proximity of dates 476 and 1453 to 500 and 1500.