There were several simultaneous successors to the Roman Empire after the Byzantine Empire went to the Ottomans.
There was, of course: the Ottomans as 3rd Roman Empire. This might be objectively true but good luck convincing Western biased historians of that.
Then there is Kievian Rus’
I don’t take the Holy Roman Empire seriously.
Later, there’s Napolean. Later there’s Hitler, but I believe they made the mistake of seeing themselves as 3rd and not 4th.
Oh there’s no question that the Eastern Roman Empire was the continuous successor. [sadly that’s still poorly taught I think — I had to learn it on my own].
But as to what happened 1453 onwards is what I find interesting.
The concept of Musovy (which meant all of Russia rather than the city) as successor was expressed immediately and asserted. I think a historical argument could be made that it may have been the spiritual successor as it continued the religious traditions of Constantinople in their own fashion but compatible.
When you consider the longevity of the Ottoman Empire in its chain of successors and surprisingly liberal social polities towards certain accepted groups and their continuation of Status Quo relationships, I think a strong case could be made that the Ottoman Empire _was_ in fact 3rd Rome.
In my mind, I consider the 3rd Roman Empire to be three simultaneous empires: The Russian and the Ottoman are the most visible.
However: a 3rd empire rose from the ashes because of the knowledge transfer from Byzantium to Europe just before it fell: and a strong argument that Europe with an eventual base in Great Britain, *did* in fact BECOME the 3rd Rome and that we are actually living in it today as its recipients, the main difference being the administration.
But imperial control and expansion and similar forms of administration (the role of “Empire”) did continue despite language changes.
I suppose ultimately I’ve never been well studied in the holy roman empire, outside of whatever I learned in school which wasn’t much.
But – I’d say that the attempt at integration of the Ottoman, Turkish and Roman Law into a cohesive system in the early Ottoman empire is precisely what puts into strong consideration as the successor. Had it simply been a swap of one empire for an entirely foreign empire, there’d simply have been a change of everything into the ways of the new controllers. But instead, they worked at integration. That speaks for something there.
The continuity of the Orthodox Church was allowed under Ottoman rule. They had autonomy and religious freedom – a sign of the continuation of the the Roman Empire.
In fact, the Orthodox were referred to as the Roman people –
To accept this, though, you have to take a viewpoint that the Sees of the communal Orthodox church were the continuation of the ancient Christian council of churches and see the Latin Pope as the breakaway from the communion.
Once you adopt that viewpoint as a possibility, it makes more sense to see history this way.