It is the peculiar distinction of Steven Runciman to have directed our attention to the importance of the twelfth century in the “hardening” of the schism between the Greek and Latin Churches. In the main, Runciman attributes this unhappy development to those tensions which arose between East and West as a result of the crusades and the establishment of the Latin States in Syria-Palestine. While it is not our intention to question Runciman's arguments, it may be suggested that there are other fruitful approaches to the problem of relations between Rome and Constantinople in the twelfth century which Runciman has touched on only in passing. In general terms, it is the purpose of this article to suggest that the development of the schism must also be understood within the context of a complex political drama, centred on southern Italy, in which the Papacy, the Normans, the Germans and the Greeks were the chief protagonists. Our investigation will be confined to the period extending from the signing of the Concordat of Worms in 1122 to the death of Pope Eugene III in 1153. The purpose of the opening section which follows is: 1) to describe the genesis of this web of conflicting aims and objectives; 2) to indicate in what ways the problem of church union had become woven into the fabric of these political developments; 3) to delineate the various responses, both ecclesiastical and political, which the Papacy made to these new developments in her relations with the Greeks prior to the Second Crusade.