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  • Crazies and Gentles: Two European Families June 7, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Crazies and Gentles: Two European Families

    Beach has recently been thinking a lot about a crucial difference between European nations, one that is perhaps not immediately evident to outsiders, but one that divides the continent into two camps: the capacity of these countries for bold if stupid actions. Put in the most vivid terms possible if Spain or Sweden or Lithuania […]

    Curious Royal Epithets July 4, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Curious Royal Epithets

    There is a long tradition in Europe of giving kings, queens and even aristocrats epithets: e.g. Catherine the Great, Louis the Pious… Of course, epithets make particular sense when dynasties repeat names endlessly: you need to distinguish one George from another, say. Beach has spent an hour looking through collections of lists of these epithets, […]

    Islam Creates Europe June 27, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
    Islam Creates Europe

    Modern Europeans tend to have mixed feelings about the rise of Islam: Islam and Christianity have, after all, been butting heads for the last fifteen hundred years. What is not normally appreciated though is the fundamental role Islam had in creating Europe. Islam, it will be remembered, was born in the Middle East in the […]