By Jeremy Black
Kinfolk with Continental Europe were a relevant factor in British background. a number of the most important questions might be pointed out: first, how related or diverse was once Britain, to different ecu international locations in appreciate of its economic system and political culture?; secondly, how some distance can similarity and distinction be understood by way of convergence and divergence, or of approximately parallel tracks reflecting and maintaining longstanding differences?; thirdly, did British humans think themselves to be Europeans?; fourthly did the British humans take an educated and sympathetic curiosity in what used to be occurring at the Continent, or did their lack of knowledge of Europe bring about insularity and xenophobia?; and fifthly, to what quantity was once the British level, and Britain as an entire considering the affairs of Europe, diplomatically, militarily, economically, culturally? This wide-ranging, considerate and provocative learn tackles those questions from the past due Iron Age to the present debate approximately ecu integration. it truly is instantly an immense contribution to British historical past and a vital paintings for these trying to comprehend Britain's prior and current place in Europe.
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Extra resources for Convergence or Divergence?: Britain and the Continent
The Viking attacks were a new impulse in the relationship between Britain and the Continent, though different from earlier episodes, because their marine reach was such that the Vikings could affect all the coasts of Britain. Thus, in place of the earlier pattern, in which Continental influences were felt most directly on the nearest parts of Britain, essentially the lowlands of southern and eastern England, and especially the south-east, and were then diffused more gradually and through the intermediary of English institutions and practices, the Viking impact was more comprehensive and direct.
In the Northern Isles and north-east Caithness, the settlement was so extensive that the speech of the northern Picts did not survive, and the language became a Norse dialect until replaced by Scots in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. 28 The 'barbarian' attacks of the late-fourth century had been faced by a united Roman Empire, albeit one affected by rebellions. Troops were moved between parts of the empire, to Britain in the 360s and 390s and from her in the 400s. 29 The Danish 'Great Army' that attacked in 865 and 892 had corne from France.
Success in battle was crucial, not only because of the specific consequences of particular engagements, but also because it brought a measure of fame that was crucial to power. Success against pagans ensured that the ethos of heroic victory was compounded by that of Christian rulership. Charles Martel defeated the Arabs at Poitiers in 732, Alfred the Danes at Edington in 878, Otto I the Magyars at the Lechfeld in 955, Brian Boru, the Irish high-king, the Norwegians at Clontarf in 1014. Boru's death in 1014 showed, nevertheless, how transient and essentially personal such fame was.
Convergence or Divergence?: Britain and the Continent by Jeremy Black