The New Monarchs of Europe

European monarchies do rather well for outdated institutes. The Grand Duke of Luxemburg Henry I of Luxemburg (1955) is the most recent proof of the pudding. In his Christmas speech of 2012 he referred to a further limitation of grand-ducal power and the necessity of modernization of the constitution. The power of the Grand-Duke is already rather restricted, but … Read more » “The New Monarchs of Europe”

Europeanisation of Europe

Once upon a time, one thousand years ago, Europe was a backward continent compared to the Arab world and the Islamic Penisula. The great Roman and Greek legacy was kept alive by monastries and in Arab libraries. This changed after the new millenium however. From the 12th century, the Europeanization of Europe, in so far … Read more » “Europeanisation of Europe”

History Will Judge

A thousand years ago, Europe as we know it today did not exist. Thirty million people living between the Ural and the British isles, between Scandinavia and Greece had no reason to think of themselves as a single culture or people. The Roman empire had left only half of the continent with roads, theaters, Latin, … Read more » “History Will Judge”

European Surrender

One of the most famous paintings of the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez is the Surrender of Breda. Velázquez painted the event in 1634-1635, ten years after it took place. The painting is a symbolic interpretation of the surrender of Breda in 1625, when Spanish troops defeated the beleaguered Dutch city. Two generals confront each other, … Read more » “European Surrender”

A Greek Coin and Bankruptcy

The years from c. 462 BC to 431 BC (from the establishment of a radical democracy to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war) were the best years for Athens. Abroad, the Delian League, an Alliance of city-states and directed against the common Persian foe, became a mighty alliance under Athenian leadership. The prosperity and democracy of Athens … Read more » “A Greek Coin and Bankruptcy”