Arakcheev, Grand Vizier of the Russian Empire by Michael Jenkins PDF

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A com m on Balkan ethnic strain might have evolved, which certainly would have varied in com position from one locality to another, just as the G enoese differ m arkedly from the N eapolitans, yet would have constituted a unit in place of the present separate peoples. Differences in historical background and in cultural tradition also have contributed to ethnic separatism . T he B alkan races do not have the bond of a com m on R om an cultural tradition as do W estern Europeans. W hen the C hristian church split in the eleventh century into its E astern and W estern branches, the Slovenes and the C roatians were left in the realm of the Pope of Rom e while the G reeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, and Rum anians fell to the P atriarch of C onstantinople.

Philip overran the divided G reek city-states while A lexander w ent on to conquer a fabulous em pire— A sia M inor, Phoenecia, Syria, Egypt, M eso­ potam ia, Persia, and the Punjab. H e was grappling with the problem of o r­ ganizing an effective adm inistration for his enorm ous dom ains when he died at B abylon in 323 at the age of thirty-three. A lexander’s untim ely death ended w hat small chance there was of unifying this vast em pire. F o r a generation and a half his successors fought for the spoils.

T he Slavs of Bulgaria and Serbia no longer were barbarians susceptible to assim ilation or expulsion. They now Historical Background 27 were peasants, tilling the soil, professing Christianity, and cherishing m em o­ ries of which the nam es of Boris and Sim eon were the flaming symbols. They would therefore subm it to G reek dom ination only so long as C onstantinople rem ained the inviolable capital with pow er adequate to control the peninsula. By the late twelfth century this was no longer the case.

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Arakcheev, Grand Vizier of the Russian Empire by Michael Jenkins

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