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The difference between France, Spain, England and North Africa and what became the Byzantine Empire is that the basic character of The West<tt.TM</tt> was changed to a greater extent than was the case further east. The whole half millennium from 500-1,000 AD in the west was a period of synthesis and regeneration of social and political institutions, integrating the previous traditions with those of the German tribes that had invaded. And, of course, North Africa and Spain were overwhelmed by Islam about half way through this period.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 24th, 2011 at 10:35:59 PM EST
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