Politically the Rhine has always played a great part.
The coming of the Norman ruled that these lands should be neither Saracen nor Greek, nor yet Italian in the same sense as northern Italy, but that they should politically belong to the same group of states as the kingdoms and principalities of feudal Europe.
But the nobility of a large country, even though used to act politically as an order, could never put on that orderly and legal character which distinguishes the true civic patriciates.
Politically he was a pupil of Alexis Bestuzhev; consequently, when in the middle 'fifties Russia suddenly turned Francophil instead of Francophobe, Panin's position became extremely difficult.
3) is coincident with a similar decadence all over the Aegean area, we can hardly escape from the conclusion that it was due to the invasion of all the Aegean lands (or at least the Greek mainland and isles) by some less civilized conquerors, who remained politically dominant, but, like their forerunners, having no culture of their own, adopted, while they spoiled, that which they found.