The paradox of conquests

The British and French armed forces are planning greater cooperation. There was an article about this in yesterday’s Guardian, which ended with a list of historical cases where the “the line between co-operation and opposition [for France and Britain] can seem distinctly blurred.” It contained this gem:

The key paradox of one of the most famous conflicts – the Norman conquest of Anglo-Saxon England in 1066 – is that it also brought both sides together, heavily influencing England’s language and culture and bequeathing a new ruling class.

So what you’re saying is… one culture was conquered by another, and the conquering culture exercised a political and cultural influence on the conquered one? That’s paradoxical, is it?



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