Montesquieu

What we have just said accords with the events of his­tory. Asia has been sub­ju­ga­ted thir­teen times : ele­ven times by peo­ples of the north, twice by peo­ples of the south. In remote times the Scythians conque­red it thrice ; then the Medes and the Persians, once each ; the Greeks, the Arabs, the Moguls, the Turks, the Tartars, the Persians and the Afghans. I am spea­king only of upper Asia, and say nothing of the inva­sions made in the rest of the south of that part of the world, which has conti­nually suf­fe­red very great trans­for­ma­tions.

In Europe, on the contrary, we know of only four great chan­ges since the foun­ding of the Greek and Phoenician colo­nies, the first cau­sed by the Roman conquests, the second by the inun­da­tions of bar­ba­rians who des­troyed those same Romans, the third by the vic­to­ries of Charlemagne, and the last by the Norman inva­sions. And if we exa­mine this well, we shall find in these very chan­ges an ove­rall strength spread through every part of Europe. We know the dif­fi­culty the Romans had conque­ring in Europe, and the ease with which they inva­ded Asia. We know the strug­gles which the peo­ples of the north had over­tur­ning the Roman empire, the wars and labors of Charlemagne, and the various enter­pri­ses of the Normans. The des­troyers were cons­tantly des­troyed.