What are some positive stereotypes of Balkan nations about each other?

There’s not a lot to be had in the region of course. From the Greek perspective:

  • Serbs are our “brothers in Orthodoxy”—but I don’t know if that actually amounts to a positive stereotype. I don’t think relations between Greeks and Serbs have actually been close enough to rise to the level of positive stereotype.
  • Albanians may have been vilified at the start of the mass migration of the 90s, but latterly they have actually become the model minority. Nationalists still hate them, but more moderate Greeks, my impression is, admire them for their work ethic, and for their readiness to assimilate.
    • This is of course because there are migrants further down the pecking order now. Like Bulgarians…

What are our intellectual debts to the Middle Ages?

A fair bit of philosophy and logic (and theology, which they were bound up with) was done in the West, and was built on subsequently. The De dicto and de re distinction is Thomas Aquinas’ handiwork, for example.

European nationhood is mostly a Romantic era creation, but its raw materials came out of the Middle Ages. As others have alluded to, modern Western literature and art in some aspects was built on mediaeval foundations (though a lot of it was also reinvented in the Renaissance, based on classical foundations).

The Middle Ages kept a critical mass of the Classics around, although it is fair to say that they did not make as much use of the literature as they did of the philosophy (and history, at least in the East).

Could someone tell why the words bind, band and bundle haven’t got more similar spelling?

I’m a bit incredulous at the other reactions to this question; but of course, you’ve A2A’d the right person.

You’re right, OP. bind and band and bundle all mean similar things. A band is something that you bind things with. An bundle is a bunch of things that have been bound together. Hey, bound is the past tense of bind! And for that matter, there’s also bond, which is a binding agreement. And as it turns out, bend as well (Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/bandijaną), possibly because you bend a bow in order to bind it.

If you go to bind – Wiktionary, you’ll see that every one of those words derives from Proto-Indo-European/bʰendʰ-.

So if they’re all related, why do the vowels change?

Because Indo-European used ablaut to indicate various kinds of grammatical change. Ablaut involves vowel change in the stem, instead of using suffixes or prefixes to the stem. It is an old process, which is no longer productive; but you see it all over the place in several branches of Indo-European. You see it in the strong verbs of English: sing sang sung. You see it in the German stems underlying your three words: Proto-Germanic/bindaną, bandiz, bundą.

You’ll see it in Ancient Greek too. The related words temnō “I cut”, atomos “uncuttable”, atmētos “uncut” are parallel to sing sang sung.