There are heroic tales aplenty, in Portugal. Tales of indomitable people, resisting and fighting with unbreakable courage; countless episodes of a fiercely independent character, which will rather break than bend. Tomar had its share of fights, of valorous knights, of successful and failed sieges, and it was taken by force now and again. If one is to look with the distance that time affords, though, the history of the city seems to be marked rather by an uncanny ability to adequate itself to the surrounding circumstances. Adaptation became the form of resistance that Tomar developed. It is not a matter of complacency or lack of spine. We would dare say that it is a blend of survival instinct and of the laziness that comes with comfort. For who would find fault, indeed, in such a beautiful and meek valley, so decorously courting the river that runs through it? Fim Cap 1 Which values would justify sacrificing such a pleasant mode of existence? Not that many, apparently. And so the city developed a kind of aloof cosmopolitanism, welcoming all while knowing that time would take upon itself the task of sorting out those who were eligible to belong and those who, being in love with novelty and seeking excitement, would quickly be satiated of the perennial and timeless way of being of Tomar. If the city doesn’t seem to believe that something must change so that everything must remain the same, it does seem to embrace the idea that everything must remain the same in the event of a change. It’s not (just?) conservatism, it’s a particular kind of contentment. Its joints may hurt from all the bending but luckily, both for us and for you, not that much has been broken.