Babylon, under Hammurabi, took over. Some of these polemicists nevertheless directed their attacks against the divinities of the Orient and their Latin votaries.
While Greece merely vegetated in a state of poverty, humiliation and exhaustion; while Italy suffered depopulation and became unable to provide for her own support; while the other countries of Europe were hardly out of barbarism; Asia Minor, Egypt and Syria gathered the rich harvests Roman peace made possible.
It is a characteristic fact that, besides this literature whose language was Greek, others were born, revived and developed.
This poverty of information was caused in the first place by a narrowness of view characteristic of the rhetoric cultivated by historians of the classical period and especially of the empire.
Either they derived their information from converts or they had been pagans themselves during their youth. The Copts remembered that they had spoken several dialects derived from the ancient Egyptian and endeavored to revive them.
So completely did this system in the course of time sway men's minds that the cults and sects, from being an expression of animistic beliefstook on the color derived from the "astral" interpretation of occurrences and doctrines.
But as a rule we find only incidental remarks and superficial observations in the authors. They boast so loudly of their power to disclose these abominations, that they incur the suspicion that the discretion of the initiates baffled their curiosity.
The state-center moved from the temple of the god to the palace of the king. The founder was Sargon of Kish. The diggers are, of course, bothered by the mystery of the Sumerians.
We read and translate correctly the hieroglyphics of the Nile, the cuneiform tablets of Mesopotamia and the sacred books, Zend or Pahlavi, of Parseeism.