In further instancing the case of the King of Benin, the Consul General stated that the King, when coming down from the City during the rains, said the white man did not know how to stop the rain, but that, if he (the King) wanted to stop it, he would send down to the river, bring a man from there, and hang him up on the crucifixion trees. The Consul explained to the Chiefs how wrong and silly such a notion was, and said it would never be allowed by the British.—[Report of a Palaver at Brass, W. Africa: Standard, 8 November 1897.]
It is an observation as old as Thucydides, that we may learn something about early stages of an advanced culture from the present-day practices of savagery. It is less commonly realized how much the practices of primitive savagery have to tell us about the less advanced elements in a present-day society which is for the most part civilized. We speak of primitive 'cultures'; and, therein, of arts or crafts, and other expressions of primitive personality, amazingly advanced in technique and aesthetic value; yet alongside of these modes of self expression, so rationally responsive to daily needs of humanity, such 'cultures' exhibit instances of an almost incredible stupidity—as it seems to us—and of intolerable, almost inhuman self-repression, all the more surprising from their association with such intimate interplay of hand and tongue with brain,, such orderly, intelligible— in a word, reasonable—accommodation of effort to need.
I dealt briefly with this paradox in a contribution to the first of these conferences, and need only repeat the conclusion, which then seemed to me probable, that the most charitable, most just, and most illuminating assumption is that here and there man has just 'lost his way' intellectually; has in fact 'stopped thinking'; and that the reasons for such temporary inhibition of his reasoning faculties are in the main these two, Fear and Pride—defect, namely, and excess of self-reliance—with the result that, as Heraclitus expressed it long ago, 'though reason is common to all, most men live as if they had a way of thinking of their own'. For men in such predicament—whatever be the cause of it—popular language has the neatest of phrases; for we say—do we not ?—that they have 'lost their heads'; and when a man 'loses his head' there is no limit to the folly and misery that may follow.
I have ventured to suggest that the reasons for such inhibition of man's reasoning are mainly two, Fear and Pride; and this would seem to be the place to elaborate each of these suggestions, before going farther.
§ 1. Fear; the Savage and the Law of the Jungle; 'Panic' in Simple Societies
Few of those unforeseen contributions to knowledge which have resulted from the European War have been more illuminating to the anthropologist than the revelation on a vast scale of how men behave under the mastery of overwhelming fear. I do not mean the moral fear of the coward, or the intellectual fear of the man who, like Kipling's elephant, 'thinks too much', until the worser part appears the better, and he anticipates the historian's task of demonstrating how (as he argues) we are losing the war, and why (as he assures us) we must lose it. I mean rather that physical fear which may beset the stoutest heart and the clearest head when something which is neither heart nor head encounters a 'force, not ourselves', intolerably great, incessantly prolonged, unforeseeable, irremediable. For such physical, overmastering, irrational fear of what is limitless, incommensurable with us, unsusceptible of alteration by any act of ours, the Greeks had a name, and, after their manner, a hypothesis, a myth, if not a reasoned explanation. If an army fled, when no man pursued; if sheep and shepherd alike were scattered, as I am told that sheep used to be stampeded here during the war; or if merely the mountain goats scampered and vanished, in a great stillness, as I have seen them do on Cretan hills—they called it ravines $o'/3os; and 'panic fear' has passed from their language into ours.' Their explanation, if we may call it so, is in the best vein of their mythology; for panic fear was the act of the great god Pan; and Pan is the anthropomorph of Wild Nature, of all that manless and reasonless world which is Not-Us; the Hirdpor, the 'limitless', indeterminate congeries of things, which baffled the Greek philosopher; the chaos 'without form and void' of the Hebrew thinker, on which it is the task and glory of God and man alike to impose definition, analysis, explanation, until in the latter end man, like Jehovah, rests from his labours, for he sees that it is 'very good'.
Of this Pan, as Herodotus says, 'they have no word to say, what became of him, as soon as he was born'; for he is the son of Hermes, the god at whose bidding all chance things come to pass; a very Lord of Misrule.
It is his reeds by the river that make pan-pipe music on a still day; he and his nymphs make a 'going in the tops of the mulberry trees' when nothing else could have stayed the marauding Philistine; his goat-hoof started the plunging boulder where no goat trod; his leery goateye and a wisp of a beard we seemed to see where neither man nor goat was when we looked again; his devilish chuckle out of the wayside cave; his loving care of the lost lambs that we found unharmed after so long, in such a thorn-brake, on such a rat's-foot-hold in the cliff. Such was that Pan whom Pheidippides met face to face on the waste places of Arcadia; and vowed him, conscience-stricken, the sanctuary so long over due; and it was panic fear that achieved the Marathon victory, the Persians 'losing their heads', in amazement at the Athenians' attack.
From what Pan became, in the gracious atmosphere of adolescent Greece, we may form some conception, I think, in the light of our own experience of immeasurable, irresistible devastation in the. physical and chemical jungles of modern war, of wha't mere Nature may have meant for unsophisticated, ingenuous man. Perhaps our own infant bogies—a dark room, the mere density of a window-curtain, the wan smell of a top-lighted attic, the bit of path beyond the yew tree, the first conscious fall on the gravel, when the pebbles all rushed at your face—may serve to complete the picture. And infant man had no strong-handed, even-tempered, knowledgeable nurse; at best an equally panic-haunted mother, and the heavy fist of the 'old man' to knock sense into him.
I have called this the 'Law of the Jungle', because it is in the dense forest regime of the tropical rain-belt that we can best observe what happens when Nature, at her strongest and most aggressive, is confronted with man at his weakest, technologically, socially, individually. Here agriculture and domestication of animals are alike impracticable: man's hand is against everything, no less than everything around is against him. Plants he may rob of their fruit, animals of their young; but only to kill and eat. Debris of dead or killed plants, or of the game he has eaten, are his sole raw-materials; for the wholesome basement of rockery lies deep in festering humus. It is only in his wholly human ingenuity to find secondary uses for such cast-off remnants of Earth's vesture that he differs from the bandar-log and the forest carnivora. Concerted action, even in hunting, is a drawback, if not a danger; it scares the creatures he would kill and eat, and attracts those which would kill and eat him. Beyond an early point, experience is not transmissible; youth has no more to learn from age, and in jungle, age cannot keep up with youth; so society breaks up just when it should most cohere. Even family life hardly outlasts the period of infancy. As the Amazon Indian said to M. Crevaux, 'I had a wife, but I don't know where she is now: the children went off and I lost her; she is hunting somewhere, like me.' Consequently there is no 'collective memory', nor tradition of experience; no premium on foresight or ambition, for a great hoard is a great evil and a great waste of good stuff, since in the jungle all stores rot. 'An Indian who has a knife will not give anything for a second'; and if he has no knife, he has probably nothing that he could give for one, unless perchance he has found rubber, and not dropped it yet. For the same reason there is little leisure.
To quote Crevaux again, 'Our voyage is a continual struggle for existence. All the time we can spare from mapping and observation is devoted to fishing and hunting'; and the last statement might well have been inverted. 'The one thing needful is the one thing uncertain.' In England, when people meet, they talk about the weather: in Greece, they talk about wealth; in the Amazon forest, exclusively about food. Rigid selection, on these lines, of the best individualists to survive, has resulted in unusual suppression of the social instincts, even the instinct of kind, which very few animals lose.
The huge mortality is accentuated by frequent cannibalism; for man is good eating; he is the best of sport, because he is as clever as you are; and besides, if you bag him, there is one hunter less. The greatest happiness, indeed, is that of the smallest number.
The only inalienable property is individual effort. If two individuals can succeed, in the prime of life, in exerting effort-for-three, they may rear a child; if not, they fail, and it is the child who starves first. There is, however, record that an orphan child has been allowed to haunt a camp, and scramble for offal with the dogs.1 Yet there is much testimony that within the group 'the voice with the smile wins'. When it is so easy for an ill-used person to quit, honesty and courtesy are the best policy as long as it is to the common interest (as in matrimony) that the group should hold together. There is testimony also to the contentment of such people: we may conjecture that grousers either go away or pine away. There is extreme contempt for other modes of life, utter inability to adopt other ways. Even the simplest barter hardly rouses interest; not so much because they have nothing to offer, as because there is almost nothing that they need. Like the Fenni of Tacitus, 'they have achieved the hardest thing in the world, to have no use for prayer.'
This, however, is not due to stupidity. Of things which concern them—such as animals, plants, country, and weather—such people are very acute observers, and show great practical ingenuity. The failure, with occasional scandal, of attempts to 'make them work' even at uch a simple business as picking raw rubber off the trees and bringing it in, seems due mainly to their inability to realize that what is asked of them, or offered to them, is of any conceivable use: undebauched by intruders, they do not seem even to get drunk, for like Ingoldsby cherubs 'they haven't de quoi'. That the needs of any one else in any way concern them appears as utter folly as that any one else should be concerned with needs of theirs. Their apparent laziness, or enjoyment of leisure, which has deceived some observers, would seem to result partly from real need of physical rest between spasms of activity, like the holiday loafing of a schoolboy; partly from habitual economy of effort; partly from indulgence in reflection, for where such effort is required to understand what is going on—at all events to the point of right response to it—hard thinking and much 'brown study' are as essential and natural as they seem to have been, on occasion, to men like King Alfred and James Watt.
Let that philosopher cast the first stone who has never appeared at breakfast without a tie.
Now, what do such people think about? Here we are rather in the dark, since we have only their acts to guide us; just as we are about men's mode of life when we have only their implements to go by. 'Evolution', it has been said,'means, sooner or later, a complete transcendence of one group of interests over another', and we have to unthink a good deal of what chiefly interests ourselves if we are to recover the mental standpoint of simple societies and the substance of their thought. Civilized people's 'thinking', as distinct from mere use of their brains in the daily round of their lives, is concerned mainly with high matters which they do not quite understand yet, but their ignorance of which is beginning to be felt practically as an obstacle to desirable activity.
Thinkers among ourselves think, for example, about the constitution of matter; the nature of force and life; high problems of conduct, of politics, of mental and metaphysical philosophy. But the thinking of the savage, too, is concerned with high matters, too high as yet for him, but of no less practical bearing; with hunger, sickness, rain; with the baffling ways of game, and the behaviour of dogs and womankind; with his own feelings and imaginations; and among them, above all, with his dreams.
All these puzzle him and prevent him from living as well as he has it in him to live under his actual conditions. He needs, that is, and apparently strives to achieve, in his thinking, two things mainly; an explanation, intelligible to himself, of what it is that is going on; and direction, how to behave, in presence of this which is going on in Nature and in his own experience as a whole. The explanation is to be a response to impulses of curiosity— that is, to his need to know,—as vital to his well-being as those of any young animal, or of a modern baby, or researcher; curiosity, most active in modern man during infancy and adolescence, and customarily repressed in most of us; but lifelong whenever it has not been so repressed, and irrepressible, as we know, in idiots, gossips, and men of science. From the need of explanation, that is, comes all pure science, no less than all true poetry. From the need of direction, on the other hand, all applied sciences: for the need of direction stands in similar relation to man's need-to-do, his instinct to push, to hustle, to disarrange and rearrange things about him till he has got them arranged as he likes, from which all material arts and technical skill proceed, for the conquest and domestication of intractable Nature; and, no less, all social arts and political skill, for the conquest and domestication—let us say at once the 'civilization'—of no less intractable man. Such thought with a view to action involves foresight, and leads to invention; as thought with a view to knowledge presumes imagination, and achieves discovery.
In such thought with a view to knowledge, there are two distinct phases: in the first, the mere facts are established by observation, and up to the point where their own natural needs are concerned, quite primitive men are good observers, as we have seen, and may also be good recorders of what they observe. The Bushman drawings and the wonderful naturalism of the old French and Spanish cave-dwellers are ample evidence for this. But mere facts have never taken thinking men very far on the road to knowledge; and the second phase of thought begins when the meaning of the facts is expressed by what the Greeks knew as hypothesis, by supposition, that is, or in plain English underpinning; filling in, beneath and behind the facts, whatever is conceived in imagination as really going on, and presenting these appearances to the observer. Primitive ingenuous man, like the greatest philosophers, is but trying to get beneath the surface, behind the veil of appearance, and to reach reality.
Theories of causation, indeed, are by no means the monopoly of European philosophy; nor is the search after causes confined to what we are pleased to idolize as modern and rational civilization. Great as is the advance in applying our more extensive experience of the order of nature, and vast as is the accumulation of data on which that experience itself rests, it is not clear that recent presentations of the problem of causation show by any means corresponding advance upon the earliest speculations—we can hardly call them conclusions— which have been handed down to us. For an adequate theory of the relation of cause and effect, essential as it is to any considerable advance towards mastery of human circumstances, is no less essential from the first step of progress onwards; and we shall find reason for the view that, whether explicitly or not—and of course more frequently the latter—uncivilized man does practically employ the same methods of inquiry in his researches into the connexions among phenomena as the trained student of modern philosophy or modern science; and that, in spite of obstructions, drawbacks, and defects of system, which appear to the modern inconceivably great, he has sometimes reached results surprisingly like those of his more favoured successors.
The inquiry is of some importance to us here from more than one point of view. In tracing the emergence of successive, more or less independent centres of speculation in the Greek world, it is obviously of considerable value to be able to outline the traditional beliefs among which the first philosophers grew up, more particularly as for a while it was the sensible course of Nature which absorbed their attention: and this outline, in the extreme dearth of direct statements on the subject, can only be made even tolerably complete by comparing such details as we have with the fuller record of undeveloped states of practical belief elsewhere in which the same features recur. The cosmological myth of Kronos, for example, the significance and world-wide distribution of which has been studied in detail by Andrew Lang in his Custom and Myth, is a typical aspect of the view of the world in general which was current in the Aegean in the generation of Thales; diagrammatically and figuratively expressed, indeed, in such parables as this, but none the less approved by general consent as a working hypothesis, and found tolerably consistent in practice ; exceptions 'proving the rule', in the strictest sense, when examined secundum artem.
It would be easy to multiply examples of the way in which this unpromising substratum of popular, prescientific conceptions coloured, distorted, and in some cases even directly originated the conceptions of Greek rationalistic philosophy. Greek hylozoism in the sixth century is immediately descended, and but a step removed, from the undisguised animism of the eighth; the doctrine of Metempsychosis is hardly explicable at all, except as an inference from totemistic beliefs, which need no more than mention; and the side of Pythagorean doctrine which is least obscurely presented, looks like nothing so much as a belated and archaistic revival of obsolescent tabu—practices which, however, are found in full ritual observation, if with dimmed appreciation of their meaning, at a very much later date, and are even yet not wholly extinct. Pythagoras himself, like Epimenides in the preceding century, and Empedocles in the next, and countless ephemeral d,vpToi besides, appears to have found no difficulty in combining the profession of philosophy with the practice of common magic.
From this point of view, indeed, the ethnography of logical and metaphysical theory may come to occupy no mean place among the Human Sciences; certainly it already offers material for obstructing more than one blind alley of anthropological and even of philosophical research. And when it is remembered that the reasoning apparatus of the individual of to-day passes in its development, like so much else of his more physical equipment, very closely along the lines of growth of the rational faculty of the species; that the chances are that every philosopher or experimenter among us has passed— unless he was a very abnormal infant—through a recognizable stage of almost unqualified animism, usually with concomitant manifestations of magical and fetishistic practice; and that with many people such beliefs and practices persist uneradicated into maturity; it will, I think, be clear that the examination of certain principles of primitive thinking may be not entirely without value in regions nearer at hand. Let me illustrate such primitive thinking by a diagram; not an actual instance, but a narrative summary of the gist of many such.
A savage, resting in his cave on a windy night, hears howling outside. Nothing is to be seen to account for the noise, but it—whatever it is—howls like a wolf: or rather (he thinks) it is not an ordinary wolf; but if a wolf were big and fierce enough, it would howl like that. So far we have a hypothesis, just as rational and adequate in itself as when a physicist like Lord Kelvin thought that certain electrical and optical phenomena reminded him of the behaviour of the smoke-rings people make when they sit and smoke: not of course ordinary smoke-rings, though they have little enough in them; but if a 'vortex-ring' were small enough, and rapid enough, which implies movement in so rare and elastic a medium that there is nothing there at all, it would roll and travel like that. So far, between myth and scientific hypothesis there is no difference at all, except that Lord Kelvin's myth of a vortical universe is wilder far than the savage's hypothesis of a wind wolf.
Now the savage did not know what really made the howling, any more than Lord Kelvin knew what light or electricity really is; but he knew what a wolf was, as Lord Kelvin's pupils knew about smoke-rings; and with that to go by, wrong as it was, the savage felt rather less 'in the dark' about the noise, for he had brought it into relation with the rest of his own experience. In the same way, I imagine, a student of elementary chemistry feels rather less in the dark about oxygen and sulphur (of which we really know very little as yet) if instead of 'oxygen' and 'sulphur' he writes down the numerals 16 and 32. The wind-wolf in fact is the savage's notation for the cause of that noise, as I might write 'violet' as a notation for the rays at one end of the spectrum, without any pretence that the violet in the light was the same as the violet in the shade. Language is full of such myths, the detritus of a mountain of hypotheses: sunrise, full moon, influenza, good humour are such outworn 'parables of Nature'; just as when a Nile-side Egyptian depicted the 'Boat of the Sun', or a 'horse-taming' Greek spoke of his 'chariot', or a Jewish philosopher, with one eye on his athletic neighbours the 'lords of the Philistines', described bim 'coming out of his chamber, and rejoicing as a giant to run his course'; or as a San Francisco cartoonist, after a spell of rain in 1914, drew a jovial personage traversing the sky on an aeroplane. It is in a third and quite subsequent stage that the comparison between myth and scientific hypothesis ceases to hold good. Not that the savage does not apply his discovery, such as it is, to elucidate other noises; but that he does not, before doing so, make adequately sure of its implications; in other words, he omits to verify his hypothesis. This may be a sin of omission, when panic sets the pace and he thinks he knows enough about it to save his skin; but it may also be a sin of commission, in so far as he thinks he knows all about it, when he does not; and that is the sin not of Fear, but of Pride.
Thus the reasons for the failure to push beyond hypothesis to explanation—or as a Greek would say, to pass from iMvtios-to Xoyos—are in the main the same two causes of intellectual paralysis, of 'losing one's head', with which we began, namely Fear and Pride. Our savage knows quite enough about wolves to avoid going out at night while howling goes on. With such a howling, common prudence argues irresistibly against experimental verification: and it is at this point, of omission to test and (in the older sense) 'prove' the hypothesis, that mythology has its frontier with science: a myth being unverified hypothesis of what is really happening, as well as symbolic notation for what appears to happen, such as poets and men of science alike employ. And the paralysis, wrought in this instance by fear, may be wrought no less by pride, in the not unlikely event of the wind-wolf notion working in the mind of its originator, in mere consolation of his fear, or in emotional enhancement of his apprehension of the noise as wolf-noise, so that conviction seizes him, or perhaps seizes first his fellows in the cave, and the mere achievement of such a guess, like any other creative activity, satisfies his sense of need, as food, or song, or graceful movement expel desire and establish a sense of well-being from which modern speculators are, I believe, not wholly exempt. It was a sound psychologist who portrayed the Creator looking upon the work that he had made, 'and behold it was very good'.
The Law of the Jungle then is Panic, and the Avoidance of it. Provision for to-day—not to speak of the morrow— is effected just so far as the savage equivalent of what we call 'shell-shock' permits, man differing above all from other animals in this, that he alone is consciously at war with Nature; winning occasional victories and surviving to enjoy such truce as they bring; occupying now and then some patch of lotus-land, till, honeysweet as the first, the last fruit falls from the tree and dearth begins again; but conscious of defeat, no less than of achievement; conscious most of all that, whatever may happen to himself, Nature never tires, and has ever new reserves of unconceived surprise. Only because, while Nature does not tire, Man will not, does the divergence between man and animal grow, and not vanish again; at all events for those stocks, few at best, and perhaps one only, which in fact remained human, and became us.
In all this welter of occurrences, only two maxims (if we may call them so) proved their validity in practice. Out of all the proverb-lore of early Greece—where I think we find most coherently the conclusion of the whole matter as less clear-thinking folk experienced it, while they failed to formulate—these two only were inscribed in the Delphic Temple:—yv&Oi atavrov and nr\btv ayw. know thyself: thus far and no farther.
The first, as we shall see, works positively and profoundly throughout this elementary stage. Among all changes and chances in the world of his experience, it is only in respect to one class of changes that a man can pass behind the veil of appearances; namely in respect to what, as he says, he does himself. Not unnaturally, he interprets other changes that go on around him, other relations of cause and effect, in the light of this unique class of experiences. On this analogy between act as he knows it, and fact as he perceives it, tests all animistic explanation, from the wakdnda of Omaha philosophy, and the apyai (which we feebly translate as 'causes') of pre-Socratic Greece, up to modern vitalism and Christian theology. This analogy he applies least unsuccessfully, where modern psychologists feel it to hold most truly, to explain the facts of society as acts of persons like himself. Conscious of that in himself which makes for action, he imputes to his fellows, in greater or less degree, what we might crudely describe as we-ness, the Polynesian mana, the Omaha wazhin. The nearest Greek and Roman equivalents for it, in its moral and personal aspect, are respectively virtus and apfri'i; on the social and political side imperium and apx1?. the last-named being (as will be seen) identical with the term applied to impersonal 'initiatives' in the world of non-human fact.
Yet another aspect of this analogy is the Greek use of afnos to denote the person responsible for a moral or social act, and of abla for the necessary antecedent of any occurrence, the 'cause' of any 'effect'. Just so in Latin the corresponding word causa itself comes into metaphysic from the law courts,1 so that the Latin legal term for human responsibility, which Cicero thus defines2 ea est quae id efficit cuius est causa, ut vulnus mortis, becomes a medical term for any disease, i.e. anything responsible for deficiency of me-ness in me:3 so that the modern French chose, and the Italian cosa, is the colloquial word for any mere thing or external object; and even among ourselves a charwoman, I hope, retains her proper meaning, as a person who gets things done.
Now 'me-ness' of this kind, the driving personality of the agent, exists, as the more social animals already show, in very different degrees in different individuals. It also exists in the same individual in varying degrees on different occasions. Most of us probably have been occasionally in the predicament that 'virtue is gone out of' us. It may be diminished by want, or exposure, or fatigue; still more perceptibly and rapidly by bloodletting, shock, or poison; more obscurely too, by disease and less-obvious 'causes'; by hate, love, despair, or the weather. It may on the other hand be enhanced, by drugs, emotions, or ideas, that make us, as Americans say, 'feel good'.
To judge from recorded practices, in almost all simple types of human communities our natural expectation is more than realized, that personality, so conceived, has been the subject of peculiarly intense thinking and elaborate precaution. The interpretation and enhancement of the personality of the Performer; the removal of obstructions of every kind to achievement; in particular the concentration of facilities at the disposal of individuals of outstanding personality; and the enhancement of personality in those at whose disposal such facilities are, are obvious motives for a very large part of the mental efforts of man in simple societies, and for many of his performances outside the mere round of daily needs.1
The other maxim of Delphi is not quite so easy to illustrate as a principle of primitive thought. In popular Greek morality, it expressed in practical advice the belief in a world-order within which man moves and acts. This idea of a world-order hardly reaches the degree of humanized personification which we look for in Greek religious myth, and we have seen that its opposite, too, the freakish misrule of chance and surprise, was only partially humanized in the goat-footed, goat-minded Pan; but there is fortunately preserved in a provincial sanctuary at Rhamnus in Attica, a presentation of Nemesis as a goddess of wild things and wild places, with wild apples in her hand, and little stags leaping wildly among her hair. It is she who, representing what we call the 'order of nature' or more precisely, the idea of order in nature, presides over the wild places and their denizens, 'giving them their meat in due season' like the Providence delineated in the Hundred-and-fourth Psalm. Like that Providence too, this physical Nemesis is the physical counterpart of that social Nemesis which has become traditional in Greek and subsequent speech. Nemesis indeed, as Miss Harrison and Mr. Cornford 1 have shown, is little more, nor less, than the world-order, within which man moves and struggles at his peril. And his dilemma is this: if his 'me-ness', his personal aperr;, the 'drive' or ' virtue' which keeps him going, be not adequate to his needs, there is no evil chance to which he may not fall a prey. Yet if his achievement pass beyond a certain margin of adjustment, between himself and the wild which is about him, no less than between himself and his human neighbours (who are not wholly of himself, any more than they are wholly alien and part of the wild), there is risk of mishap from non-human forces, just as there is risk from offended or injured neighbours. It is essentially a risk unknown and beyond his present power to estimate: an essential quality of the wild, which is for him at least 'without form and void': a-ntipov, limitless. And the sole remedy and precaution available to man is once again not merely to know what he can do, but to know what he is doing. To know what he is doing, indeed, is a first step to an estimate, first, of what is yet undone; and then, of his power either to do the rest, or not. Side by side with Pan and the a-napov stand -nipas and Nemesis; side by side with mana, with wazhin, with axTv, with &pxv, stand tabu, avoidance, utrpov and rikos. It would be instructive, and easy (did space permit), to illustrate, side by side with the salutary working of such 'self-restraint', the disastrous consequences when Pride, in the person of the seer who believes that he knows, in virtue of his double portion of discernment, reinforces prestige by unholy alliance with panic Fear; tabu sustaining mana and perverting aristocracy, which is the rule of the seer, into oligarchy, the despotism of an 'inner ring', with its watchwords 'hush-hush' and 'verboten'. Nobody likes amateur intervention in matters of which he at least knows the perilous delicacy; and it is only too easy for the niceties of magical manipulation—so liable in any case to miscarriage, seeing how unproven hypothesis is sport for Pan and tragedy for Nemesis—to be restricted to the gifted or cunning few.
Not that specialism is not liable to occur in far later stages of rational scientific research, with the same ominous consequence of the formation of an 'inner ring'. For the seer, ancient or modern, remains human, after all; and the key of knowledge has been used at times to double-lock the door: 'this people that knoweth not the law are cursed'.
To illustrate the baneful effects of Fear, I have dealt separately and in the first place with what I have described as the 'panic' aspect of man's attempts to deal with external nature. It predominates wherever the balance of forces sets so heavily in favour of nature, and against man, that man's strategy in the conflict is defensive mainly; and in life, as in warfare, 'a purely defensive strategy means ruin'. Terrible as is inhuman nature, in this kind of struggle, a person armed with however little of nature's weapons, as the witch doctor claims, and may well believe that he is, is more disastrous still.
Panic fear is bad enough, for it makes men 'lose their heads'; when a human personality rides the storm and directs the thunderbolt, a man may 'lose heart' as well.
Within the mere slums of the rain-forest, there are criminal quarters, here and there, and cruel habitations. Yet it is in some such surroundings as these and in monsters like the king of Benin, with whom we began, and other panic-mongering potentates throughout West Africa, that we trace some of the first extensive, if momentary, successes of the 'drastic man', armed with his own knowledge of himself, and intelligent enough to make the relative helplessness of the others the pretext and justification for helping them, provided he may do it on his own terms.
§ 2. Pride: Priest-kings and the Laws of the Gods: 'Magic' in the Ancient East
We have taken as extreme instances of the Jungle Law of Panic those regions of the earth where nature most completely overwhelms human initiative and defaces the rational aspect of human endeavour.
In contrast, we may look to those rare regions where the balance sets so far in favour of Man as to allow not merely those adaptations of animals and plants to his uses which are common to tribally organized societies throughout the north temperate zone and far into the less amenable districts on either margin of it, but even what we may describe as the first great domestication of inanimate nature, the redistribution of water over the land surface in accordance with man's will, to make plants grow and animals breed in a land which is his by right of creation. Such domestication of water is the fundamental achievement on which are based the great river-valley cultures and the vast aggregations of humanity which these quite artificial conditions rendered possible. And here again we are confronted with the same paradox as in our first phase. On the one hand, there is here amazing industry, wonderful craftsmanship, acute observation applied to the enhancement of life in many ways; a high degree of organized co-operation on an unprecedented scale; and, perhaps most remarkable of all, a stability if not of the political superstructure, at all events of the social framework, which was only upset in Babylonia by an external shock—the Mongol invasion—so violent as to disrupt, not so much the economic organism, as the geographical redistribution which permitted it at all. 'As it was in the days of Noe', so it was in those of the last Caliph of Bagdad; 'they ate, they drank, they married and were given in marriage, until the flood came', and Mesopotamian irrigation almost ceased to be.
Yet, great as were the achievements of each of the great river-cultures, one limitation is common to them all. Once the full measure of regional adaptation was reached—and this seems to have happened rather rapidly—the main structure of society and the main fashions in all activities of life appear almost as quickly, grow soon to essential maturity, and then nothing more but such superficial ups and downs as are attributable to political conquest and temporary decline or renascence of an economic oligarchy.
There is certainly a reason for this, and in Egypt and Babylonia at all events, the facts are sufficiently well known to justify conjecture. In both regions, initial advancement follows the intrusion, among an old-established and comparatively sparse population, of a fresh element alien in culture and antecedents, but not so alien as to discard entirely either their own organization or their more fundamental ideas. It is to these exploiters, or rather to their great chieftains, that the large-scale reclamation of the region was due. Local experience and effort were organized and directed by brains sufficiently clear and competent to grasp so vast a problem and enforce a solution. The risks, as far as we can estimate them, were enormous; the returns commensurate, in the event of success; and the maintenance of an artificial
Yet 'the bow shall be in the cloud... that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature': and our 'victory ribbon' reminds us that the decision is ours, to accept or to reject its omen.
State, society, and economic regime depended, like the initiation of them, on perennial co-operation within rigidly determined lines.
Once again, side by side with economic and social arrangements so definite and peculiar; with the administrative genius of the men in authority, the horse-sense of their officials, and the technical skill and application of the mass of the population, applied from day to day to practical secular problems, in mere self-expression, or under the taskmaster's whip, we can recover outlines, at least, of a system of ideas which stand to the secular culture of these regions in much the same relation as the hypotheses of the Panic stage to the life of the jungle-folk.
In the first place, so elaborate and extensive an organization as a riparian state required and achieved accurate means to communicate instructions and register events: it is the same need to do and need to know as we have seen already giving rise on a lower social plane to myth and magic. Longer foresight demands accurate measurement of time and a calendar-scheme for record and for programme. Wider conceptions of area and cubic content, whether for earthen-dams, or water-flow, or estimation of produce and tribute, lead to systems of measurement, and eventually even of weight and value.
To this extent the mere needs of administration enforced and stimulated new notions of quantitative accuracy, of permanent and world-wide significance.1 No less important is the reaction of the political and economic regime on the cosmology, and the connexions between 'physics and politics' deserve closer examination.
For these primary inventions of oriental science, see:
The peculiarities of the Egyptian interpretation of nature may be illustrated by analysis of some of its leading ideas. In the Nile valley, man's struggle against the wild succeeds on two conditions, of industry and observation. Physical contrasts of seasonal and regional fertility are abrupt; solar heat contends with Nile water, sea breeze with scorching 'hamseen'. Man must discern which of the Powers are his friends, and serve them; and in such a world-war, even the Greater Powers recognize service rendered. First of all Powers, as already hinted, are Sun and River; then the Bull, Cow, and Ram which his leaders brought with them, or reclaimed from the wild. These are beneficent, but require observation and maintenance, so near the margin of pasturage.
Others are maleficent, and need observation too; the crocodile, scorpion, uraeus-snake. Others challenge wonder, by incessant or periodic or exceptional activity; the hawk flying in the eye of the sun, the dung beetle rolling his pellet—whither? and why?—the jackal, guarding (or is he molesting?) the dead; the ibis, ubiquitous and all-seeing; the cat, 'for all places are alike to him'; lion, hippopotamus, and many more; all elements of a ramshackle universe, precariously held together, like the baronies of Delta and Valley by the wearer of the double crown, who is 'child of the Sun', and co-regent over men with him, as his own son is his co-regent.
Large matters are 'explained' by the simplest of diagrams; creation, in a world of Nile-mud, is potter's business at bottom; the sun's daily course is a boatjourney through sky, blue as the river's reflection of it. Complex activities are surely the work of composite deities. If the same functions are performed in Crocodilopolis by King Crocodile and in Bubastis by Our Lady Puss, reason points to that which in cat and crocodile is one, as the generic cause. And all these powers, working as reasonably as they do, are in some sense human; it is not mere ibis or lion, but an intelligent and intelligible energy like man's; and the animal head surmounts a body of which the working mechanism is human. Above all, and gradually subsuming and harmonizing this polytheism, two master-conceptions dominate and at times compete: a naturalist hypothesis, attributing all ultimately to solar-energy; and a humanist hypothesis, that all growth and maintenance is ultimately congruous with the birth and life and death of man, the only sequence in all nature, as we have seen in the most primitive phase, of which man directly knows the inwardness. And so Egyptian knowledge culminates in the facts of motherhood and childhood—Isis and Osiris—ever bearing, ever-born, and ever born again, as day succeeds night, and awakening sleep, and life death, when that which is not-us wins periodic victory over laborious beneficent manhood. With this Osiris-mystery, as with Egyptian civilization itself, we pass beyond indigenous Nile-dom, for Osiris is shepherd-king; in another of his aspects he is lord of some un-Egyptian tree, which is his written symbol; in another, his energy is vegetative rather than animal, and in an essentially agricultural regime analogies between the fate of seed-corn and that of man himself, desiccated and buried away 'till Osiris shall come', acquired profound significance, and suggested infinite precaution to conserve that unpromising remnant of my career, in mummy-shroud and sarcophagus, pyramid-tomb and chantry priest, against that far renaissance.
Thus Egyptian attempts to rationalize the Nile-world led first to ill-harmonized analyses of nature-forces; then to loose synthesis round twin hypotheses of solar and vital energy—Ra and Osiris—nowhere carried really farther than political theory was carried by the ramshackle Egyptian administration and social structure; and then the lurking remnant of primaeval fear—fear of my own dissolution in spite of all—imposed the dead hand of vast insurance-societies, the great priestly guilds, on further progress in administration, in society, in economics and industry. For with a cosmology so complicated and so incomplete, only an expert could understand the symbolism, much less perform the ritual. As elsewhere, too, repeated failures of the experts themselves led to the conviction that human insufficiency through latent defect in the client—not of course in the procedure or its theory! —must be almost irremediable: so that both ingenuity and wealth were diverted from more accurate interrogation of nature into refinements of current ceremonies.
Thus the 'wisdom of the Egyptians' forwent enhancement of this life, and spent itself to ensure a sequel.
It is perhaps not without significance that those later systems of knowledge which have been imbued most deeply with that wisdom have been most liable to the grip of the same 'dead hand'. Lucretius feared this when Isis had but newly come to Rome: Piers Plowman heralds more effective 'protest' against it.
In its outlook on nature the other great river-culture of the Ancient East presents curious similarities with that of Egypt, and also instructive contrasts. In an artificial country like Babylonia, terrestrial nature is poor: 'in the beginning no reed was; no tree; no dry land for cities': only mudflats like those which infest the Euphrates delta to-day. Only the sky-phenomena are copious in quantity (the sky being usually clear), though simple in kind, being essentially movements of points. Once correlated empirically (which was fairly easy) with the cycle, less accurately graded, of water-flow and weather and especially of the seasonal winds, the movements of the stars were seen to be primary, and all else coherent with them.
The 'great powers', Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars, have however a less and less orderly escort (like the courtiers and camp-followers of a king) of Winds and Storms 'fulfilling his word', Waters and Sandbanks, the latter rebellious, incalculable, 'disastrous' in the literal sense that there was no star that really looked after them. Then there are domestic animals, with biddable natures like those of men, and plants whose innate observance of the kindly seasons brought them under the sweet influence of the Pleiades or whatever constellation brought up 'herb for the use of men' upon the earth; and there were wild unbiddable blights and vermin, serpents, scorpions, and poison-spiders most pernicious of all. These too, like the hangers-on of temporal majesty, were to be observed, selfishly, with precaution; and bound over to keep the peace, by a 'word of might' from one of the greater gods.
Now a 'great god', like a great priest-king in a templecity, was a public benefactor, an earthly providence. At his will he could interrupt the order of your days, (jut off your water, commandeer your seed-corn; or turn again and bless you with freehold land, and a place at his table. But if he was an earthly providence, he was before all things a capitalist: the earth was his, for he made it,1 out of mud and primaeval slime; the water was his, to irrigate the just and the unjust; wealth was his to give or to withhold. But all things had their price in Babylonia; the talent, lent out of the temple treasury, to be returned at the day of reckoning with interest as per agreement, was counterpart and symbol of other 'talents' of character and skill, to be employed as under this aspect of oriental theology has gained a new vogue in our own capitalist society, as Dean Inge has noted in a sermon at Hull, 10 September 1922, during the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
The master's eye. It was a common proverb in Babylonia, 'five years of harvest, and yet the craftsman has bread'; all skilled workmen being attached as a matter of course to some temple corporation, and drawing on its reserves during bad times. And the god could borrow as well as lend; like a Stuart monarch, he levied 'benevolences', 'free-will offerings' of his dependants; but the shareholder in a good temple, like an investor in government securities, was at all events sure of his income: and if all went well, the bonus would be ample.
Whatever, Lord, we lend to thee
Repaid a thousand-fold will be;
Then gladly will we give to thee
Who givest all.
The great nature-powers in Babylonia are, moreover, very curiously doubled with national or tribal or civic deities; and provided with consorts like a human monarch.
More notable, especially in view of the light thrown upon it by what we have already seen at an earlier stage, is the worship of human beings: of the deceased king; of the living king, as chief local repository of mere power; of other important personages; and lastly and more oddly, of oneself, far in excess of any scheme of votive substitution. All these are special cases of that enhancement of a valued personality which we have already noticed, and which comes out again so oddly, farther west, in the story of Kylon the Athenian, who 'grew his hair long for a tyranny', and perisned accordingly.
On the other hand, with characteristic attention to business in hand, Babylonian imagination stopped short at the grave: in striking contrast with the copious and varied speculation about the soul's after-life in Egypt. 'The tree' (in the Book of Job, one of our fullest repertories of Babylonian world-knowledge, however resolutely its author is striving to transcend it) 'hath hope; if it be cut down it will sprout again; but man lieth down and riseth not; till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.' Somewhere under the earth is the land without return, to which the dead pass when they 'go hence and be no more seen'. Traces of an earlier theory survive here, as in other departments of Babylonian culture, in the belief that if you could get at the spirits of the dead, they could tell you something.
The 'land without return' was also the 'place of inquiry'; by the rather crude method of hammering offerings into the ground, you might'get through' to the departed, and learn of them. But this needed a priest, and the fees were heavy; so heavy that in the common interest the priest-king had to intervene from time to time with a tariff of charges, as a modern township fixes cab-fares.
For what the god-king did in his temple, and the priestking in his court, the general practitioner of the same 'applied science' did among his private clients; a capitalist economy carried all things human and divine to a profitand-loss account. 'Justice is mine, I will repay' was the common law of physics, politics, and theology.
Thus in Babylonia, and rather less clearly and crudely in Egypt, much that at an earlier phase was paraphrased by myth is now found amenable to explanation, capable of being verified by recurring experience; and this is mainly due to the circumstance that in organized society, with adequate means of record, observers multiply in each generation, and observations can accumulate in time.
Natural history at all events is found to repeat itself; a general order, intelligible to man, is made out, and attributed to the foresight and administration of the Great Powers. Thence emerges a hypothesis of Providence, and a formulation of the Will of the Gods, which for man are laws, like the laws of Hammurabi: we have echoes of such an astronomical Digest in the Hundred-andfourth Psalm, 'He hath appointed the moon for certain seasons, and the sun knoweth his going down'; more distant echo still in the fragment of Heraclitus, 'the sun will not overstep his landmarks; if he do so, avenging spirits, minions of the law shall find him out'. But the 'Code' is not absolute, nor complete; the gods of a Theocracy do not yet find all their work 'very good'; any more than Khammurabi or Ur-kagina may rest from their labours. The 'great dragon underground', or rather in the lower fens, is not yet dead: his head is bruised but not broken by the 'seed of the woman'. Only by divine foresight—let us call it by its Roman name of 'Providence' while noting that it is neither all-seeing, nor all-powerful yet—can man preserve from bruises his own Achilles' heel. Providence, that is, is reinforced with Miracle; for as long as miracle is possible, Equity supplements the Code; Justice is tempered with Mercy. And as long as Mercy, Equity, Miracle, remain, Magic remains too; the possibility, namely, of somehow getting the judge on to the right side, or yourself on to the blind side of him. Thus with an organized ieligion, we find magic organized too, and the name mage and magic, like the Roman equivalent Chaldaean and our own Gipsy (that is, Egyptian), mark the modes in which this organized Magic penetrated into the West.
§ 3. Honesty: the Citizen and the Law of Nature: 'Physic' in Mediterranean Lands
It is a relief to turn to that other region whose early effort and thought are so large a part of our own. Greek Science, in its eventual maturity, falls to others to illustrate. But here too there has been a long pre-history; for the Hellenic civilization of the last six hundred years before our own era has been shown within the last generation to be the sequel, and in some degree the heir, of a prior culture, in the 'Minoan' Bronze Age of Crete and the Aegean archipelago; and though the higher aspects of the pre-Hellenic culture remain unrevealed, so long as its script is undeciphered and its language unidentified, the mode of life which this region imposes on its inhabitants in all ages is sufficiently recoverable for an attempt to be made to sketch at all events that background of popular beliefs among which the first Greek thinkers were brought up, and the beliefs about 'that which surrounds us ' with which their interpretation of nature started.
First, Herodotus's brief eulogy of the climate and circumstances of Ionia reveals an 'eaithly paradise' which nearly three thousand years of human depredation have not wholly disfigured. 'These Ionians happen to have founded their communities in the fairest climate and seasons, of all people within our ken. Neither the landward regions to the east nor the seaward to the west render aught like unto Ionia; oppressed here by cold and wet, there by heat and drought.' Under that clear sky and limpid atmosphere, seldom too hot for man's rational effort or too cold for a genial response from nature; among those rigid landforms, whose every profile confesses the ceaseless sculpture of sheer rock by mere weather, no less than the perennial increment of fertile silt therefrom, to the service of man; with intermittent heavings and lapses of island and continent, to demonstrate how sea and land have come to be so subtly interpenetrated; and with an annual cycle of plant-life illustrating, more eloquently than any other, how life and death,, and again new life and death, stand related to a cosmic order of larger scope and infinite but not unknowable interaction between its component 'elements'— earth, water, air, and that ethereal 'fire' which we call solar energy—what wonder if in seasonal and diurnal intervals of enforced leisure from the task of exploitation, Ionian Greeks looked about them with clearer vision, wholesome release from the shell-shock of catastrophic environment, ampler anticipation of a commensurate issue from honest observation and fearless experiment with ' the way things grow' ? * In that Aegean 'paradise', the tree of knowledge grew in every man's garden, and the fruit of it was his, in its season; for his fathers had planted it there, and he himself had dug about it and enriched the roots of it.
We have also to take account of two facts on the human side of the reckoning. First, neither the more pushful components of the Greek people themselves, nor those Olympian occupants of the high thrones, exuberant as their votaries, were indigenous to the Mediterranean coastlands. Zeus did not make that world, nor Poseidon the land or the sea. They had found them and occupied them; by superior humanity—clear brain directing deft hand under imperious will—they had repelled the last rebels of an 'earthborn' regime, and penned them down and under. They could make' tenants' improvements', like the gorge of Tempe, and thwart the plans of man, their own bailiff, for a Corinthian canal or the insulation of Cnidus from Asia Minor.
'Zeus would have made it island, had he willed.' But, as Aeschylus at all events knew, Zeus had no freehold 1 We have to remember here that the disastrous mistranslation of 0iVir, 'the way things grow', by the Latin natura, 'the way things come into being', had not yet perverted men's thoughts from observation of processes and detection of uniformities of 'behaviour' in the present, to speculations as to the origin of it all, and inferences as to the probable character of One who could 'make all things out of nothing' by the 'word of his power', not to mention making wine out of water, or victualling a brigade with 'a few small fishes' in Olympus. Only by a fresh bargain with the champion of man's right to the full means of life—to celestial fire as well as to earth, water, and air—could he insure even an extension of his lease. 'While the strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace'; but Titans or the Son of Io might threaten Olympus again, as the Persians broke ultimately into Ionia. In a physical world, only one thing is stronger than its forces, and that is humanity, rightly used.
Secondly, in this royal sport of finding out 'how things grow' and making them grow to man's convenience, only one peculiarity in the constitution of 'that which is around us', which might have been so deadly an opponent, gave the final victory to man: and that was the rule of law in 'that which surrounds us' no less than among the sons of men. 'The sun will not overstep his landmarks; if he do so, avenging spirits, minions of the law shall find him out.' This belief of Heraclitus that 'the very devil of a police' controls the traffic of the cosmos, with penalties 'to fit the crime', was an almost inevitable metaphor from the only illustration of 'law and order' which he and his contemporaries were competent to study 'from inside'. For not only had the Olympian gods, and those human votaries who introduced them, no birthright in Aegean lands; the subsequent crisis which broke down the Minoan civilization, and flung fragments of its peoples on to the lee-shore of an Asia hitherto impervious to it, appears to have shattered existing society so completely almost everywhere, and most of all among these farthest refugees, that they had literally, as in the social philosophy of Aristotle, to 'get to know' one another; for 'he who first introduced them to each other was author of the greatest blessings'. Out of these emergency camps of social, unrelated Crusoe-men, 'formed', as folk-memory taught the later thinkers, 'to maintain life' but with conscious ulterior aim 'to live well', as men had lived in the Golden Age before the cataclysm, arose the 'city states' of historic Greece; almost the only type of human society of which it is possible really to know the origin. In these strenuous circumstances, human behaviour was just as urgent a subject for observation and experiment as the climate and soil and food-plants of the new home. The gods, it was true, had allowed a few men to survive, out of a world that, as the legend put it, was 'too full of people'; but they had not done much more; and the pathetic indulgence of the Greek towards his Olympian friends— for they were friends and associates rather than his lords or masters—when again and again they fail him in his time of need, is a notable sequel to the catastrophe with which Greek culture begins. The Greek never ceased to like his gods; there they were, old friends of the family; so he made the best of them, and treated them courteously, and as generously as he could afford. But he neither feared them nor trusted them very greatly; least of all in a pestilence or a world war, unless perchance they 'did their bit' like Apollo at Phigaleia.
Physics and politics therefore, in early Greece, were collateral branches of research; and the terminology of 'physics', when we first catch a glimpse of it, is indebted to the sister science for its more important terms, no less than for its earliest exponents. 'The Seven Sages', says this is perhaps the point at which to explain why no account is taken, in this survey, of the other great interpretation of nature which we owe to Indo-European folk. On the political side Zoroastrian thought went farther, in its earliest phase, than any Greek speculation before the fourth century. But it remained anthropocentric, unaccompanied by any such interpretation of the physical environment as occurred in early Greece and never wholly lapsed; and it may be asked, whether the renunciation of physical studies by such men as Archelaus and his younger Dicaearchus,' were originally neither learned nor students, but men of common sense with a taste for legislation'; and of Thales we hear that 'it was after his political career that he devoted himself to speculation as to how things grow'. Similarly Anaximander, who came like Thales 'from politics to physics', is described as using 'somewhat poetical terminology' to describe physical phenomena; 'to do sentence and reparation for their wrong-doing, in the order of time' or to describe how 'into those elements, from which they have their birth, things that exist have their dissolution, according to their obligation', is certainly an odd way of describing biological cause and effect. But it is the same immemorial inference, that we have encountered already, from processes of which we feel we know the cause within ourselves, to the unknown causes of processes observed in that which is 'not us'. So Heraclitus, dark though his teaching is, in the fragmentary utterances which have been handed down, conceived 'that which surrounds us' as 'reasonable and intelligent'; he held 'wisdom to be this alone, to know the judgement which steers all things through all'; dividing his great treatise into three accounts, 'that of the whole' or ' things in general', the 'civil', and the' theological'; and describing this threefold exposition of gods, men, and nature as an 'accurate chart for estimating human life', or more briefly and comprehensively as a 'judgement of behaviours'. His method he described concisely as 'distinguishing things according to their way of growing, and demonstrating in what state they are'.
Thus, in Greek 'city states', and between Greek sky and Greek soil, came substantial release from fear of vast fellow student Socrates was not in part due to a century of converse between the learned of Ionia and sincere Zoroastrians among the Persian officials, inhuman forces, once the stresses of the migration period relaxed; and release, no less wholesome, from whatever of theocratic iule had tightened the discipline of the Minoia regna, with its palace-dungeons, its bull-worship, its gladiatorial orgies, as we trace them on Cretan sites or in Greek folk-memory; or had gripped the survivors of that regime under the shortlived conquest-rule of Homer's 'divine-born kings'. Already in Homeric narrative the twin conceptions of aidds and nemesis (my feeling that this or that is out of bounds, for me or for him, respectively; and that it is for him and me to seek out and put straight what goes amiss) were leading to a moral honesty which considered the observer's neighbour as he considered himself. And the counterpart of this moral honesty was a mental honesty, as we have seen, which, 'considering' the observer's self, 'considered' also 'the lilies of the field, how they grow', and under the twin conceptions of physis and nomos, 'growing' and 'mode of behaviour', embraced and interpreted the whole complex of 'that which surrounds us' as something 'rational and intelligent'.
Not all the lore which early Greece collected about 'the way things grow' or the 'modes of behaviour' of 'that which surround us' would have stood the stricter test of a maturer logic, any more than the conduct of Greek citizens or Greek states conformed to the Delphic maxims of self-knowledge and self-control. But between the magic and ritual of those earlier theocracies which preceded the reasonable freedom of the Hellenic outlook, and the relapse into pride and fear which came when the half-Hellenized East joined hands with a half-Hellenized West across the Macedonian and Roman conquestempires, tbe physical and the political philosophy of the Greeks stands out distinct, coherent, and humane; as the Baconian rationalism stands, in 'physics' and in 'politics' alike, when after long theocratic eclipse it re-translated natura into physis, and lex into the nomos of Hellenic science.
Books for Reference