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Norman F. Cantor

“The mindset of antiquity lacked economic science and sociological theory. The ancients did rather well with political narrative, although, except for Thucydides, no first-rate political annalist and analyst emerged from the literary populace. But the ancients never showed a capacity, or even an inclination, to examine closely the urban world they themselves inhabited.
"Neither, however, was the medieval world in the 500s through the 1500s, which succeeded antiquity, much better at economics and sociology. It was only in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries that this kind of thinking emerged with Adam Smith and Alexis de Tocqueville in response to industrial and political revolutions.
"What interested the urban dwellers of antiquity were the gods. During the Hellenistic and Roman eras the theoretical capacity of the literate urban population was given over to thinking about the nature of divinity. The chief theological formats were polytheism (many gods); monotheism (one god); dualism (two dogs, one good, the other evil); and dying and reborn savior gods that could also be fitted into the other three categories of divinity.”


Norman F. Cantor, Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World
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Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World by Norman F. Cantor
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