To deny their historical character is to reject them as trustworthy accounts of the age to which they are ascribed, and even those scholars who claim that they are essentially historical already go so far as to concede idealization and the possibility or probability of later revision.
It also justifies the idealization of the hero, on the one hand, and, on the other, the introduction of episodes which have but little relation to his personal fate, or even put his character in a directly unfavourable light.
It is an idealization of the yellow haoma of the mountains which was used in sacrifices (Yasna, x.
But however Oriental may have been the cast of mind that welcomed this theosophic asceticism, the forms of thought by which these views were philosophically reached are essentially Greek; and it is by a thoroughly intelligible process of natural development, in which the intensification of the moral consciousness represented by Stoicism plays an important part, that the Hellenic pursuit of knowledge culminates in a preparation for ecstasy, and the Hellenic idealization of man's natural life ends in a settled antipathy to the body and its works.
Such views and sentiments are incompatible with the idealization of a benevolent despotism.
Thought became only the result of organic conditions - subjective and human; and the system of Hegel was no longer an idealization of religion, but a naturalistic theory with a prominent and peculiar logic.
The earliest of these works was Custom and Myth (1884); in Myth, Literature and Religion (2 vols., 1887, French trans., 1896) he explained the irrational elements of mythology as survivals from earlier savagery; in The Making of Religion (an idealization of savage animism) he maintained the existence of high spiritual ideas among savage races, and instituted comparisons between savage practices and the occult phenomena among civilized races; he dealt with the origins of totemism in Social Origins, printed (1903) together with J.
It was in some ways the herald of a new school of German historical thought, for it shows that idealization of power and success which he had learnt from the teaching of Hegel.
The Romantic movement helped, with its idealization of a past but vaguely realized and imperfectly understood, and Chateaubriand heralded in the Catholic reaction with his Genie du Christianisme (1801) a brilliant if superficial attack on the encyclopaedists and their neo-Paganism, and a glorification of the Christian Church as supreme not only in the regions of faith and morals, but also in those of intellect and art.