His account of the first dawnings of culture, and of the ruder Oriental civilizations, is marked by genuine insight.
" The circle was undoubtedly known to the early civilizations, its simplicity specially recommending it as an object for study.
Palestinian states on the other, and that they could scarcely have escaped the all-pervading Babylonian influences of 2000-1400 B.C. It is now becoming clearer every day, especially since the discovery of the laws of Khammurabi, that, if we are to think sanely about Hebrew history before as well as after the exile, we can only think of Israel as part of the great complex of Semitic and especially Canaanite humanity that lived its life in western Asia between 2060 and 600 B.C.; and that while the Hebrew race maintained by the aid of prophetism its own individual and exalted place, it was not less susceptible then, than it has been since, to the moulding influences of great adjacent civilizations and ideas.
At the dawn of Greek history Mycenae is no longer the seat of empire; new empires, polities and civilizations have grown up - Sparta with its military discipline, Delphi with its religious supremacy, Miletus with its commerce and numberless colonies, Aeolis and Ionia, Sicily and Magna Graecia.
One of the oldest and most widespread methods of divining the future, both among primitive people and among several of the civilizations of antiquity, was the reading of omens in the signs noted on the liver of the animal offered as a sacrifice to some deity.