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.
That of Stephen) - and indeed elsewhere, too - are not " free compositions " of our author, the mere outcome of dramatic idealization such as ancient historians like Thucydides or Polybius allowed themselves.
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.
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.