History of religion, in its beginnings, had to struggle to emancipate itself from classical mythology as well as from theology and philosophy; when ritual was finally found to be the basic fact in religious tradition, the result was a divorce between classicists, treating mythology as a literary device, on the one hand, and specialists in festivals and rituals and their obscure affiliations and origins on the other.
Philosophy up to now is bound to a chain of tradition that starts with Greek texts about 2,400 years ago: the works of Plato and Aristotle have been studied continuously since then; they were transmitted to Persians and Arabs and back to Europe and are still found in every philosophical library. Plato, in turn, was not an absolute beginning; he read and criticized Heraclitus, Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Protagoras, and other sophists; Aristotle read and criticized Plato and everything else he could (...) find, up to Anaximander. Even if philosophy is anything but certain about its own identity, the definition of philosophy is inseparably bound to the Greek fundaments. Nobody has been able to reinvent philosophy because it has always been there. (shrink)
By presenting ‘an Arab view’ on the much-discussed ‘footprint-scene’, Aeschylus, ch. 205ff., L. A. Tregenza was able to prove that, judging by Bedouin customs, this strange method of recognition is not so impossible and childish as some ancient and modern critics have believed. In addition, a specifically Greek aspect of the problem may be pointed out.