“Professor John Fiske, in his onslaught on Dr. Draper’s History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, set his pen against the doctrine of cyclical progression, remarking that “we have never known the beginning or the end of a historic cycle, and have no inductive warrant for believing that we are now traversing one.”
He chides the author of that eloquent and thoughtful work for the “odd disposition exhibited throughout his work, not only to refer the best part of Greek culture to an Egyptian source, but uniformly to exalt the non-European civilization at the expense of the European.” We believe that this “odd disposition” might be directly sanctioned by the confessions of great Grecian historians themselves.
Professor Fiske might, with profit, read Herodotus over again. The “Father of History” confesses more than once that Greece owes everything to Egypt. As to his assertion that the world has never known the beginning or the end of a historical cycle, we have but to cast a retrospective glance on the many glorious nations which have passed away, i.e., reached the end of their great national cycle.
Compare the Egypt of that day, with its perfection of art, science, and religion, its glorious cites and monuments, and its swarming population, with the Egypt of today, peopled with strangers; its ruins the abode of bats and snakes, and a few Copts the sole surviving heirs to all this grandeur, and see whether the cyclical theory does not reassert itself.
Says Gliddon, who is now contradicted by Mr. Fiske:
“Philologists, astronomers, chemists, painters, architects, physicians, must return to Egypt to learn the origin of language and writing; of the calendar and solar motion; of the art of cutting granite with a copper chisel, and of giving elasticity to a copper sword; of making glass with the variegated hues of the rainbow; of moving single blocks of polished syenite, nine hundred tons in weight, for any distance, by land and water; of building arches, rounded and pointed, with masonic precision unsurpassed at the present day, and antecedent by 2,000 years to the ‘Cloaca Magna’ of Rome; of sculpturing a Doric column 1,000 years before the Dorians are known in history; of fresco painting in imperishable colors; of practical knowledge in anatomy; and of time-defying pyramid building.””
H. P. Blavatsky