When we look at the great diversity of man’s activities and interests, it is evident how much space they afford for reviewing his history in many different ways. To most of our historians the view of the political power and course of legislation has seemed all that need be noticed; others have dealt with history in religion, or the growth of mind in changes of moral standards, as in Lecky’s fine work. In recent years the history of knowledge in medicine, in the applied sciences, and in abstract mathematics, has been profitably studied, as affording the basis of civilization. The purely mental view is shown in the social life and customs of each age, and expressed in the growth of Art. This last expression of man’s spirit has great advantages in its presentation; the material from different ages is of a comparable nature, and it is easily placed together to contrast its differences. Moreover it covers a wider range of time than we can et observe in man’s scope, but it is as essential to his nature as any of the other aspects that we have named.
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