One of the intrinsic weaknesses of our historical studies is that we can understand the past only by utilizing analogies to our age. What we comprehend of past events or personalities most readily is the features which they seem to have in common with our own forms of life, and it is from these associations that we take our cue in exploring the past. We know how fallacious this method can be, since a closer study of the historical landscape possibly reveals that what we regarded as a landmark had actually little significance in its own age and what we believed a resemblant factor was nothing but a superficial similarity. So we have very often to burn the bridges over which we entered into the territory of the past.
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