The age of patriarchal religions, which in one form or other dominated the consciousness of humanity for thousands of years, was challenged in Europe from the seventeenth century onwards. A growing belief in the findings of science, a series of political revolutions that freed millions from the semi-enslavement of feudal systems, and the birth of the most productive economic system in world history were a series of Promethean hammer blows that shattered the old paradigms and forged a new order out of the fiery transformations of the centuries that followed. It was also a revolution in human consciousness, which was no longer in a cosmological prison where a scientist such as Galileo could be threatened with torture for arguing that the earth goes around the sun, but, instead, was a place where enlightened enquiry was free to fly to what height it dared. Britain, central to the scientific and industrial revolutions, was different from Ancient Greece, which, for a brief period, had some of the most astounding free thinkers, including those of science, the world had ever seen, for it managed to develop its freedoms of the market and democracy, while in Greece these were to perish. Above all, the scientific revolution was to be linked with an economic system that could turn inventions to profit and technologies to world domination. The Greek and also Roman systems, despite democratic components, were founded on slavery, a military system, and, for some periods, a dictatorship. Such economies, despite enormous achievements and progress, did not possess the essential freedoms for capitalism to develop.