Whether the first home of all civilization, the place of origin of the higher forms of agriculture, of cattle breeding and of the plough, is to be found in Mesopotamia, whether it was from there that these arts spread across southern Arabia into the Nile valley and across the Persian Gulf to southern and eastern Asia, is likely to be difficult for research ever to establish beyond question. But the matter is of no importance as an aid to understanding the present day. Even the civilizations of Babylonia and Egypt, with which their monuments have made us familiar, are of much more interest to the modern European and convey much more to his imagination than they do to that of the present-day inhabitants of those countries. The Egyptians and the Iraqi sometimes look with curiosity, but never with any sense of spiritual community, at the treasures which European science has brought to light, treasures which Europe's wealth has made accessible and which have deeply influenced European aesthetics and art. The latest descendants of the creators and artificers of these monuments of religion and art no longer feel any vital community with those past epochs. Only under European influence have they begun of late to feel pride in the origin of their race, but this too is a part of the process of their Europeanization, not the revival of an inheritance and not a spontaneous feeling.