The whole story was most probably the creation of imaginations stimulated by torture and despair, unless it was a deliberate fiction set forth for the purpose of provoking hostility against the Jews.
We do not know how far the imaginations about Prester John retained their vitality in 1221, forty-four years after the letter of Pope Alexander, for we know of no mention of Prester John in the interval.
Hence the animals have suggested to vivid imaginations the head of the fabled Gorgon or Medusa with her chevelure of writhing snakes.
Imaginations of the same sort are also to be found, e.g.
For long after the Vienna Congress of 1814-1815 the " Kaiser " as such exercised a powerful influence over the imaginations of the German people outside the Habsburg dominions; but this was because the title was still surrounded with its ancient halo and the essential change was not at once recognized.
She was also supposed to have signed a Catholic league, which only existed in devout imaginations, but in February 1560 she sent the bishop of Dunblane to crave a large subsidy from the pope.
Few men in American public life have possessed more intrinsic worth, more independence, more public spirit and more ability than Adams, but throughout his political career he was handicapped by a certain reserve, a certain austerity and coolness of manner, and by his consequent inability to appeal to the imaginations and affections of the people as a whole.
208-347) seems to show that these secret crimes exist nowhere but in the heated imaginations of romantic biographers and historians.
It was Stoicism, not Platonism, that filled men's imaginations and exerted the wider and more active influence upon the ancient world at some of the busiest and most important times in all history.
It is needless to add that, under the overpowering influence of these vain imaginations, the earnest moral teachings of Gotama became more and more hidden from view.
While we need not believe with Euemerus and with Herbert Spencer that the god of Greece or the god of the Hottentots was once a man, we cannot deny that the myths of both these gods have passed through and been coloured by the imaginations of men who practised the worship of real ancestors.
This is not a shortcoming of our imaginations but rather a simple reality.
The aim of cutting off Napoleon and his army never existed except in the imaginations of a dozen people.