Even the disciples of Jesus could not grasp the simplicity and profundity of his message; still less could his opponents.
But as to the greatness of his work, the profundity of his philosophy and the brilliance of his religious idealism, there can be no question.
This single instance need not, it is true, show a Hellenism of any profundity; still it does show that certain parts of Hellenism had become so essential to the lustre of a court that even an Arsacid could not be without them.
As a whole, the Avesta, for profundity of thought and beauty, stands on a lower level than the Old Testament.
His fondness for the allegorical and his manifest carelessness of preparation disappoint as often as his profundity, his devout mysticisms, his practical application attract and satisfy.
His incommensurable and indescribable masterpiece of mingled humour, wisdom, satire, erudition, indecency, profundity, levity, imagination, realism, reflects the whole age in its mirror of hyperAristophanic farce.
From the lonely life he led, and still more from the extreme profundity of his philosophy and his contempt for mankind in general, he was called the "Dark Philosopher" (6 o-Komewos), or the "Weeping Philosopher," in contrast to Democritus, the "Laughing Philosopher."
In this as in all other matters of transcendental truth "wisdom is justified of her children"; the conclusive vindication of the prophets as true messengers of God is that their work forms an integral part in the progress of spiritual religion, and there are many things in their teaching the profundity and importance of which are much clearer to us than they could possibly have been to their contemporaries, because they are mere flashes of spiritual insight lighting up for a moment some corner of a region on which the steady sun of the gospel had not yet risen.
The almost mystical profundity of Hillel's conciousness of God is shown in the words spoken by him on the occasion of a feast in the Temple - words alluding to the throng of people gathered there which he puts into the mouth of God Himself: "If I am here every one is here; if I am not here no one is here" (Sukkah 53a).
The extraordinary advances made by him in this branch of knowledge were owing to his happy method of applying mathematical analysis to physical problems. As a pure mathematician he was, it is true, surpassed in profundity by more than one among his pupils and contemporaries; and in the wider imaginative grasp of abstract geometrical principles he cannot be compared with Fermat, Descartes or Pascal, to say nothing of Newton or Leibnitz.
A fifth group, displaying the profundity of their strategic perceptions, discussed the direction the troops would now have to take.