Politically, indeed, the whole period was one of retrogression and stagnation.
Nominally the beginning Df the rise of the Nile, was the beginning of the year, and as the ~ile commences to rise very regularly at about the date of the annual heliacal rising of the conspicuous dog-star Sothis (Sirius~ (which itself follows extremely closely the slow retrogression af the Julian year), the primitive astronomers found in the heliacal rising of Sothis as observed at Memphis (on July 9 Julian) a very correct and useful, starting-point for the seasonal year.
The transition from the medieval to the modern order was now secured if not accomplished, and a Rubicon had been crossed from which no retrogression to the past was possible.
9 f., is to be taken as "only a symptom of the general retrogression of religious energy" (Jiilicher), and not as bearing directly on the main danger of these "Hebrews."
As a matter of fact, as far as modern Europe is concerned, there has twice been a progression, separated by a period of retrogression, and it is to the latter that Bucher's picture of the agricultural and strictly protectionist town (the geschlossene Stadtwirtschaft) of the 14th and r 5th centuries belongs, while Sombart's notion of an entire absence of a spirit of capitalistic enterprise before the middle of the 15th century in Europe north of the Alps, or the 14th.
Notwithstanding the differing features in the several countries, retrogression is the common characteristic of European history from the 5th to the 10th century, and it was from the ruder state that this decline created that the rebuilding of social and political organization had to be accomplished.
There was much retrogression with the intrusion of new barbarian races; but from their absorption by the 10th century until the 10th there is not a century in which some notable gain was not made towards the attainments of modern civilization.
In the Transvaal the burghers of British origin were about equal in number with those of Dutch origin, and the fairly even balance of parties might be held to be a guarantee against retrogression; in the Orange River Colony it was notorious that the grant of selfgovernment meant handing over the control of the country not simply to the Boers, but to that section of them which since the war had exhibited the greatest racial bitterness.
Its steady retrogression among the stars became manifest to him in 130 B.C., on comparing his own observations with those made by Timocharis a century and a half earlier; and he estimated at not less than 36" (the true value being so") the annual amount of " precession."
He had no profound insight into the problem of Judaism, and there was no lasting validity in his view that the problem - the thousands of years' old mystery - could be solved by a retrogression to local nationality.
In virtue of this defect, due largely to the failure to enter into the Apostolic experience of mystic union with Christ, he can rightly speak of "an immense retrogression" in theology visible "at the end of the century, and in circles where it might have been least expected" (ii.
This was a great step forward, but unfortunately it was accompanied by a retrogression to the pre-Griesbachian (or rather pre-Bengelian) days; for Lachmann rejected the idea of grouping MSS., and having selected a small number of the oldest authorities undertook always to follow the reading of the majority.
Lessing also maintains that history reveals a definite law of progress, and that occasional retrogression may be necessary for the advance of the world towards its ultimate goal.