The origin of Rome resembles that of Greece—small tribes in whom a jealous spirit of independence is inveterate. As in Greece, violent struggles and conflicts took place between patrician and plebeian, and again the forces of self-defence proved too powerful to allow of any complete triumph on the part of encroaching privilege. In Greece with the first onset of symptoms of weariness in the metaphysical effort, philosophical thought had shown a tendency to concentrate upon the purely human problems of life and conduct. The intellect of the Greeks was concentrated upon the intellectual process itself, to the almost entire neglect of the materials upon which that process operates. The practical and realistic Roman mind was really more disposed towards observation and research than the Greek, but it was entirely governed by the influence of Greek tradition; and when Caesar wished to reform the calendar, mathematicians and astronomers had to be fetched from Egypt.