The Axial Period becomes a ferment that draws humanity into the single context of world history. The period following the Italian Renaissance conceived of itself as a renewal of Antiquity, that following the German Reformation as the re-establishment of Christianity. In the sequel both of them, in fact, became the most penetrating recognition of the axis of world history. The great break-through was like an initiation of humanity. We are gripped by their magnificence but feel somehow remote from them, in consequence of the gulf created by their lack of everything that went with the break-through. For the Axial Period and for the ensuing millennia of the West, however, the cultures founded by the Indo-Germanic peoples were of paramount importance. The Indo-Germanic peoples played a part in determining the mode of the Axial Period in India, Persia and Greece. But peoples such as the Jews and Chinese, who were so essential to the Axial Period, are not Indo-Germanic at all.