275. It was not from themselves nor from their own intelligence, but from the ancient Word (see above, n. 264-266), and afterwards from the Israelitish Word, that from the most ancient times religion has existed, and the inhabitants of the earth everywhere have had a knowledge of God, and some knowledge of a life after death. From these two Words religious systems spread into the Indies and their islands; through Egypt and Ethiopia into the kingdoms of Africa; from the maritime parts of Asia into Greece, and from Greece into Italy. But as the Word could be written only by representations, which are such things in the world as correspond to and thus signify heavenly things, the religions of these nations were turned into idolatries, and in Greece into fables; and the Divine attributes and properties were turned into as many gods, over whom one was made supreme, whom they called Jove, possibly from Jehovah. It is known that they had a knowledge of Paradise, of the flood, of the sacred fire, and of the four ages, from the first or golden age, to the last or iron age (as described in Daniel 2:31-35).