Spengler’s principle of historical homology: contemporaneous parallels across cultures

Note 10. To the Subsection “7. Law of Synchronous Providence

Oswald Spengler stated as follows: “The application of the ‘homology’ principle to historical phenomena brings with it an entirely new connotation for the word ‘contemporary.’ I designate as contemporary two historical facts that occur in exactly the same―relative―positions in their respective Cultures, and therefore possess exactly equivalent importance…. I hope to show that without exception all great creations and forms in religion, art, politics, social life, economy and science appear, fulfill themselves and die down contemporaneously in all the Cultures; that the inner structure of one corresponds strictly with that of all the others.” The Decline of the West, trans. Charles Francis Atkinson (London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1961), 112.

He cites as examples the relationship between ancient Graeco-Roman culture and Western culture, Alexander the Great and Napoleon in the political field, Pythagoras and Descartes in the mathematical field, and so on.