The ancient Greeks were very interested in understanding the scientific universe and using logic and empirical knowledge to counter the legends and myths of previous generations.
Even though logic and rational thinking was important to the Greeks they still relied on the Oracle of Delphi to receive information from the Gods in decision making.
They also made huge tributes to the Gods at their temples throughout Greece. Their religious fervor was paralleled with the Mesopotamian, Hebrew, Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, Meso American, and Oceana civilizations.
The enlightenment was a critical questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals. Some classifications of this period also include after 1650, which is typically known as the Age of Reason or Age of Rationalism.
Historian Peter Gay asserts that the Enlightenment broke through "the sacred circle," whose dogma had circumscribed thinking. The Enlightenment is held to be the source of critical ideas, such as the centrality of freedom, democracy, and reason as primary values of society. This view argues that the establishment of a contractual basis of rights would lead to the market mechanism and capitalism, the scientific method, religious tolerance, and the organization of states into self-governing republics through democratic means. In this view, the tendency of the philosophers in particular to apply rationality to every problem is considered the essential change.