Ancient traditions have repeatedly been the main engine for the development and evolution of world religious thought. From the Hellenistic traditions in Christianity, to the Sumerian influences on the Old Testament writers, world religions have often absorbed and grown from the very cultures that surrounded them. Despite the insistence of many that any particular world religion is completely original and without precedent, a cursory study of those societal traditions that such religions grew from may yet reveal deep cultural grains, assimilated and even renamed, but ever present in their influence.
The purpose of this section therefore is to document the now extinct religions of the world, to reveal their wealth of custom from their remaining documents, and to help place the roots of modern religions in better context.
Ultimately, such religious traditions often eventually became the very foundations that their successors built upon, the influences of ancient cultures ever pervading current civilisations of humanity in both obtuse and far more subtle ways.