Carlyle wrote:Did the Mesopotamian view of linear time follow the more Eastern notion of circular time, or was it the other way round?
I think that circular time was a more natural concept for ancient man. Seasons returned year after year, never leaving that circle.
Accprding to the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,
The concept of linear time first appeared in the writings of the Hebrews and the Zoroastrian Iranians. The Roman writer Seneca also advocated linear time. Plato and Aristotle and most other Greeks and Romans believed time to be ultimately cyclic ... Rejecting circularity, Islamic and Christian theologians adopted the Jewish notion that time is linear with the universe being created at a definite moment in the past. Augustine explicitly objected to Aristotle's belief that time is cyclical, and insisted that human experience is a one-way journey from Genesis to Judgment, regardless of any recurring patterns or cycles in nature. ... It was not until 1602 that the concept of linear time was clearly and explicitly formulated--by the English philosopher Francis Bacon. ... In 19th century Europe, the idea of linear time became dominant in both science and philosophy, and it remained so.