Not only [the above], but also a way of taking apart ancient texts and finding out that they don't mean anything after all. This technique, which began in the late 19th century, assumed that works as old as parts of the Old Testament (most notably the Pentateuch), the Iliad, and the Odyssey couldn't possibly have been written way back when. They also hit upon the idea (laird knows why) that none of these works could have been written by a single person, and most certainly were cobbled together by the RAND Corporation, Francis Bacon, or a secret council of the Roamin' Catlick Church.

Although the ideas that percolated out of this morass were created in ignorance of the actual age of written language (in other words, they didn't know back then that writing was around a lot earlier than they thought: archeology was not as advanced as it is now), their ideas have not undergone the drastic re-evaluation they so richly deserve, except in rare instances, viz., the work of Milman Parry.