With early humans unable to comprehend the First Civilization for what they truly were, they were looked upon as gods.
Though various religious beliefs seem to have been based on aspects and is interpretations of Those Who Came Before, their existence was largely unknown to humanity. As early as the 12th century, both the Assassins and the Knights Templar knew that the focus of human religions, the gods, did not truly exist, and that miracles and other supernatural occurrences were simply manifestations of the powers of the Pieces of Eden, devices created by Those Who Came Before to control the Human race. However, it is unclear if the Assassins and Templars understood the origin of the Pieces at that time. By the 15th century, at least one Templar, Rodrigo Borgia, was aware of the existence, if not the nature, of Those Who Came Before; he mistakenly believed that the Vatican Vault hidden beneath the Capella Sistina housed a living God.
The first known instance of a human becoming aware of their existence following their disappearance was that of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, who made mention of them in his Codex. However, it would not be until the year 1499 that humanity would encounter Those Who Came Before again, when the Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze encountered a hologram of a being calling herself Minerva in The Vault. Even though Ezio told his fellow Assassins of Minerva, they still did not understand her true nature; Ezio himself showed great difficulty in understanding Minerva's explanation of her existence.[