Golden Bough: Abridged Edition

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Overview


A certain sacred tree was forbidden to the touch, save only for runaway slaves: if the slave could break off a branch — The Golden Bough — he could challenge the tree's attendant priest to mortal combat. If victorious, the slave would replace the priest as King of the Woods — until his lethal defeat by another bearer of The Golden Bough. Sir James George Frazer, an expert in myth and religion, was so intrigued by this tale from classical mythology that he spent more than a quarter-century investigating its ...
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The Golden Bough

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Overview


A certain sacred tree was forbidden to the touch, save only for runaway slaves: if the slave could break off a branch — The Golden Bough — he could challenge the tree's attendant priest to mortal combat. If victorious, the slave would replace the priest as King of the Woods — until his lethal defeat by another bearer of The Golden Bough. Sir James George Frazer, an expert in myth and religion, was so intrigued by this tale from classical mythology that he spent more than a quarter-century investigating its genesis. His 1890 study of the cults, rites, and myths of antiquity, The Golden Bough, offers a monumental exploration of these customs and their parallels with early Christianity. A pioneer of social anthropology, Frazer's definitions of such terms as "magic," "religion," and "science" proved highly useful to his successors in the field, and his explications of the ancient legends profoundly influenced generations of prominent psychologists, writers, and poets. This abridgment of his multivolume magnum opus omits footnotes and occasionally condenses text; nevertheless, as the author himself observed, all of the ori
ginal work's main principles remain intact, along with ample illustrative examples.

First published in 1890, The Golden Bough is a classic study of the beliefs and institutions of mankind that traces the development and confluence of thought from magic and ritual to modern scientific theory. This edition restores many of the controversial passages expurgated in the 1922 edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486424927
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 12/6/2002
  • Series: Dover Value Editions Series
  • Edition description: ABR
  • Pages: 768
  • Sales rank: 271,033
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction
Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of Sir James George Frazer
Bk. I The King of the Wood
1 The King of the Wood 9
2 Priestly Kings 22
3 Magic and Religion 26
4 Human Gods 60
5 Departmental Kings of Nature 77
6 The Worship of Trees 82
7 The Sacred Marriage 98
8 The Kings of Rome 114
9 The Succession to the Kingdom 122
10 The Burden of Royalty 134
11 The Perils of the Soul 153
12 Taboos 166
Bk. II Killing the God
1 The Mortality of the Gods 223
2 The Killing of the Divine King 228
3 Temporary Kings 254
4 Sacrifice of the King's Son 261
5 The Killing of the Tree-Spirit 273
6 Adonis 300
7 Sacred Prostitution 320
8 The Ritual of Adonis 331
9 Attis 346
10 The Hanged God 353
11 Osiris 366
12 Feasts of All Souls 375
13 Isis 387
14 Mother-kin and Mother Goddesses 390
15 Dionysus 396
16 Demeter and Persephone 405
17 Woman's Part in Primitive Agriculture 411
18 The Corn-Mother and Corn-Maiden 417
19 Lityerses 435
20 The Corn-Spirit as an Animal 455
21 Eating the God 498
22 The Flesh Diet 511
23 Killing the Divine Animal 521
Bk. III The Scapegoat
1 The Transference of Evil 557
2 Ancient Scapegoats 591
3 Killing the God in Mexico 607
4 The Saturnalia 630
5 The Crucifixion of Christ 666
Bk. IV The Golden Bough
1 Between Heaven and Earth 679
2 The Seclusion of Girls 686
3 Balder's Fires 706
4 The External Soul 750
5 Death and Resurrection 785
6 The Golden Bough 794
Explanatory Notes 809
Index 843
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