The Golden Bough (Third Edition, Vol. 7 of 12) - The Original Classic Editionby James George Frazer
This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by James George Frazer, which is now, at last, again
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This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by James George Frazer, which is now, at last, again available to you.
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In front of them was carried a casket supposed to contain the sacred heart of Dionysus, and to the wild music of flutes and cymbals they mimicked the rattles by which the infant god had been lured to his doom.62 Where the resurrection formed part of the myth, it also was acted at the rites,63 and it even appears that a general doctrine of resurrection, or at least of immortality, was inculcated on the worshippers; for Plutarch, writing to console his wife on the death of their infant daughter, comforts her with the thought of the immortality of the soul as taught by tradition and revealed in the mysteries of Dionysus.64 A different form of the myth of the death and resurrection of Dionysus is that he descended into Hades to bring up his mother Semele from the dead.65 The local Argive tradition was that he went down through the Alcyonian lake; and his return from the lower world, in other words his resurrection, was annually celebrated on the spot by the Argives, who summoned him from the water by trumpet blasts, while they threw a lamb into the lake as an offering to the warder of the dead.66 Whether this was a spring festival does not appear, but the Lydians certainly celebrated the advent of Dionysus in spring; the god was supposed to bring the season with him.67 Deities of vegetation, who are pg 016 supposed to pass a certain portion of each year under ground, naturally come to be regarded as gods of the lower world or of the dead.
...79 The Bacchanals of Thrace wore horns in imitation of their god.80 According to the myth, it was in the shape of a bull that he was torn to pieces by the Titans;81 and the Cretans, when they acted the sufferings and death of Dionysus, tore a live bull to pieces with their teeth.82 Indeed, the rending and devouring of live bulls and calves appear to have been a regular feature of the Dionysiac rites.83 When we consider the practice of portraying the god as a bull or with some of the features of the animal, the belief that he appeared in bull form to his worshippers at the sacred rites, and the legend that in bull form he had been torn in pieces, we cannot doubt that in rending and devouring a live bull at his festival the worshippers of Dionysus believed themselves to be killing the god, eating his flesh, and drinking his blood.
About James George Frazer, the Author:
When the worm arrived and said that they should dig up the corpse, place it in a tree, and throw mush at it, they were too lazy to do this, and so death remained on Earth.
...^ 'For those who see Frazer's work as the start of anthropological study in its modern sense, the site and the cult of Nemi must hold a particular place: This colourful but minor backwater of Roman religion marks the source of the discipline of Social Anthropology', remarks Mary Beard, in noting the critical reassessment of Frazer's work following Edmund Leach, 'Frazer, Leach, and Virgil: The Popularity (and Unpopularity) of the Golden Bough,' Comparative Studies in Society and History, 34.2 (April 1992:203-224), p.
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