The Golden Bough
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The Golden Bough
By James George Frazer
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Book Description

The notion of a man-god, or of a human being endowed with divine or supernatural powers, belongs essentially to that earlier period of religious history in which gods and men are still viewed as beings of much the same order, and before they are divided by the impassable gulf which, to later thought, opens out between them. Strange, therefore, as may seem to us the idea of a god incarnate in human form, it has nothing very startling for early man, who sees in a man-god or a god-man only a higher degree of the same supernatural powers which he arrogates in perfect good faith to himself. -from "Chapter VII: Incarnate Human Gods" In 1890, James George Frazer began publishing The Golden Bough, his monumental study of myth, ritual, and religion, which would, by 1936, run to 13 volumes and establish him as a pioneer in the study of religion as an aspect of culture. This abridged edition, assembled in 1922, condenses this fundamental work to one readable volume that is still a source for modern anthropology, thanks to its expansive discussions ancient cultish practices and their connections to the rites of modern Christianity. In eloquent prose, Frazer discusses legends of the woods, sympathetic magic, magicians as kings, the worship of trees, the concept of the sacred marriage, the links between priestly and royal power, ritual royal sacrifices, the concept of "eating the god," the myths of Osiris, Adonis, Isis, and other ancient deities, and much more. Lovers of mythology will be enraptured by this book, which draws all of human belief under one unifying umbrella, celebrating myth and ritual as part of the basis of all human culture. Scottish anthropologist SIR JAMES GEORGE FRAZER (1854-1941) also wrote Man, God, and Immortality (1927) and Creation and Evolution in Primitive Cosmogonies (1935).

Table of Contents
  • The Golden Bough : a study of magic and religion
  • by
  • Sir James George Frazer
    • CONTENTS
      • Preface
      • Subject Index
      • Chapter 1. The King of the Wood
      • Chapter 2. Priestly Kings
      • Chapter 3. Sympathetic Magic
      • Chapter 4. Magic and Religion
      • Chapter 5. The Magical Control of the Weather
      • Chapter 6. Magicians as Kings
      • Chapter 7. Incarnate Human Gods
      • Chapter 8. Departmental Kings of Nature
      • Chapter 9. The Worship of Trees
      • Chapter 10. Relics of Tree Worship in Modern Europe
      • Chapter 11. The Influence of the Sexes on Vegetation
      • Chapter 12. The Sacred Marriage
      • Chapter 13. The Kings of Rome and Alba
      • Chapter 14. Succession to the Kingdom in Ancient Latium
      • Chapter 15. The Worship of the Oak
      • Chapter 16. Dianus and Diana
      • Chapter 17. The Burden of Royalty
      • Chapter 18. The Perils of the Soul
      • Chapter 19. Tabooed Acts
      • Chapter 20. Tabooed Persons
      • Chapter 21. Tabooed Things
      • Chapter 22. Tabooed Words
      • Chapter 23. Our Debt to the Savage
      • Chapter 24. The Killing of the Divine King
      • Chapter 25. Temporary Kings
      • Chapter 26. Sacrifice of the King's Son
      • Chapter 27. Succession to the Soul
      • Chapter 28. The Killing of the Tree-Spirit
      • Chapter 29. The Myth of Adonis
      • Chapter 30. Adonis in Syria
      • Chapter 31. Adonis in Cyprus
      • Chapter 32. The Ritual of Adonis
      • Chapter 33. The Gardens of Adonis
      • Chapter 34. The Myth and Ritual of Attis
      • Chapter 35. Attis as a God of Vegetation
      • Chapter 36. Human Representatives of Attis
      • Chapter 37. Oriental Religions in the West
      • Chapter 38. The Myth of Osiris
      • Chapter 39. The Ritual of Osiris
      • Chapter 40. The Nature of Osiris
      • Chapter 41. Isis
      • Chapter 42. Osiris and the Sun
      • Chapter 43. Dionysus
      • Chapter 44. Demeter and Persephone
      • Chapter 45. Corn-Mother and Corn-Maiden in N. Europe
      • Chapter 46. Corn-Mother in Many Lands
      • Chapter 47. Lityerses
      • Chapter 48. The Corn-Spirit as an Animal
      • Chapter 49. Ancient Deities of Vegetation as Animals
      • Chapter 50. Eating the God
      • Chapter 51. Homeopathic Magic of a Flesh Diet
      • Chapter 52. Killing the Divine Animal
      • Chapter 53. The Propitiation of Wild Animals By Hunters
      • Chapter 54. Types of Animal Sacrament
      • Chapter 55. The Transference of Evil
      • Chapter 56. The Public Expulsion of Evils
      • Chapter 57. Public Scapegoats
      • Chapter 58. Human Scapegoats in Classical Antiquity
      • Chapter 59. Killing the God in Mexico
      • Chapter 60. Between Heaven and Earth
      • Chapter 61. The Myth of Balder
      • Chapter 62. The Fire-Festivals of Europe
      • Chapter 63. The Interpretation of the Fire-Festivals
      • Chapter 64. The Burning of Human Beings in the Fires
      • Chapter 65. Balder and the Mistletoe
      • Chapter 66. The External Soul in Folk-Tales
      • Chapter 67. The External Soul in Folk-Custom
      • Chapter 68. The Golden Bough
      • Chapter 69. Farewell to Nemi
    • Preface
    • I. The King of the Wood
      • 1. Diana and Virbius
      • 2. Artemis and Hippolytus
      • 3. Recapitulation
    • II. Priestly Kings
    • III. Sympathetic Magic
      • 1. The Principles of Magic
      • 2. Homoeopathic or Imitative Magic
      • 3. Contagious Magic
      • 4. The Magician’s Progress
    • IV. Magic and Religion
    • V. The Magical Control of the Weather
      • 1. The Public Magician
      • 2. The Magical Control of Rain
      • 3. The Magical Control of the Sun
      • 4. The Magical Control of the Wind
    • VI. Magicians as Kings
    • VII. Incarnate Human Gods
    • VIII. Departmental Kings of Nature
    • IX. The Worship of Trees
      • 1. Tree-spirits
      • 2. Beneficent Powers of Tree-Spirits
    • X. Relics of Tree Worship in Modern Europe
    • XI. The Influence of the Sexes on Vegetation
    • XII. The Sacred Marriage
      • 1. Diana as a Goddess of Fertility
      • 2. The Marriage of the Gods
    • XIII. The Kings of Rome and Alba
      • 1. Numa and Egeria
      • 2. The King as Jupiter
    • XIV. The Succession to the Kingdom in Ancient Latium
    • XV. The Worship of the Oak
    • XVI. Dianus and Diana
    • XVII. The Burden of Royalty
      • 1. Royal and Priestly Taboos
      • 2. Divorce of the Spiritual from the Temporal Power
    • XVIII. The Perils of the Soul
      • 1. The Soul as a Mannikin
      • 2. Absence and Recall of the Soul
      • 3. The Soul as a Shadow and a Reflection
    • XIX. Tabooed Acts
      • 1. Taboos on Intercourse with Strangers
      • 2. Taboos on Eating and Drinking
      • 3. Taboos on Showing the Face
      • 4. Taboos on Quitting the House
      • 5. Taboos on Leaving Food over
    • XX. Tabooed Persons
      • 1. Chiefs and Kings tabooed
      • 2. Mourners tabooed
      • 3. Women tabooed at Menstruation and Childbirth
      • 4. Warriors tabooed
      • 5. Manslayers tabooed
      • 6. Hunters and Fishers tabooed
    • XXI. Tabooed Things
      • 1. The Meaning of Taboo
      • 2. Iron tabooed
      • 3. Sharp Weapons tabooed
      • 4. Blood tabooed
      • 5. The Head tabooed
      • 6. Hair tabooed
      • 7. Ceremonies at Hair-cutting
      • 8. Disposal of Cut Hair and Nails
      • 9. Spittle tabooed
      • 10. Foods tabooed
      • 11. Knots and Rings tabooed
    • XXII. Tabooed Words
      • 1. Personal Names tabooed
      • 2. Names of Relations tabooed
      • 3. Names of the Dead tabooed
      • 4. Names of Kings and other Sacred Persons tabooed
      • 5. Names of Gods tabooed
    • XXIII. Our Debt to the Savage
    • XXIV. The Killing of the Divine King
      • 1. The Mortality of the Gods
      • 2. Kings killed when their Strength fails
      • 3. Kings killed at the End of a Fixed Term
    • XXV. Temporary Kings
    • XXVI. Sacrifice of the King’s Son
    • XXVII. Succession to the Soul
    • XXVIII. The Killing of the Tree-Spirit
      • 1. The Whitsuntide Mummers
      • 2. Burying the Carnival
      • 3. Carrying out Death
      • 4. Bringing in Summer
      • 5. Battle of Summer and Winter
      • 6. Death and Resurrection of Kostrubonko
      • 7. Death and Revival of Vegetation
      • 8. Analogous Rites in India
      • 9. The Magic Spring
    • XXIX. The Myth of Adonis
    • XXX. Adonis in Syria
    • XXXI. Adonis in Cyprus
    • XXXII. The Ritual of Adonis
    • XXXIII. The Gardens of Adonis
    • XXXIV. The Myth and Ritual of Attis
    • XXXV. Attis as a God of Vegetation
    • XXXVI. Human Representatives of Attis
    • XXXVII. Oriental Religions in the West
    • XXXVIII. The Myth of Osiris
    • XXXIX. The Ritual of Osiris
      • 1. The Popular Rites
      • 2. The Official Rites
    • XL. The Nature of Osiris
      • 1. Osiris a Corn-god
      • 2. Osiris a Tree-spirit
      • 3. Osiris a God of Fertility
      • 4. Osiris a God of the Dead
    • XLI. Isis
    • XLII. Osiris and the Sun
    • XLIII. Dionysus
    • XLIV. Demeter and Persephone
    • XLV. The Corn-Mother and the Corn-Maiden in Northern Europe
    • XLVI. The Corn-Mother in Many Lands
      • 1. The Corn-mother in America
      • 2. The Rice-mother in the East Indies
      • 3. The Spirit of the Corn embodied in Human Beings
      • 4. The Double Personification of the Corn as Mother and Daughter
    • XLVII. Lityerses
      • 1. Songs of the Corn Reapers
      • 2. Killing the Corn-spirit
      • 3. Human Sacrifices for the Crops
      • 4. The Corn-spirit slain in his Human Representatives
    • XLVIII. The Corn-Spirit as an Animal
      • 1. Animal Embodiments of the Corn-spirit
      • 2. The Corn-spirit as a Wolf or a Dog
      • 3. The Corn-spirit as a Cock
      • 4. The Corn-spirit as a Hare
      • 5. The Corn-spirit as a Cat
      • 6. The Corn-spirit as a Goat
      • 7. The Corn-spirit as a Bull, Cow, or Ox
      • 8. The Corn-spirit as a Horse or Mare
      • 9. The Corn-spirit as a Pig (Boar or Sow)
      • 10. On the Animal Embodiments of the Corn-spirit
    • XLIX. Ancient Deities of Vegetation as Animals
      • 1. Dionysus, the Goat and the Bull
      • 2. Demeter, the Pig and the Horse
      • 3. Attis, Adonis, and the Pig
      • 4. Osiris, the Pig and the Bull
      • 5. Virbius and the Horse
    • L. Eating the God
      • 1. The Sacrament of First-Fruits
      • 2. Eating the God among the Aztecs
      • 3. Many Manii at Aricia
    • LI. Homeopathic Magic of a Flesh Diet
    • LII. Killing the Divine Animal
      • 1. Killing the Sacred Buzzard
      • 2. Killing the Sacred Ram
      • 3. Killing the Sacred Serpent
      • 4. Killing the Sacred Turtles
      • 5. Killing the Sacred Bear
    • LIII. The Propitiation of Wild Animals By Hunters
    • LIV. Types of Animal Sacrament
      • 1. The Egyptian and the Aino Types of Sacrament
      • 2. Processions with Sacred Animals
    • LV. The Transference of Evil
      • 1. The Transference to Inanimate Objects
      • 2. The Transference to Animals
      • 3. The Transference to Men
      • 4. The Transference of Evil in Europe
    • LVI. The Public Expulsion of Evils
      • 1. The Omnipresence of Demons
      • 2. The Occasional Expulsion of Evils
      • 3. The Periodic Expulsion of Evils
    • LVII. Public Scapegoats
      • 1. The Expulsion of Embodied Evils
      • 2. The Occasional Expulsion of Evils in a Material Vehicle
      • 3. The Periodic Expulsion of Evils in a Material Vehicle
      • 4. On Scapegoats in General
    • LVIII. Human Scapegoats in Classical Antiquity
      • 1. The Human Scapegoat in Ancient Rome
      • 2. The Human Scapegoat in Ancient Greece
      • 3. The Roman Saturnalia
    • LIX. Killing the God in Mexico
    • LX. Between Heaven and Earth
      • 1. Not to touch the Earth
      • 2. Not to see the Sun
      • 3. The Seclusion of Girls at Puberty
      • 4. Reasons for the Seclusion of Girls at Puberty
    • LXI. The Myth of Balder
    • LXII. The Fire-Festivals of Europe
      • 1. The Fire-festivals in general
      • 2. The Lenten Fires
      • 3. The Easter Fires
      • 4. The Beltane Fires
      • 5. The Midsummer Fires
      • 6. The Hallowe’en Fires
      • 7. The Midwinter Fires
      • 8. The Need-fire
    • LXIII. The Interpretation of the Fire-Festivals
      • 1. On the Fire-festivals in general
      • 2. The Solar Theory of the Fire-festivals
      • 3. The Purificatory Theory of the Fire-festivals
    • LXIV. The Burning of Human Beings in the Fires
      • 1. The Burning of Effigies in the Fires
      • 2. The Burning of Men and Animals in the Fires
    • LXV. Balder and the Mistletoe
    • LXVI. The External Soul in Folk-Tales
    • LXVII. The External Soul in Folk-Custom
      • 1. The External Soul in Inanimate Things
      • 2. The External Soul in Plants
      • 3. The External Soul in Animals
      • 4. The Ritual of Death and Resurrection
    • LXVIII. The Golden Bough
    • LXIX. Farewell to Nemi
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