The Golden Bough A study of magic and religion

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Chapter 6. Magicians as Kings

Chapter 7. Incarnate Human Gods

Chapter 8. Departmental Kings of Nature

Chapter 9. The Worship of Trees

1. Tree-spirits
2. Beneficent Powers of Tree-Spirits

Chapter 10. Relics of Tree Worship in Modern Europe

Chapter 11. The Influence of the Sexes on Vegetation

Chapter 12. The Sacred Marriage

1. Diana as a Goddess of Fertility
2. The Marriage of the Gods

Chapter 13. The Kings of Rome and Alba

1. Numa and Egeria
2. The King as Jupiter

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

1. Royal and Priestly Taboos
2. Divorce of the Spiritual from the Temporal Power

Chapter 18. 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

Chapter 19. 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

Chapter 20. 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

Chapter 21. 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

Chapter 22. 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

Chapter 23. Our Debt to the Savage

Chapter 24. 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

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

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

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

1. The Popular Rites
2. The Official Rites

Chapter 40. 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

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

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

Chapter 47. 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

Chapter 48. 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

Chapter 49. 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

Chapter 50. Eating the God

1. The Sacrament of First-Fruits
2. Eating the God among the Aztecs
3. Many Manii at Aricia

Chapter 51. Homeopathic Magic of a Flesh Diet

Chapter 52. 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

Chapter 53. The Propitiation of Wild Animals By Hunters

Chapter 54. Types of Animal Sacrament

1. The Egyptian and the Aino Types of Sacrament
2. Processions with Sacred Animals

Chapter 55. 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

Chapter 56. The Public Expulsion of Evils

1. The Omnipresence of Demons
2. The Occasional Expulsion of Evils
3. The Periodic Expulsion of Evils

Chapter 57. 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

Chapter 58. Human Scapegoats in Classical Antiquity

1. The Human Scapegoat in Ancient Rome
2. The Human Scapegoat in Ancient Greece
3. The Roman Saturnalia

Chapter 59. Killing the God in Mexico

Chapter 60. 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

Chapter 61. The Myth of Balder

Chapter 62. 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

Chapter 63. 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

Chapter 64. 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

Chapter 65. Balder and the Mistletoe

Chapter 66. The External Soul in Folk-Tales

Chapter 67. 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

Chapter 68. The Golden Bough

Chapter 69. Farewell to Nemi


THE PRIMARY aim of this book is to explain the remarkable rule which regulated the succession to the priesthood of Diana at Aricia. When I first set myself to solve the problem more than thirty years ago, I thought that the solution could be propounded very briefly, but I soon found that to render it probable or even intelligible it was necessary to discuss certain more general questions, some of which had hardly been broached before. In successive editions the discussion of these and kindred topics has occupied more and more space, the enquiry has branched out in more and more directions, until the two volumes of the original work have expanded into twelve. Meantime a wish has often been expressed that the book should be issued in a more compendious form. This abridgment is an attempt to meet the wish and thereby to bring the work within the range of a wider circle of readers. While the bulk of the book has been greatly reduced, I have endeavoured to retain its leading principles, together with an amount of evidence sufficient to illustrate them clearly. The language of the original has also for the most part been preserved, though here and there the exposition has been somewhat condensed. In order to keep as much of the text as possible I have sacrificed all the notes, and with them all exact references to my authorities. Readers who desire to ascertain the source of any particular statement must therefore consult the larger work, which is fully documented and provided with a complete bibliography.

In the abridgment I have neither added new matter nor altered the views expressed in the last edition; for the evidence which has come to my knowledge in the meantime has on the whole served either to confirm my former conclusions or to furnish fresh illustrations of old principles. Thus, for example, on the crucial question of the practice of putting kings to death either at the end of a fixed period or whenever their health and strength began to fail, the body of evidence which points to the wide prevalence of such a custom has been considerably augmented in the interval. A striking instance of a limited monarchy of this sort is furnished by the powerful mediaeval kingdom of the Khazars in Southern Russia, where the kings were liable to be put to death either on the expiry of a set term or whenever some public calamity, such as drought, dearth, or defeat in war, seemed to indicate a failure of their natural powers. The evidence for the systematic killing of the Khazar kings, drawn from the accounts of old Arab travellers, has been collected by me elsewhere.[1] Africa, again, has supplied several fresh examples of a similar practice of regicide. Among them the most notable perhaps is the custom formerly observed in Bunyoro of choosing every year from a particular clan a mock king, who was supposed to incarnate the late king, cohabited with his widows at his temple-tomb, and after reigning for a week was strangled.[2] The custom presents a close parallel to the ancient Babylonian festival of the Sacaea, at which a mock king was dressed in the royal robes, allowed to enjoy the real king’s concubines, and after reigning for five days was stripped, scourged, and put to death. That festival in its turn has lately received fresh light from certain Assyrian inscriptions,[3] which seem to confirm the interpretation which I formerly gave of the festival as a New Year celebration and the parent of the Jewish festival of Purim.[4] Other recently discovered parallels to the priestly kings of Aricia are African priests and kings who used to be put to death at the end of seven or of two years, after being liable in the interval to be attacked and killed by a strong man, who thereupon succeeded to the priesthood or the kingdom.[5]