The Golden Bough | Study Guide

James George Frazer

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about James George Frazer's The Golden Bough. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-golden-bough-james-george-frazerncient magic was the very foundation of religion.Frazer, Chapter 4Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Harvard University, Princeton University PressCopyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.Key TermsPersonificationRepresenting an idea, such as death, with human qualitiesArchetypeCharacter serving as a model for a type of person, like a healerAnimismBelief in spirits residing in nonliving things, such as fireHumans first put their faith in magic, then religion, and finally science.Magic, Religion & ScienceA benevolent deity died and was reborn so humankind and the land could flourish.The Dying & Reviving GodEarly humans revered nature because it was key to survival; nature spirits became gods.NatureThe Evolution of Human ThoughtMAIN IDEASThe Golden Bough traces the path of cultural evolution, beginning with the belief in magic, which evolved into religion and then gave way to scientific inquiry. Comparing customs from around the world sheds light on the mystery of the King of the Wood, who can only be replaced by someone killing him with the golden bough.Main CharactersKing of the WoodPriest of Diana at Lake Nemi, Italy; guards the sacred grove with his life as a Dying and Reviving God; can be overthrown by a challenger who breaks a piece of the Golden BoughDianaRoman goddess of the moon, the hunt, wild animals, women, and childbirth; worshipped as a fertility goddess; personified by a sacred tree guarded by the King of the WoodA celebrated Scottish scholar, Frazer spent most of his career as a professor at the University of Cambridge, where he produced many original works and translations from Latin and Greek. His major text, The Golden Bough, revolutionized cultural anthropology and influenced many major writers and thinkers.JAMES GEORGE FRAZER18541941AuthorEnglishOriginal Language1890Year PublishedJames George FrazerAuthorThe Golden BoughReligionNonfiction

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