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A world classic The Golden Bough describes our ancestors' primitive methods of worship sex practices strange rituals and festivals Disproving the popular thought that primitive life was simple this monumental survey shows that savage man was enmeshed in a tangle of magic taboos and superstitions Revealed here is the evolution of man from savagery to civilization from the modification of his weird and often bloodthirsty customs to the entry of lasting moral ethical and spiritual values

10 thoughts on “The Golden Bough

  1. says:

    I read an abridged version of this some years ago that I picked up in a bookshop for a pound the output of a cheap publisher It was a slow and awkward read possibly because of the abridgement but the original was long and appeared in numerous editions each of which tended to get elaborate during Frazer's lifetimeThe opening echoes Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire the British scholar in Italy looks over the landscape and allows a vision of the past the product of their classical learning to sweep over them In Frazer's case though this was not a vision of the City of Rome but of the myth of the King of the Grove at Nemi The practise at Nemi was that there was a priest of the Goddess Diana who became priest by killing the current occupant of the office in single combat and who would then be the priest until they in turn were killed by a younger stronger applicant for the role The priest was generally maybe eventually always an escaped slave at least by the time that that the Classical writers were mentioning the practise a few years however brief as Priest of Diana were better than a long life of slaveryFrazer felt that the central idea of the cycle of eternal renewal was the foundational idea of religious and magical thinking manifesting itself from the most 'savage' culture to Christianity The Christian connection was soft pedalled since one couldn't print that kind of thing in Victorian Britain but by implication Christ's death and resurrection was simply in his view just one repetition of the death and rebirth of the natural world the symbolic or actual death of a ritual figure magically reuired to ensure the rebirth of seed crops every yearThis Frazer set out to demonstrate by stock piling examples of this kind of myth from rural European corn kings and nineteenth century harvest songs to the cult celebration of the death of Adonis as well as everything in between In this way it still functions as a convenient treasure trove of myths stories and beliefs irrespective of the validity of his thesis Having said that the choice and arrangement of his material is determined by his goalsWhat I found most interesting was the snippets from the disappearing culture of the Victorian British countryside Machines are all well and good but they don't sing songs or trade their savings to buy the horseman's word off a stranger in an ale house view spoiler the horseman's word was a word command or maybe a spell that if you knew it would allow you absolute magical control over horses a useful thing to know in a horse powered countryside view spoiler anyhow handing over a few guineas for the horseman's word makes a change from selling your wife to a sailor for a few mugs of booze at a summer fair in the style of The Mayor of Casterbridge hide spoiler

  2. says:

    The Golden Bough A Study in Comparative Religion The Golden Bough A Study in Religion and Magic James George FrazerThe Golden Bough was first published in two volumes in 1890; in three volumes in 1900; and in twelve volumes in the third edition published 1906–15 It has also been published in several different one volume abridgments The work was aimed at a wide literate audience raised on tales as told in such publications as Thomas Bulfinch's The Age of Fable or Stories of Gods and Heroes 1855 The influence of The Golden Bough on contemporary European literature and thought was substantialتاریخ نخستین خوانش روز دوازدهم ماه ژوئن سال 2005 میلادیعنوان شاخه زرین پژوهشی در جادو و دین؛ نویسنده جیمز جورج فریزر؛ مترجم کاظم فیروزمند، تهران، آگاه، چاپ نخست 1383، چاپ دوم 1384، در 861ص؛ شابک 9644162196؛ چاپ سوم و چهارم 1386؛ چاپ پنجم 1387، چاپ ششم 1388؛ چاپ هفتم 1392؛ چاپ هشتم 1394، چاپ نهم و دهم 1396، چاپ یازدهم 1397؛ عنوان شاخه زرین؛ نویسنده جیمز جورج فریزر؛ مترجم مسعود خیرخواه، تهران، نشر علم، 1388، در 1100ص؛ شابک 9789642240142؛ موضوع اسطوره شناسی از نویسندگان بریتانیایی سده 19مپژوهش تطبیقی و همسنجی «شاخهٔ زرین»، عنوان یکی از برجسته‌ ترین آثار «جیمز فریزر» است، که دارای شهرت جهانگیرست؛ پژوهشی با رویکردی اجتماعی، با تکیه بر دو محور «اسطوره» و «دین» است؛کتاب به پژوهش در مبانی «خرافه‌ پرستی»، «ادیان ابتدایی»، «باورها»، و «مناسک مردمان اولیه» می‌پردازد، و بر آنست تا این ادعا را ثابت کند، که سیر اندیشه ی انسان‌ها، برای توجیه رخدادهای زندگی، و طبیعت پیرامون‌شان، و نیز برای گره‌گشایی، یا گریز از پیچیدگی‌های زندگی حیات ست، و اینکه چگونه نخست به جادو، و خرافه‌ ها روی آوردند، و پس از آن به دین گرویدند، و سرانجام از دین به علم متمایل گشتندایشان در این کتاب، به دنبال یافتن وجه مشترک «ادیان»، و اساطیر مردمان جهان بوده اند؛ عنوان «شاخه ی زرین»، برگرفته از تابلویی، با همین نام، از «ویلیام ترنر 1775میلادی 1851میلادی» نقاش نامدار بریتانیایی است، و در واقع اشاره به درختی مقدس دارد، که شکننده ی شاخه‌ ای از آن، می‌توانست برای تصاحب منصب «کهانتِ معبد دایانا» در ایتالیا، با کاهن پیشین معبد، مبارزه کند؛ کتاب «شاخه ی زرین» در نخستین چاپ، در سال 1890میلادی، در دو جلد منتشر شد؛ در ویرایش دوم در سال 1900میلادی، به سه جلد رسید، و در ویرایش سوم که به شکلی تفصیلی بین سال‌های 1906میلادی تا سال 1915میلادی، به‌ وسیله ی نگارنده انجام شد، با افزودن شواهد و نمونه‌ های بسیار، شمار مجلدات کتاب به دوازده جلد رسید؛نویسنده ی کتاب «جیمز فریزر»، در سال‌های پایانی عمر خویش نیز، پیوستی به کتاب افزودند، که شمار مجلدات کتاب را، به عدد سیزده مجلد رساند؛ در سال 1990میلادی، خلاصه‌ ای از کتاب «شاخه ی زرین»، با مقدمه، ویرایش، و گزینش دقیق «رابرت فریزر نوه ی نویسنده»، در یک جلد منتشر شد؛ همین کتاب یکجلدی را، جناب «کاظم فیروزمند»، به واژه های پارسایی ترجمه کردند، تا پس از گذشت یکصد و چهارده سال از نخستین چاپ اثر، نخستین برگردان «شاخه ی زرین» به زبان پارسایی باشد؛ «شاخهٔ زرین»، اثری ارزشمند، و پژوهشی ست، که ستایش‌ها و نکوهش‌های بسیاری را در پی داشته، اما در کل، سودبخشی ژرف این کتاب بر نویسندگان و پژوهشگران پس از ایشان در این حوزه را هزگزی نمی‌توان نادیده انگاشتتاریخ بهنگام رسانی 1903199هجری خورشید؛ ا شربیانی

  3. says:

    Influential without bound and ere breaking of ground this is undeniably a major modern classic that reshaped its entire field Of course most of Frazier's theses have been broadly discredited but it's not like you're studying comparative mythology to build bridges with it although it's been proposed that unsold copies of Joseph Campbell shredded to a fine mist would provide high uality industrial weathering and cheap insulation suitable for the Third WorldThat having been said this book is incredibly fucking long Longer than you think and then twice as long again It was truly an ordeal to complete if you've not the copious free time of an American high school student you're probably better off scanning Harry Potter for the hidden Golden Dawn fertility rite references and mumbling lies when this book comes up at partiesPractice with papa dankmumble mumble mumble mumble Year Kingmumble mumble mumble mumble Religious Evolutionmumble mumble mumble I'm going to open a stinking apostrophe factory with Robert Burns whenever I get back to bonnie Scotland

  4. says:

    AcknowledgementsIntroductionNote on the TextSelect BibliographyA Chronology of Sir James George Frazer The Golden Bough A Study in Magic and Religion Abridged Explanatory NotesIndex

  5. says:

    Discovering The Golden Bough and then Graves' The White Goddess which owes a critically huge debt to the Golden Bough was a life changing time for me that recast the stories I had vacuumed up at that age from Greek myths to Kipling as about something than their contents or even the authors intent It was first published over 100 years ago; still nothing can get a boy into that modernist meta meta meta perspective on society like The Golden Bough Of course it's only fair that we turn the lens on Frazer and see much of the value of the book now as arising from what it can tell us about its own time and place In that sense it's worth reading just to understand Wittgenstein's references to it But man when I was a kid this book was like a drug All of humanity it seemed to say even the irrational parts especially the irrational parts was understandable and improvable if you just studied it properly Ah Victorian optimism

  6. says:

    This is such an important work If you take it from the perspective of what it is an anthology of rituals and belief systems found in religious and non religious cultures across the globe As some other readers have pointed out it is not linear it is also not well coordinated in way of connecting points and makinglaying out statements about those points But what it is absolutely superb and unbeatable in is its exhaustive amount of information I did read the full version and the sheer amount of stories and references and ideas that are brought about in this book is so mind blowing The thing that makes it so worth reading is just how different this information is from what is generally given in this category He really just hammers out example after example from so many different cultures with so many different ideas that you can't help but make connections in your own mind even if the author does not do it explicitly for you Its fascinating information and better yet it stories that you absolutely don't find elsewhere in this sort of study and that is rare The stories about women even during start of menstruation are completely un expected and yet so vastly interesting Women being shut up in cages without even sunlight women being hidden away in huts and buried under the sand Its so bizarre and yet so well referenced that you can help but be interested Usually with books on myths and magic they circumnavigate the same popular tales and same popular belief systems Frazer takes a bit of a different approach He looks at older cultures he looks at cultures like the aboriginal tribes in Australia and islandsecluded sectors for his research He lets you draw the parallels mostly yourself If you are looking to be spoon fed ideas this may not be for you He really just gives it all to you and lets you at it yourself I also don't know if I was satisfied with the wrap up section and his ending of the work BUT once again for the absolute thrill of enjoying new and interesting information he gets five stars from me

  7. says:

    This is not a review of the classic Golden Bough This is a review of several hardback and soft back editions available to the collector which are complimentary to each other's content and pagination The purchaser may wish to take care in selecting which edition of the Golden Bough they consider for purchase Several hardbound editions existThe most common edition is the 2 volume abridged 4th editionthis is the edition supervised by Graves widow; it is woefully incomplete It seems Mrs Graves was bothered by the Judeo Christian references as myth and reedited the 13 volume set to the boneBut still it is to the 3rd Edition that most collectors will want to turn The 3rd edition has twelve volumes and a 1 volume afterward which when assembled look rather like a set of encyclopedias There have been twelve reliable and inter changable printings from 1911 to 1990 which may allow the collector the opportunity to assemble a complete set of mis matching volumes as I have done spending less than 240 to assemble the entire series or averaging less than 2000 a volume The original publishers to look for are MacMillan Co and St Martin's Press One cannot vouch for the print accuracy of the plethora of On Demand editions I avoid them after a couple bad experiences with other titles too many transcription errorsThe numbering on these volumes is sometimes confusing The on line seller's lists at ALibris and ABE books always get them wrong so you may want to do a general search for Frazer Golden Bough Part and compare the listing to the contents below as printed on the dust jacket back of the 1990 editionThe 13 books are divided into 9 partsPart I Vols 1 2 The Magic Art and the Evolution of KingsPart II Taboo and The Perils of the SoulPart III The Dying GodPart IV Adonis Attis Osiris Vols 1 2Part V Spirits of the Corn and of the Wild Vols 12Part VI The ScapegoatPart VII Balder the Beautiful The Fire Festivals of Europe andThe Doctrine of the External SoulPart VIII Bibliography and General IndexPart IX Aftermath A Supplement to The Golden BoughWith a little preserverance you can assemble a set within a few months These books ought to be reuired reading to any student of religion history sociology and occult sciences

  8. says:

    I read this like many people because I know how influential it was I studied English in college and this book always kept cropping up So I thought to myself maybe if I read this I'll have a greater understanding of Modernist writers RightHow to describe this? 850 pages of poorly argued drivel The only part worth reading is the section on sympathetic magic That part at least actually seems to be going somewhere and actually makes sense It's an interesting and intelligent way of thinking about rituals throughout the world and throughout the centuries This study however soon dissolves into an endless list of examples that are both mind numbing and unnecessary Any semblance of an argument or point soon becomes lost in the pages and pages of almost useless descriptions of every single ritual Frazer has ever read about I can't believe that there is a 12 volume version of this floating around somewhere I would rather gouge my eyes out with spoonsThere are two main problems with the Golden Bough1 Frazer is a terrible writer who can't string together a coherent argument and utterly FAILS at trimming the fatand2 Frazer is full of shit He tries to relate things that have absolutely no relationship merely based on assuming that there is an obvious similarity between two completely unrelated rituals Every time I read the words It is safe to assume that or obviouslyclearly I wanted to punch this guy in the face It is safe to assume that he obviously is grasping at straws to formulate a thesis that is clearly full of holes About a couple hundred pages in I started skipping entire page long paragraphs of examples and skimming through the parts that were either extra ridiculous or extra extra boring I'm convinced that this is the only way to get through this thing So what have I learned by reading The Golden Bough? I have learned that not only were the modernist writers twisted masochists for reading this but that so am I Let's leave The Golden Bough in 1922 Where it belongs

  9. says:

    One simply cannot in my opinion understand anything about the history and origins of religion and of society for the primitive social unit the family is primarily a religious unit without a thorough mastery of this bookIn this context a study of de Fustel Coulanges is also essential

  10. says:

    The Golden Bough is no doubt an exercise in patience To be clear I have not finished this book and will not for many years This book takes time to digest and fully understand but once that time is taken to contemplate it literally everything that can be seen in the world opens up to the insights that are provided Expecting to read this book once without careful pause and effort is akin to attempting to understand the enlightenment of the ages in an afternoon I can see how many parts of The Golden Bough may come off as elitist or racist but really Frazer was simply expressing his personal preference for the ideas that shaped his own perspective and I think he is clear in recognizing this Considering that most people approaching spirituality are unable to see beyond their own loads of worldview even enough to attempt to understand another The Golden Bough is really a shining example of tolerance and understanding Again I have not read the entire work and there may be unforgivable racisms that I have yet to read Even so the positive impact of The Golden Bough on the world is undeniable