- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: May 2013
- Print publication year: 2012
- Online ISBN: 9781139207683
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139207683
This work by Sir James Frazer (1854–1941) is widely considered to be one of the most important early texts in the fields of psychology and anthropology. At the same time, by applying modern methods of comparative ethnography to the classical world, and revealing the superstition and irrationality beneath the surface of classical culture, and also by examining Christianity using the same techniques, it was extremely controversial. Frazer was greatly influenced by E. B. Tylor's Primitive Culture (also reissued in this series), and by the work of the biblical scholar William Robertson Smith, to whom the first edition is dedicated. That edition, reissued here, was published in two volumes in 1890; the third edition, greatly enlarged to twelve volumes, and published between 1911 and 1915, is also available in this series. Volume 2 pursues the motif of human sacrifice through the mythology and practices of other cultures.