Everything you need to understand or teach The Golden Bough by James Frazer.
The entire line of inquiry of The Golden Bough is developed from one particular ritualistic practice that Frazer describes in the book's early pages. In Italy, he explains, there is a wooded area on the shore of Lake Nemi, which is dedicated to the memory of the Roman goddess Diana. By tradition, each priest of Diana who guards the forest, known as the King of the Wood, gained his position by murdering the priest who held the position before him. Tradition held that the King of the Wood must be killed by an escaped slave who would beat the king to death with a golden bough taken from a tree that grew in the grove. Frazer was curious about several elements in this tradition. He wondered why the priest is referred to as a king, a practice he learned was fairly common. Next, he wondered about the probability that the... View more of the The Golden Bough Summary