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... more...

LECTURE I INTRODUCTION Natural theology, and the three modes of handling it, the dogmatic, the philosophical, and the historical. The subject of these lectures is a branch of natural theology. By natural theology I understand that reasoned knowledge of a God or gods which man may be supposed, whether rightly or wrongly, capable of attaining to by the exercise of his natural faculties alone. Thus defined, the subject may be treated in at least... more...

CHAPTER I THE BELIEF IN IMMORTALITY AMONG THE MAORIS § 1. The Polynesians The Polynesians are the tall brown race of men who inhabit the widely scattered islands of the Pacific, from Hawaii on the north to New Zealand on the south, and from Tonga on the west to Easter Island on the east. Down to the eighteenth century they remained practically unknown to Europe; the first navigator to bring back comparatively full and accurate information... more...

CHAPTER I BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH § 1. Not to touch the Earth [The priest of Aricia and the Golden Bough] We have travelled far since we turned our backs on Nemi and set forth in quest of the secret of the Golden Bough. With the present volume we enter on the last stage of our long journey. The reader who has had the patience to follow the enquiry thus far may remember that at the outset two questions were proposed for answer: Why had... more...