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CHAPTER I OPENING THE DOOR Long before men awoke to the vision of America, the Old World was the scene of many stupendous migrations. One after another, the Goths, the Huns, the Saracens, the Turks, and the Tatars, by the sheer tidal force of their numbers threatened to engulf the ancient and medieval civilization of Europe. But neither in the motives prompting them nor in the effect they produced, nor yet in the magnitude of their numbers,... more...

INTRODUCTION In many parts of the country when the soil is disturbed arrow heads are found. Now, it is a great many years since arrow heads have been used, and they were never used by the people who own the land in which they appear or by their ancestors. To explain the presence of these roughly cut pieces of stone we must recall the weapons with which the Indians fought when Englishmen, Frenchmen, Dutchmen, and Spaniards first came to this part... more...

Introduction Ancient Babylonia has made stronger appeal to the imagination of Christendom than even Ancient Egypt, because of its association with the captivity of the Hebrews, whose sorrows are enshrined in the familiar psalm: By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; Yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows.... In sacred literature proud Babylon became the city of the anti-Christ, the symbol... more...

Chapter I The Sociology of the Chinese Racial Origin In spite of much research and conjecture, the origin of the Chinese people remains undetermined. We do not know who they were nor whence they came. Such evidence as there is points to their immigration from elsewhere; the Chinese themselves have a tradition of a Western origin. The first picture we have of their actual history shows us, not a people behaving as if long settled in a land... more...

PART I.—MYTHS. INTRODUCTION. Before entering upon the many strange beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and the extraordinary number of gods they worshipped, we must first consider what kind of beings these divinities were. In appearance, the gods were supposed to resemble mortals, whom, however, they far surpassed in beauty, grandeur, and strength; they were also more commanding in stature, height being considered by the Greeks an... more...


PREFACE TO NEW IMPRESSION. When this book first appeared (1886), the philological school of interpretation of religion and myth, being then still powerful in England, was criticised and opposed by the author. In Science, as on the Turkish throne of old, "Amurath to Amurath succeeds"; the philological theories of religion and myth have now yielded to anthropological methods. The centre of the anthropological position was the "ghost theory" of Mr.... more...

CHAPTER I. THE IDEAS AND SOURCES OF MYTH. Myth, as it is understood by us, and as It will be developed and explained in this work, cannot be defined in summary terms, since its multiform and comprehensive nature embraces and includes all primitive action, as well as much which is consecutive and historical in the intelligence and feelings of man, with respect to the immediate and the reflex interpretation of the world, of the Individual, and of... more...

INTRODUCTION It may well be doubted whether works of controversy serve any useful purpose.  ‘On an opponent,’ as Mr. Matthew Arnold said, ‘one never does make any impression,’ though one may hope that controversy sometimes illuminates a topic in the eyes of impartial readers.  The pages which follow cannot but seem wandering and desultory, for they are a reply to a book, Mr. Max Müller’s Contributions... more...

PREFACE The welcome which has been accorded to the volumes of this Series, and the fact that some of them have passed into second and third editions, suggest that these little books have been found useful by beginners in Egyptology and others. Hitherto the object of them has been to supply information about the Religion, Magic, Language, and History of the ancient Egyptians, and to provide editions of the original texts from which such... more...

THE VÄ’DIC AGE Let us imagine we are in a village of an Aryan tribe in the Eastern Panjab something more than thirty centuries ago. It is made up of a few large huts, round which cluster smaller ones, all of them rudely built, mostly of bamboo; in the other larger ones dwell the heads of families, while the smaller ones shelter their kinsfolk and followers, for this is a patriarchal world, and the housefather gives the law to his household.... more...