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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/394

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^y8 Reviews.

and so has Mr. Gunnar Landtman in his monograph on priest- hood. Moreover, wizards may be ambitious of priestly power, and even modern priests may degenerate into magicians, as Prof. Vinogradofif has just now told us. But this does not disprove the existence of a radical distinction ; and when once priesthood is established, the magician's art comes to be dis- credited as quackery, and at last prosecuted as the sin of witchcraft. We cannot place medicine-man, priest, and king in a scale of continuous promotion : and the more closely we connect the king with priesthood, the less hopeful it would seem to be to look for his beginnings in magic. Julius Cssar, at all events, was not very like a successful medicine-man, nor yet the Hebrew patriarchs and kings. Dr. Frazer certainly produces examples of headmen who are medicine-men, and one of a Masai chief who is a medicine-man and nothing else, not even a warrior. In such a case it is hard to see how any regular priesthood can arise except under foreign influence, and the proper inference, I submit, is that the case is abnormal.

In the latter part of the book we have a detailed discussion of " sacred marriages," the legendary or symbolic unions of gods and goddesses with mortals which hallow the greater ceremonies and ensure their beneficent effect, or furnish dynasties with indisputable credentials. Dr. Frazer has estab- lished an abundance of most interesting facts, and adorned them with fascinating conjectures as to which I dare not offer any confident opinion. It may be pure ignorance, but I fail to see that, even if we allow his interpretations, this line of research adds much strength to his main argument. Once or twice the statement of facts might have been clearer for the general reader. " At Athens the vine-god Dionysus was annually married to the queen" (p, 174). Even a classical scholar may not happen to know offhand that in historical times this queen was the wife of the Archon Basileus, or to have heard Mr. Cecil Smith describe, as he did the other day to the Hellenic Society, a vase believed to represent the ceremony. This vase does not throw much light on the ritual, as it shows the god in his proper person, and not the conventional make-up, whatever it was. We are therefore still in ignorance whether, as Dr. Frazer