Friday, May 20, 2016

Sir James Fraser and Culture in Greece

The Scottish anthropologist, classical scholar and folklorist Sir James G. Fraser (1854-1941) is famous for his The Golden Bough: A Study in Comparative Religion published in 1890. It was renamed The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion in its second, expanded edition in 1900). This influential study is a wide-ranging, comparative study of mythology, religion and magic. Professor Nanno Marinatou (University of Illinois at Chicago) points out in her recently published, fascinating biography/history of Sir Arthur J. Evans (1851-1941; Sir Arthur Evans and Minoan Crete: Creating the Vision of Knossos) the important intellectual relationship of Fraser’s writings had on Evans’ interpretation of the Minoan remains that he uncovered at Knossos in the earlier 20th century.

On Monday May 23rd Professor Nanno Marinatou will give a lecture entitled «James Frazer στην Αθήνα: Το έργο του και η Φιλοσοφική του Τοποθέτηση για τον Πολιτισμό». Fraser was a quintessential late 19th-century English intellectual and academic who shared Evans’ philhellenism as well as keen interest in the contemporary affairs of Greece, especially relating to culture. Fraser visited Greece in the later 1890s and again in Athens in 1937.

Prof. Marinatou will argue that while Fraser’s anthropological views are no longer accepted, his philosophical and theoretical positions on the value of rationalism in the context of discussions of culture are worth reexamining seriously in our contemporary world.

This lecture is the final offering of the 2015/16 Lecture Program of the Syllogos Filon tou Istorikou Archeiou tis Archaiologiskis Yperesias. The lecture will take place at 18:30 at the Historical Archive at Psaromylingou 22 on the cusp between theTheseio, the Kerameikos and the Psyrri Districts. The Theseio Train Station is the nearest Metro stop.

David Rupp

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