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Jane Ellen Harrison (1850-1928) was a pioneer in the academic study of myth. Using the then emerging disciplines of anthropology and ethnology, she demonstrates in this book (from 1903) that the mythological tales of the Greeks embody systems of belief which are widespread among societies both 'primitive' and 'advanced'.
"Harrison's Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion is a book that breathes life. It is an exciting, deeply felt intellectual quest, with a broad view of the role of religion in life, ancient and modern. Harrison is not afraid to look for relevance in archaic cult, and doesn't flinch on finding it. From a study of Greek anthropomorphism, she can conclude, like a seeress looking beyond the early twentieth century: 'to be human is not necessarily to be humane.'"--Richard Martin, Princeton University