Home > Uncategorized > James George Frazer: Saturn’s reign of peace

James George Frazer: Saturn’s reign of peace

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

James George Frazer: Purifying the defilement of war

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James George Frazer
From The Golden Bough

This famous festival [the Saturnalia] fell in December, the last month of the Roman year, and was popularly supposed to commemorate the merry reign of Saturn, the god of sowing and of husbandry, who lived on earth long ago as a righteous and beneficent king of Italy, drew the rude and scattered dwellers on the mountains together, taught them to till the ground, gave them laws, and ruled in peace. His reign was the fabled Golden Age: the earth brought forth abundantly: no sound of war or discord troubled the happy world: no baleful love of lucre worked like poison in the blood of the industrious and contented peasantry. Slavery and private property were alike unknown: all men had all things in common. At last the good god, the kindly king, vanished suddenly; but his memory was cherished to distant ages, shrines were reared in his honour, and many hills and high places in Italy bore his name.

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