Essays on the History of Religions

Essays on the History of Religions

Essays on the History of Religions

Essays on the History of Religions


This is a collection of sundry writings on various subjects connected with the History of Religion, which have been already published on different occasions in Italian and foreign periodicals.

In selecting them, I have thought it best to prefer those which seemed most representative, that is best fitted to give an idea of the subjects which have principally interested me during the last forty years, and of the wider researches which I have devoted to those subjects in works on a larger scale.

The essays are not arranged in chronological order of their first appearance in print, but regrouped according to the relationship of their subject-matter. Some are more general, some more special; some are of historical character, dealing with the religions of non-civilised peoples, with those of the classical world, of non classical Europe, of the ancient East and so forth, while others are phenomenological, treating of monotheism, myth and mythology, and the confession of sins.

The English translation, from the Italian or in a few cases from French, has been made with his usual expertise by Professor H. J. Rose of St. Andrews, who in a spirit of true friendship has once more undertaken the task of making the results, such as they are, of my endeavours accessible to a larger public. To him, who has already so many claims on my gratitude, I express my lively thanks for the improvements made by him in his careful revision and with the addition of sundry notes.

I likewise thank the deserving publishers, Messrs. E. J. Brill, who suggested the idea of the present volume to me, and also the editors of the periodicals one and all, who have courteously allowed me to reproduce here the writings originally admitted to their publications.

Rome, October 1953. R. PETTAZZONI

[The English version of which the author speaks in such flattering terms has proved a most interesting task. While not always agreeing with the opinions of my friend Professor Pettazzoni, I have always been moved to admiration for his learning and ingenuity.


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