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Niederland, W.G. (1989). Freud's Fascination with Archeology and its Connection with the Philippson Bible. Jahrb. Psychoanal., 24:61-72.

(1989). Jahrbuch der Psychoanalyse, 24:61-72

Freud's Fascination with Archeology and its Connection with the Philippson Bible

William G. Niederland, M.D.

Students of Freud's life, career and scientific pursuits are well aware of his intense interest in archeology as evidenced by his lifelong collecting of antiquities, his admiration for and detailed knowledge of Schliemann's excavations, and by his own account (1931) that he had “actually read more archeology than psychology.” Max Schur (1972) describes Freud's fascination with archeology as an “addiction second in intensity only to his nicotine addiction,” whereas Jones in more restrained fashion attributes it to his scholarly engrossment in and exploration of how man became man. Suzanne Cassirer Bernfeld (1951) and Eva Maria Rosenfeld (1956) have added further data concerning Freud's “passion” for archeological themes and objects.

In his biography of Freud (1957, Vol. III, p. 350) Jones records that Freud's father, Jacob, was “fond of reading the Torah, a book of Jewish philosophy rather than religion” and then continues that Freud himself “…was very conversant with the Bible. He had begun to read the Old Testament at the age of seven.”

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