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Murphy, W.F. (1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: Psychoanalysis and Legal Origins. William H. Desmonde. Pp. 52-63.. Psychoanal Q., 23:610-611.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: Psychoanalysis and Legal Origins. William H. Desmonde. Pp. 52-63.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:610-611

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: Psychoanalysis and Legal Origins. William H. Desmonde. Pp. 52-63.

William F. Murphy

An attempt is made to elucidate further Freud's suggestion that an investigation of the secret prohibitions which are the basis of ancient Greek and Roman law would show that they originated in the will of the primal father. Three central legal-religious-political symbols originated in the primal crime, namely, the temple, the scepter, and the crown. The temple is considered the site of

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obsessive practices evolved to absolve mankind from the guilt of the primal crime. It represents the universe in microcosm and is the place where the priest, the omnipotent father figure, manipulated the universe magically through such practices as animal sacrifice or prayer. Its evolution is connected with the holy grove and with tree worship, features of which have appeared in all the world's great civilizations. The king of the wood at Nemea personified the oak on which grew the mistletoe. The aspirant to kingship had to cut off this mistletoe, which represented part of the god's body, and through victory in combat with the defender was entitled to win the love of Diana, the mother goddess. Hence, to succeed to the kingship and win the love of the mother goddess it was first necessary to castrate the father. The bough from the sacred tree is the original priest king's scepter and also the wand of the magician, and represents the father's phallus.

The original crown was a crown of leaves from the holy tree. The origin of the scepter and the crown can thus be traced back to the primal crime by showing that these regalia stem from ceremonies in connection with the castration of the oak tree god, who is a displacement of the father image. The sacred pillars of the temple are related to the ancient holy trees which survived in the columns of the Greek temples. The horns of consecration are architectural representatives of the heads of sacrificial animals placed in close juxtaposition to the capitals of the column. The habit of placing mementos under cornerstones is evolved from the expiatory sacrifices at the foundation of the temple.

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Article Citation

Murphy, W.F. (1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953. Psychoanal. Q., 23:610-611

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