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(1962). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 31:595-596.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:595-596

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

March 27, 1962. AN ANALYTIC INQUIRY INTO THE LIFE AND WORK OF HEINRICH SCHLIEMANN (1882-1890). William G. Niederland, M.D.

Heinrich Schliemann, the nineteenth century explorer who discovered the ancient site of Troy and other prehistoric sites, is considered the founder of modern archæology. This study is based on the standard biographies, data from Schliemann's books and family, and an autobiographical fragment and several dreams brought to light as a result of the author's research. Born in Germany in 1822, Heinrich Schliemann was the fifth child of a Protestant minister and his wife, Sophy. When he was nine years old his mother died after childbirth, his father lost his position in the church for embezzling funds, and Heinrich and his six siblings were scattered among relatives. The previously unknown autobiographical fragment is that the father was condemned as a dissolute, licentious man who maltreated his wife and eventually caused her death.

Three significant childhood sequences are emphasized. 1. Schliemann grew up next to a cemetery so that questions of birth and death took on an infantile character for him; an older brother, Heinrich, aged eight, died a few days before Schliemann's birth and he was named for the dead brother. (Throughout his life, Schliemann apparently had to prove that he was the living person outside the grave, not the dead brother inside the grave.) 2. Between the ages of five and nine, with a young girl his own age, he explored the cemetery and grave markers, and a nearby castle; these experiences he later acted out in detail in his world travels. 3. At the age of eight his father gave him Jener's Universal History for Children, which contained an engraving of 'Troy in flames …', and to this book Schliemann attributed his interest in Troy and his belief in its existence. The book, whose existence has been questioned, was found by Dr. Niederland.

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