Johann Jakob Bachofen  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Johann Jakob Bachofen (22 December 1815 – 25 November 1887) was a Swiss antiquarian, jurist, philologist, and anthropologist, professor for Roman law at the University of Basel from 1841 to 1845.

Bachofen is most often connected with his theories surrounding prehistoric matriarchy, or Das Mutterrecht, the title of his seminal 1861 book Mother Right: an investigation of the religious and juridical character of matriarchy in the Ancient World. Bachofen assembled documentation demonstrating that motherhood is the source of human society, religion, morality, and decorum. He postulated an archaic "mother-right" within the context of a primeval Matriarchal religion or Urreligion.

Bachofen became an important precursor of 20th-century theories of matriarchy, such as the Old European culture postulated by Marija Gimbutas from the 1950s, and the field of feminist theology and "Matriarchal Studies" in 1970s feminism.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Johann Jakob Bachofen" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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