This theory is reminiscent of the ideas of the Greek philosopher Empedocles (c. 493–443 B.C.), who taught that the principles of love and strife alternately predominate in earthly affairs.


The 18th-century German classicist Johann Joachim Winckelmann served as the librarian of a Catholic cardinal in Rome. In 1763 he was appointed superintendent of Roman antiquities, and in 1764 he wrote a pioneering study of classical art, History of the Art of Antiquity.


See David A. Traill and Igor Bogdanov, “Heinrich Schliemann: Improbable Archaeologist,” AO 02:03.


After serving as a cavalry officer in the Crimean and American civil wars, Luigi di Palma Cesnola was appointed American Consul to Cyprus in 1865, where he acquired numerous Cypriot antiquities. The fledgling Metropolitan Museum of Art bought his collection at a bargain price in 1877, and in thanks (or in return) the trustees of the museum made Cesnola the first director of the Metropolitan.


See James P. Allen, “Monotheism—The Egyptian Roots,” AO 02:03.



“The Aetiology of Hysteria” (1896), in Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (henceforth SE), tr. James Strachey (London: Hogarth Press, 1953–), 3:192.


“Constructions in Analysis” (1937), in SE 23:260.


Interpretation of Dreams (1900), in SE 5:548–549. While studying at the University of Vienna, Freud was exposed to the writings of the German naturalist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), who espoused the (now discredited) doctrine that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”—the theory that a higher animal develops by passing through the evolutionary stages through which its species has passed. (For a highly readable essay that shows how Haeckel fudged his data to support this thesis, see Stephen J. Gould, “Abscheulich! (Atrocious!): Haeckel’s Distortions Did Not Help Darwin,” Natural History 3 [2000], pp. 42–49.) That this maxim applied to human culture as well as the human organism seemed self-evident to men like Freud. This is another reason for Freud’s profound interest in antiquity, as well as for the evidentiary function it had in his own thought.


Friedrich Brein, ed., Emanuel Löwy: Ein vergessner Pioneer (Vienna: Club der Universität Wien, 1998).


Letter to Wilhelm Fliess, November 5, 1897, in Jeffrey Masson, The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1985), pp. 277–278.


Stefan Zweig, Über Sigmund Freud: Porträt, Briefwechsel, Gedenkworte (Frankfurt: Fischer Taschenbuch, 1989), p. 134 (my translation).


Masson, Complete Letters, p. 392.


Masson, Complete Letters, p. 353.


See Freud’s discussion of the Rome motif in his dreams in the Interpretation of Dreams, in SE 4:193–198. On Athens, see the short essay “A Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis,” in SE 22:239–248.


Ernst Kris, Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art (New York: International Universities Press, 1952).


Ernst Freud, The Letters of Sigmund Freud (New York: McGraw Hill, 1960), p. 174.


See Eva Brabant et al., eds., The Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1993), especially letters no. 111–112.


H.D., Tribute to Freud (New York: New Directions, 1956), p. 175.


Interpretation of Dreams, in SE 5:394.


“A Mythological Parallel to a Visual Obsession” (1916), in SE 14:337–338.


Totem and Taboo, in SE 13:156.


Freud’s thesis has recently been investigated along with other versions of the “Egyptian Moses” by the Egyptologist Jan Assmann in Moses the Egyptian: The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1997).