Two pioneering works of scholarship and learning constitute this volume: Richard Payne Knight's A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus
(1786) and Thomas Wright's The Worship of the Generative Powers During the Middle Ages of Western Europe
Characterized by a systematic approach that holds up remarkably well even today, this book has served as a foundation for numerous subsequent studies. As anthropologist Ashley Montagu notes, Knight's eighteenth-century work combines seriousness of purpose with ingenuity and wit. Its companion piece, Wright's nineteenth-century survey, ranges even further in scope, embracing the worship of the female as well as of the male generative powers. Both works have long been out of print, and this new edition will prove a great benefit to students and scholars.