Religion Past and Present

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Bachofen, Johann Jakob
(177 words)

[German Version]

(Dec 22, 1815, Basel – Nov. 25, 1887, Basel) studied ancient cultures and jurisprudence (in Berlin), became professor of Roman law in Basel in 1841, judge in 1842, and city councilman in 1844. With the exception of his office as criminal judge, he resigned from all public offices in 1844/1845 and became a private scholar. Bachofen's most notable contribution lies in his discovery, together with K. Meuli, of matriarchy (1861). His reflections on hetaerism, amazonism, and demetric gynecocracy helped to make non-patriarchal forms of kinship thinkable…

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Lanwerd, Susanne, “Bachofen, Johann Jakob”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 04 March 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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