chapter
Introduction
Pages 14

The most important change which has taken place since Frazer's day in the relation between anthropology and classical studies is the change in anthropological theory from evolutionism to comparative functionalism. For L. H. Morgan, Frazer, Jane Harrison, Gilbert Murray, and their contemporaries, evolutionist theory provided a hierarchical scale of civilization on which classical Greece and Rome were clearly ranked as superior to primitive societies even by those who most emphasized the value of comparative data from the life of 'savages' for understanding the earlier history of the ancient world. The classicizing reaction against anthropology which set in after the First World War did not involve a total rejection of evolutionism. It merely shifted the boundary between the unique classical civilizations and the common ground of primitive society further back into prehistory.