This extended essay on fertility worship in the Classical period was written by Robert Payne Knight (1750-1820), a distinguished English scholar, parlimentarian, writer, and antiquarian. Published in 1786, this book shocked English society to such an extent that Knight took it upon himself to surpress his own book. Subsequently this became a very rare book until it was republished in several editions in the mid-twentieth century. Although the study of the history of religion has vastly advanced since Knight's day, this was one of the first books to deal with the issue of sexuality and religion.
Production notes: Thanks to Eliza Fegley at Sacred Spiral for proofing the body of this text. To reduce bandwidth usage, I've broken the main body of the text down into somewhat arbitrary sections. The 'Parts' do not occur in the original book. In addition, the typesetter of the edition I used apparently did not know Greek, and consistently confused 'upsilon' and 'nu'. I've corrected these errors where I spotted them.