Johann Bachofen was born in 1815 in Basel. During the 1830s he studied at the University of Basel, University of Berlin and the University of Göttingen, initially taking philology and history before changing to law. He travelled in France and the United Kingdom after completing his studies, before being appointed a professor of Roman Law at the University of Basel in 1841 and as a judge the following year. In the mid 1840s Bachofen resigned from these posts to become a private scholar, travelling to Italy, Greece and Spain for his studies. During this time Bachofen researched and wrote about matriarchy, Roman Law and Roman and Greek Antiquity. He died in Basel in 1887.
Reference: Jacques Waardenburg, 'Johann J Bachofen', Classical Approaches to the Study of Religion, Walter de Gruyter, New York, 1999, pp. 117-125.