Mircea Eliade

Romanian Historian + Philosopher + Short Story Writer + Journalist + Essayist + Novelist
Born Mar 9, 1907

Mircea Eliade was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day. His theory that hierophanies form the basis of religion, splitting the human experience of reality into sacred and profane space and time, has proved influential.… Read More

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1907 Birth Born on March 9, 1907.
1914 7 Years Old His family moved between Tecuci and Bucharest, ultimately settling in the capital in 1914, and purchasing a house on Melodiei Street, near Piața Rosetti, where Mircea Eliade resided until late in his teens. … Read More


1921 14 Years Old …  His first published work was the 1921 Inamicul viermelui de mătase ("The Silkworm's Enemy"), followed by Cum am găsit piatra filosofală ("How I Found the Philosophers' Stone"). … Read More
1925 18 Years Old Between 1925 and 1928, he attended the University of Bucharest's Faculty of Philosophy and Letters in 1928, earning his diploma with a study on Early Modern Italian philosopher Tommaso Campanella.


1927 - 1928 2 More Events
1930 23 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1930, while living with Dasgupta, Eliade fell in love with his host's daughter, Maitreyi Devi, later writing a barely disguised autobiographical novel Maitreyi (also known as "La Nuit Bengali" or "Bengal Nights"), in which he claimed that he carried on a physical relationship with her.
Eliade received his PhD in 1933, with a thesis on Yoga practices. … Read More
1934 27 Years Old …  He approved of an ethnic nationalist state centered on the Orthodox Church (in 1927, despite his still-vivid interest in Theosophy, he recommended young intellectuals "the return to the Church"), which he opposed to, among others, the secular nationalism of Constantin Rădulescu-Motru; referring to this particular ideal as "Romanianism", Eliade was, in 1934, still viewing it as "neither fascism, nor chauvinism". … Read More
1936 29 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1936, Eliade was the focus of a campaign in the far right press, being targeted for having authored "pornography" in his Domnișoara Christina and Isabel și apele diavolului; similar accusations were aimed at other cultural figures, including Tudor Arghezi and Geo Bogza.


In summer 1937, through an official decision which came as a result of the accusations, and despite student protests, he was stripped of his position at the University. … Read More
1938 31 Years Old 1 More Event
The stance taken by Eliade resulted in his arrest on July 14, 1938 after a crackdown on the Iron Guard authorized by King Carol II. … Read More
1940 33 Years Old …  In October 1940, as the National Legionary State came into existence, the British Foreign Office blacklisted Mircea Eliade, alongside five other Romanians, due to his Iron Guard connections and suspicions that he was prepared to spy in favor of Nazi Germany. … Read More
1942 35 Years Old In 1942, Eliade authored a volume in praise of the Estado Novo, established in Portugal by António de Oliveira Salazar, claiming that "The Salazarian state, a Christian and totalitarian one, is first and foremost based on love". … Read More
1943 36 Years Old In autumn 1943, he traveled to occupied France, where he rejoined Emil Cioran, also meeting with scholar Georges Dumézil and the collaborationist writer Paul Morand. … Read More
1944 37 Years Old 1 More Event
Also during the war, Eliade traveled to Berlin, where he met and conversed with controversial political theorist Carl Schmitt, and frequently visited Francoist Spain, where he notably attended the 1944 Lusitano-Spanish scientific congress in Córdoba. … Read More
1945 38 Years Old 1 More Event
Later, discussing the works of Aldous Huxley, Eliade wrote that the British author's use of mescaline as a source of inspiration had something in common with his own experience, indicating 1945 as a date of reference and adding that it was "needless to explain why that is".


1947 - 1948 2 More Events
1949 42 Years Old He collaborated with Carl Jung and the Eranos circle after Henry Corbin recommended him in 1949, and wrote for the Antaios magazine (edited by Ernst Jünger).
1950 43 Years Old In 1950, Eliade began attending Eranos conferences, meeting Jung, Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn, Gershom Scholem and Paul Radin. … Read More
1956 49 Years Old In October 1956, he moved to the United States, settling in Chicago the following year. … Read More


1964 57 Years Old Upon Wach's death before the lectures were delivered, Eliade was appointed as his replacement, becoming, in 1964, the Sewell Avery Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions. … Read More
1966 59 Years Old In 1966, Mircea Eliade became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


1968 61 Years Old He also worked as editor-in-chief of Macmillan Publishers' Encyclopedia of Religion, and, in 1968, lectured in religious history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. … Read More
1970 63 Years Old 1 More Event
He occasionally traveled out of the United States, such as attending the Congress for the History of Religions in Marburg (1960) and visits to Sweden and Norway in 1970. … Read More
1977 - 1979 3 More Events
1982 75 Years Old Eliade's Iphigenia was again included in theater programs during the late years of the Nicolae Ceauşescu regime: in January 1982, a new version, directed by Ion Cojar, premiered at the National Theater Bucharest, starring Mircea Albulescu, Tania Filip and Adrian Pintea in some of the main roles. … Read More
1986 79 Years Old Mircea Eliade died at the Bernard Mitchell Hospital in April 1986. … Read More
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