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The Myth of the Eternal Return or Cosmos and History

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  1,738 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
This founding work of the history of religions, first published in English in 1954, secured the North American reputation of the Romanian emigre-scholar Mircea Eliade (1907-86). Making reference to an astonishing number of cultures & drawing on scholarship published in no less than half a dozen European languages, Eliade's "The Myth of the Eternal Return makes both int ...more
Paperback, 195 pages
Published November 21st 1971 by Princeton University Press (first published 1949)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Le mythe de l'eternel retour: Archétypes et répetition = The Myth of the eternal return, Mircea Eliade
عنوان: اسطوره بازگشت جاودانه - مقدمه بر فلسفه تاریخ؛ نویسنده: میرجا؛ الیاده؛ مترجم: بهمن سرکاراتی؛ تبریز؛ نیما، 1365؛ در 245 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، قطره، 1378؛ در 208 ص؛ چاپ دیگر : تهران، طهوری؛ 1384؛ در 205 ص؛ شابک: 9646414600؛ 9789646414605؛ موضوع: اسطوره - دین - جنبه های مذهبی تاریخ و علوم اجتماعی - کیهان شناسی - قرن 20 م
Oct 05, 2008 brian rated it liked it
eliade's central premise is that to 'archaic' man an object or act only becomes 'real' insofar as it imitates or repeats an earlier archetype. more than that: man's very experience in the stream of time is altered, shifting from the profane to the sacred, only when he duplicates an earlier archetypical event. to put into a modern context -- a christian who took a sunday off, in replication of god taking the seventh day off, would be thrust into sacred time...

eliade enters into a kind of philosop
Jun 20, 2009 Oakshaman rated it it was amazing
To Transcend Profane Time

It is always a joy to read a great man's greatest book- and the author himself considered this to be the most significant of all his works. He would expand the central concepts elsewhere, but it is here that they first seem to burst forth. The way he rattles out references and examples with only a line or footnote you get the feeling that he can't be bothered with detailed analysis because he is too caught up with the central ideas and is being swept along with them. It
هبه النيل
سيطرت على البشرية اكذوبة قديمة اخذت تتضخم : ان طل شيء يتكرر ولذا يعيش كثير من الناس حيواتهم كما يمليه عليهم المجتمع او الاخرين لاعتقادهم انهم ينفذون المقدر لهم

وحتى قضية الحياة الاولى للبشر في فردوس قبل الخطيئة والطقوس التي كل ماتقوم به هو تدمير الحياة بشكلها الحالي لتولد من جديد على شاكلة الفردوس الاولى

كنت اعتقد ان كراهية الحياة المتجذرة في الاصولية اسلامية فقط لكن يمكن وصفها انها ابراهيمية بالعموم ولاعجب ان ينشد المتطرفيين نهاية العالم لان في نظرهم هم الناجون والعائدون لحياة كاملة مثالية

لفت نظر
Aug 05, 2015 Samer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
أساسي للمهتمين بالاسطورة و التاريخ و الدين، و الأهم انه مركّز و مختصر بدون مقدمات ما الها معنى و حكي بلا طعمة :).. الزمن الدائري التكراري و الزمن المستقيم و سيطرتهما على العقلية البشرية في محاولتها لايجاد المعنى و الصراع مع التاريخ.. كتاب ممتع
Jul 09, 2014 Peter rated it it was amazing
Francis Fukuyama was a fool. More below. Eliade once again gets to the heart of the problem, the same question children have and adults somehow figure out to live with: how to deal with YOLO. In the course of his exposition of the approach of “archaic man” he blows up a few major Christian myths (not directly, but just as the logical conclusion of what he finds, similar to Joseph Campbell), but ends up with the need for a belief in God somehow anyway. But back to Francis Fukuyama. Eliade notes t ...more
Jacob Senholt
Sep 11, 2011 Jacob Senholt rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I had high hopes for this book before reading it, expecting to meet a more thorough examination of the idea of the 'eternal return' both in antiquity and going into modern times (with Nietzsche, the 're-enchantment' of the world etc.). Although many references were provided to numerous interesting religious ideas I lacked a more structured and comprehensible overview. Eliade seemed to get a bit lost in the many examples and digressions, leaving the main-point of his book a bit blurry. Hence the ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Whitney rated it it was amazing
"Among countless stones, one stone becomes sacred - and hence instantly becomes saturated with being . . . because it commemorates a mythical act . . ." --Eliade, p. 4
See original review here:

This is the 5th book that I have read for My Two-Thirds Book Challenge.

I stated at the end of my review of Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces that I hoped that this might be a good follow-up book to Campbell and I have to say that I think it was. It is certainly a different project than Campbell’s but it dovetails nicely.


Introduction to the 2005 Edition by Jonathan Z. Smith
Chap. 1: Archetypes and Rep
Mar 02, 2010 Christiaan rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me as an excellent and inspiring book concerning the philosophy of history, and while I was initially sceptic about the relevance of this book I quickly turned to liking it. This is, in my opinion, a must-read for everyone interested in alternative approaches to (historical) time. While the book may sometimes be a little too repetitive (the author uses lots of examples that do not necessarily contribute to the argument), there are also a lot of exciting passages and ...more
Росен Григоров
Интелектуален кеф е срещата с Мирча Елиаде. С ерудицията и мащаба на мисленето си, чрез елегантните си и леки за четене разсъждения румънският професор успява да издигне ума ти (поне за кратко) над профанното. А центърът на изследването – бунтът на архаичния човек срещу властта на времето и непримиримостта му пред хода на историята, отказът му да се ситуира в настоящето, възраждайки миналото чрез създаването на архетипи, неуморните опити да бъде победена необратимостта на събитията – е особено р ...more
Рени Бакалова
Jan 02, 2015 Рени Бакалова rated it really liked it
Написана на език, достатъчно достъпен дори и за човек, нямащ толкова познания в областите, с които книгата се занимава. Увлекателна, засягаща темите и въпросите обхватно и доста изчерпателно. Като единствен недостатък бих отбелязала примерите- някои от тях, може би на моменти твърде пространни или представени така, че трудно биват разбрани без историческо познаване на това, което "разказват". Но като цяло и те в по- голямата си част са така добре приведени и "разказани", че се явяват полезна илю ...more
Florence Lyon
Jul 29, 2016 Florence Lyon rated it really liked it
This was one of those used book shop discoveries. I found it very interesting and vindicating in a way to confirm my thoughts and perceptions about cycles, myths, rituals and history. There were A LOT of big words that required frequent use of a dictionary. It made for deep, interesting reading on those bus commutes for my life in the repetitive mundane.
Anthony Buckley
Dec 28, 2008 Anthony Buckley rated it really liked it
One of many of Eliade's books placing religious experience at the heart of religious activity. In this case, he is interested in showing how the experience of the divine constitutes the human world.
Joe Iacovino
Jun 21, 2011 Joe Iacovino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book demands a slow, methodical reading. One should have a working knowledge of ancient mythology as well as contemporary mythology (aka, religion). Definitely worth reading.
Carlos Recamán
Es terrible la racha que llevo de "libros interesantes que sin embargo podrían haberse resumido en 2 o 3 páginas y todo habría sido mucho más llevadero", la verdad.
Nov 22, 2016 Eugenij rated it it was amazing
veľmi veľmi veľmi zaujimavá kniha, potešila ma, plná informácií, veľa objasňuje a porovnáva a dobre sa číta.
Mohammed Hindash
Jan 02, 2017 Mohammed Hindash rated it it was amazing
Very interesting information, the structure of the book made it more interesting.
I like the vocab used.
Nov 06, 2016 Phakin rated it it was amazing
สนุกมากกก เตมไปดวยเรืองทีเราไมรู เดียววางๆ จะมาเขียนถึงยาวๆ ...more
Ivan Raykov
Dec 11, 2016 Ivan Raykov rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-read-again
I really want to write a review but I'm speechless.
Víctor Galán
"El mito del eterno retorno" es un importante ensayo dentro del mundo comparativo de las religiones, siendo su autor, el filósofo rumano Mircea Eliade uno de sus máximos exponentes (si no el que más).
En esta pequeña obra, Eliade analiza distintas religiones hasta poder vislumbrar unas semejanzas asombrosas. Entre ellas, destaca la concepción que han tenido muchos pueblos (que el denomina arcaicos) del sentido mismo de la Historia. La necesidad de justificar de alguna manera los padecimientos, e
Comptes Rendus de René Guénon
Décembre 1949 • Mircea Eliade - Le Mythe de l’éternel retour. Archétypes et
répétition (Gallimard, Paris).

Le titre de ce petit volume, qui d’ailleurs ne répond pas exactement à son contenu, ne nous paraît pas très heureux, car il fait inévitablement penser aux conceptions modernes auxquelles s’applique habituellement ce nom d’ « éternel retour », et qui, outre la confusion de l’éternité avec la durée indéfinie, impliquent l’existence d’une répétition impossible, et nettement contraire à la véri
Jan 23, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
Mircea Eliade’s “the Myth of the Eternal Return” is, on one level, an exposition of myths that explore and illustrate the concept of cyclical time. Eliade spans the globe recounting stories that outline his thesis, which is that man who lived in “traditional”, “archaic” societies lived in a world without history/non-linear time. Instead, he posits, they lived in a world that was created anew through ritual and the absorption of profane time into the sacred through the repetition of primordial ge ...more
Jan 03, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book at nearly the perfect time, with a great percentage being undertaken around a Christmas/New Year holiday.

The great thing about this book is that it provides a new lens to interpret our own lives while making 'ancient' cultural practices legible, and occasionally more familiar than the relations which we nominally live under.

The primary question this book tackles is: how do we live with respect to history, the events which happen to us? This volume provides four choices:

* to re
Eliade is an excellent excerpter. Turning (arbitrarily) to page 79:

The Vedic altar, to employ Paul Mus' formula, is time materialized. "That fire-altar also is the Year, -- the nights are its enclosing stones, and there are three hundred and sixty of these, because there are three hundred and sixty nights of the year; and the days are its yagushmati bricks, for there are three hundred and sixty of these, and three hundred and sixty days of the year".

Though I chose this passage randomly, it happe
Jun 15, 2012 Varad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A founding work of the anthropology and history of religion, this book is of considerable interest to historians for Eliade's account of the perception of time in what he describes variously as "archaic" and "pre-modern" cultures. "Primitive" man does not conceive of time as linear and history as a progressive succession of unique events. Instead, "the life of archaic man (a life reduced to the repetition of archetypal acts, that is, to categories and not to events, to the unceasing rehearsal of ...more
Czarny Pies
Nov 13, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those wish to understand the vital role of professional sports for modern man.
Recommended to Czarny by: Simone de Beauvoir
Shelves: favorites, religion
In the myth of the Eternal Return, Eliade argues that man being afraid of the unknowns of the future refuses steadfastly to acknowledge the historical nature of time.; that is to say that it advances one-way never turning back. Primitive man found the solution to his dilemma by creating religious rites that constantly return man to his origins thus avoiding the perils of history or linear time.
Modern religion (i.e. Christianity) by having Christ exist in history and by promising an imminent, his
Jan 18, 2012 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Initially sub-titled "The Philosophy of History," this staggering short read is a probe into humanities' use of time to unconsciously obliterate history, forcing us to mythologize regeneration (the "new' year) in opposition to careful structures for storing historical ideals, models and timelines. Eliade claims history's storage (in text, spoken word) is merely a facade for anyone schooled outside of the deep study of history. Instead, humans store myth and archetypes readily while remain puzzle ...more
Oct 25, 2012 Nicholas rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
In a nutshell, this book concerns the translation of Myth as a way of mans coping with the cruel world and the events therein .To primitive man the only acts that where valid where those that mirrored the actions of the Gods and he frequently wiped his slate clean with frenzied ceremonies,so as to avoid responsibility for his transgressive acts.Modern man developed a more inclusive view of himself where by his experience was/is part of a refinement of the soul and his historic sufferings are le ...more
Cris N.
Dec 18, 2015 Cris N. rated it it was amazing
This book covers a lot of the same topics as "The Sacred and the Profane", although you obviously get different examples from different religions, so it could help clarify those same concepts. The biggest reason for reading this in addition to "The Sacred and the Profane", however, is that the concept of the "myth of the eternal return" (referred to in the title) is explained in much more depth, so you can comprehend it much better after reading this work. The "myth of the eternal return" refers ...more
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Romanian-born historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, professor at the University of Chicago, and one of the pre-eminent interpreters of world religion in this century. Eliade was an intensely prolific author of fiction and non-fiction alike, publishing over 1,300 pieces over 60 years. He earned international fame with LE MYTHE DE L'ÉTERNAL RETOUR (1949, The Myth of the Eternal Return) ...more
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