Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), was born in Romania and travelled throughout Europe and India in his early years studying religion. Noted for his vast erudition, Eliade had fluent command of five languages (Romanian, French, German, Italian, and English) and a reading knowledge of three others (Hebrew, Persian, and Sanskrit). He was elected a posthumous member of the Romanian Academy.
Eliade was the Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service Professor at the Divinity School and professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He was one of the most influential scholars of religion of the 20th century and one of the world's foremost interpreters of religious symbolism and myth. Eliade was the author of many works of scholarship and fiction, including A History of Religious Ideas and ten novels.
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