“Tradizione” e tradizioni nell’opera di Mircea Eliade

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is known that Mircea Eliade, one of the most interesting and productive historians of the religions of the twentieth century, was interested in the study of European popular traditions. From the legend of Mastro Manole to the beliefs and rites related to Mandragora and to certain other plants of magical-medical use, from witchcraft to initiatory associations, to the texts and rites of New Year's begging, there are numerous, in particular, his investigations on the Slavic-Balkan folklore. Just scroll through the text and look at the bibliography of his best-known work, the "Treatise on the history of religions", to detect the role, far from marginal, assigned by the Romanian scholar to folkloric and ethnological documents for the purpose of reconstructing the relationships between man and the sacred as historically articulated, of the original religious experiences and phenomena, of the "fundamental structures of religious facts" in relation to the "cultural cycles" on which they depend. Here the reception of the Romanian scholar's work in Italy is reconstructed, starting from the intellectual relationship that tied him to eminent figures of the panorama of Italian studies, such as Ernesto De Martino and Raffaele Pettazzoni. We also try to highlight how Eliade should be recognized for having given due importance to folkloric facts and, more generally, to studies on popular traditions, providing inspiration for future reflections on the role, autonomy and destiny of folkloric research, today often limited to the sphere of analysis of the anthropology of heritage.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationStudi offerti a Mario Atzori. Etnografie in dialogo: curiosità e passioni
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Cite this