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Eliade, Mircea (09 March 1907–22 April 1986), historian of religions and writer, was born in Bucharest, Romania, the son of Gheorghe Eliade, an army officer, and Ioana Stoenescu Vasile. Though handicapped by myopia, Eliade became a voracious reader at an early age. A lifelong patriotic sentiment was instilled in him during World War I when his father was at the front and Bucharest was occupied for more than a year by troops of the Central Powers. After the war his father was retired at the rank of captain with a small pension; thereafter the family lived in genteel poverty....