'Originally published in French as Le Mythe de l'eternel retour: archetypes et repetition by Librairie Gallimard, NRF, Paris, 1949.'. Transl. from the French by Willard R. Trask.
Part 1 - Archetypes and repetition. The problem. Celestial archetypes of territories, temples, and cities. The symbolism of the center. Repetition of the cosmogony. Divine models of rituals. Archetypes of profane activities. Myths and history. Part 2 - The regeneration of time. Year, new year, cosmogony. Periodicity of the creation. Continuous regeneration of time. Part 3 - Misfortune and history. Normality of suffering. History regarded as theophany. Cosmic cycles and history. Destiny and history. Part 4 - The terror of history. Survival of the myth of eternal return. The difficulties of historicism. Freedom and history. Despair or faith
''Had we not feared to appear overambitious, we should have given this book a subtitle: Introduction to a Philosophy of History. For such, after all, is the purport of the present essay: but with the distinction that, instead of proceeding to a speculative analysis of the historical phenomenon, it examines the fundamental concepts of archaic societies--societies which, although they are conscious of a certain form of "history," make every effort to disregard it. In studying these traditional societies, one characteristic has especially struck us: it is their revolt against concrete, historical time, their nostalgia for a periodical return to the mythical time of the beginning of things, to the "Great Time."' -- Foreword