Julius Evola, was born on this day in 1898 in Rome. The descendant of a noble Sicilian family, he was named Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, and fought in World War I as an artillery officer on the Asiago plateau. In his early career, he was an artist, and briefly was a member of the futurist movement of Filippo Marinetti. In the inter-war period, he began his formal study of Oriental doctrines. Today, he is remembered as one of the main influences on the political arm of the Traditionalist school of thought, who influenced future luminaries such as the writer Herman Hesse, and the politicians Miguel Seranno and Alain de Benoist.
For his own part, Evola was influenced by an eclectic host of ancient and modern thinkers, from Plato to Confucius, to Nietzsche to René Guénon. There exist some similarities between Evola’s work and that of Spengler, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Arthur de Gobineau and Joseph de Maistre. Evola regarded his stances and spiritual values as at odds with those of the post-war world. While the rest of the world moved towards a more democratic and egalitarian worldview, Evola championed the values of the traditional hierarchy and defended the aristocracy. Others have described Evola’s stances as being masculine, traditionalist, heroic and defiantly reactionary, in contrast to the feminine, materialistic and liberal worldview of the post-war era.
Evola, rejecting the myth of progress which was popular among the social scientists and industrialists of his day, believed that, rather than having reached its pinnacle, mankind is instead living in a Dark Age, the Kali Yuga. Evola’s works not only expose the patterns of traditional society based on ancient texts, but they also display a great opposition to the negative aspects of the modern world, while advancing his own theories on the society from a Traditional viewpoint.
During World War II, Evola volunteered with the German war effort as a translator of Masonic documents. After the war, he continued to write about topics such as race, politics, and religion, getting arrested in 1951 for “promotion of fascism”. His many books include, among others, Revolt Against the Modern World, Men Among the Ruins, The Hermetic Tradition, and last but not least, the book for which this site is named, Riding the Tiger.
Evola died on June 11, 1974, leaving behind his unique intellectual legacy as one of the most interesting thinkers of the 20th century.