Societies and Institutes
Istituto Universitario Orientale (Naples)
The main center of Oriental studies in Italy is the Istituto Universitario Orientale in Naples. It traces its ancestry back to the Collegio dei Cinesi (College of Chinese), founded by the returned missionary Matteo Ripa, and officially recognized by Pope Clement XII on 7 April 1732. It had diplomatic and commercial as well as strictly religious purposes. With the Italian unification in 1868, the Collegio became the Real Collegio Asiatico, organized to serve secular as well as religious purposes. Its range of language teaching, previous enlarged to include the languages of the Ottoman Empire, was further extended in 1878 to include Arabic and Russian. Hindi, Urdu, and Persian soon followed. By special legislation, the Collegio became the Istituto Orientale in December 1888, with its missionary purpose eliminated and tending toward the character of an academic institution. Its scope was the languages, literatures, and histories of the African and Oriental nations. A further reorganization in 1975 created four faculties: Letters and Philosophy, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Political Science, and Arab-Islamic and Mediterranean Studies.
- Istituto Universitario Orientale web site
11 June 2004 / Contact The Project / Exit to Sinology Page