Etnologia ed orientalistica romantica nei nuovi stati Italia e Romania: Angelo De Gubernatis - Dora d'Istria e gli studiosi romeni nella seconda metà dell'Ottocento
Bordas, Liviu Etnologia ed orientalistica romantica nei nuovi stati Italia e Romania: Angelo De Gubernatis - Dora d'Istria e gli studiosi romeni nella seconda metà dell'Ottocento. Annali dell’Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. Rivista del Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici e del Dipartimento di Studi e Ricerche su Africa e Paesi Arabi, 2005 (65). ISSN 0393-3180
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The present paper discusses the relationship between the newly formed disciplines of Ethnology and Orientalism and their research methodologies during the Romantic period, in the new politically constituted states of Italy and Romania. Our study focuses on two key figures in the Romantic exploration of the Orient: Angelo de Gubernatis (1840-1913), pioneer and organizer of Oriental studies in Italy, and the Romanian princess Elena Ghica (1828-1888), better known as the pen name of Dora d'Istria, who, in the last three decades of her life spent in Italy (1860-1888), wrote extensively on Oriental literatures and customs. Both of them also dedicated a good part of their time to pursuing ethnological, anthropological, and mythological studies. Dora d'Istria was instrumental in arousing De Gubernatis' interest in the culture of the people inhabiting the Romanian principalities of Moldavia, Walachia, and Transylvania, as well as in the ethnic Romanians from the adjacent province of Bessarabia and the southern Balkan states. She put him in contact with some of the most important Romanian scholars of the time, as well as with Hungarian scholars from Transylvania(such as Count Gèza Kuun) and with Greek, Russian, Serbian, Albanian hommes-de-lettres. In his turn, Angelo de Gubernatis played an important role in stimulating Dora d'Istria's earlier interest in exploring the East, especially India. He introduced her to some of the leading Italian and German Orientalists and to the Italian Society for Oriental Studies (founded in 1872). Both of them had personal and scholarly ties with some of the most important Romanian scholars of the second half of 19thy century, who are relevant for the initial development of Ethnology and Oriental Studies in that country ( B.P. Hasdeu, V.A. Urechia, Al. Odobescu, and Gr. Tocilescu).
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