Giuseppe Tucci

Giuseppe Tucci ( born June 5, 1894 in Macerata, † April 5, 1984 in San Polo dei Cavalieri in Rome ) was an Italian orientalist, who specializes in Tibet and history of Buddhism.


Tucci was born into a middle class family in Macerata. Before he went to university in 1911, he taught himself Hebrew, Chinese, Persian and Sanskrit. At 18, he published a collection of Latin inscriptions in the journal of the German Archaeological Institute. In 1914 he published the first time at the Oriental field over ancient Iranian religion and Chinese philosophy. With interruptions by the First World War he studied until 1919 at the University of Rome.

After graduating, he traveled to India and settled at the university founded by Rabindranath Tagore Vishwa Bharati. He studied here Buddhism, Tibetan and Bengali and taught Italian and Chinese. In addition, he studied and taught at the University of Dhaka, the Banaras Hindu University and the University of Calcutta. Early 1931 he returned to Italy.

Tucci was one of the most important Italian Orientalists of his time. He had a broad area of ​​research that ranged from Iranian religion, to Chinese philosophy. But He who primarily taught at the University of Rome from 1932, was also a frequent guest lecturer at European and Asian universities.

The University of Naples L' Orientale ( Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli) set up the first chair of Chinese language and literature for him. In 1933 he founded with the philosopher Giovanni Gentile, the Italian Institute for the Middle and Far East ( Istituto italiano per il Medio Oriente ed Estremo short IsMEO ), based in Rome. He organized in 1955 several pioneering archaeological sites, including Swat in present-day Pakistan, Ghazni in Afghanistan, in Persepolis in Iran and in the Himalayas.

Tucci was also the founder of the Italian National Museum of Oriental Art, where today many of the artifacts are collected from him .. He was in 1953 and in 1973 was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. In 1978 he was awarded the Indian Jawaharlal Nehru Award in 1979 " for his sensational discoveries in the Orient and its significant historical studies, which provide the Balzan Prize for History (ex aequo with Ernest Labrousse ) evidence for the interdependence of cultural Asian and European development ".


Giuseppe Tucci wrote during his life around 360 fonts, here is a selection.

  • Indo- tibetica 1: mchod gardens e ts'a ts'a nel Tibet indiano ed occidentale: contributo allo studio dell religiosa tibetana e del suo significato. Rome 1932.
  • Indo- tibetica 2: Rin chen po bzan e la rinascita del buddhismo nel Tibet intorno al Mille. Rome 1933.
  • Cronaca della missione scientifica Tucci nel Tibet occidentale ( 1933). Rome 1934.
  • Indo- tibetica 3: I templi del Tibet occidentale e il loro simbolismo artistico. 2 Bd Rome from 1935 to 1936.
  • Santi e briganti nel Tibet ignoto: diario della spedizione nel Tibet occidentale Milan 1935 1937..
  • Indo- tibetica 4: Gyantse ed i suoi monasteri. 3 Bd Rome 1941.
  • Asia religiosa. Rome 1946.
  • Tibetan Painted Scrolls, 3 vol Rome in 1949.
  • Teoria e pratica del mandala. Rome 1949.
  • Italia e Oriente. Milan 1949.
  • Tibetan folk songs from the district of Gyantse. Ascona 1949. (Second edition 1966 )
  • The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings. Rome 1950.
  • A Lhasa e oltre. Rome 1950.
  • Tra giungle e pagoda. Rome 1953.
  • Preliminary report on two scientific expeditions in Nepal. Rome 1956.
  • Storia della filosofia indiana. Bari 1957.
  • Nepal: alla scoperta dei Malla. Bari 1960.
  • The Religions of Tibet.: Giuseppe Tucci, Walther Heissig: The religions of Tibet and Mongolia. Stuttgart 1970