Rassegna di Studi Etiopici

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RSE is an Italian journal devoted to Ethiopian Studies, published since 1941. Carlo Conti Rossini, founder and editor of the journal from the beginning (no. 1,1, 1941) till his death in 1949 (no. 7,2, 1948, publ. 1949), who has linked intimately his name and that of the so-called ‘Roman School of Orientalism’ to this scientific enterprise, which was prosecuted under the editorial guide of Martino Mario Moreno (1950-1963) and Lanfranco Ricci (1964-2003). In Conti Rossini’s intentions, the scope of RSE was that of ‘investigating the indigenous people of the “Africa Orientale” under every respect: ethnic, historical, philological, cultural’, not only in view of specific scientific achievements, but also in order to increase the interest in ‘Italian’ Africa – ‘Africa nostra’, in his words – in educated people, and furnish knowledge for a better exercise of colonial rule (cf. Conti Rossini 1941).

Conti Rossini’s editorial program resented much from the climate in which the initiative took place.
Yet, the journal shortly emerged as one of the most important scientific tools for Ethiopian Studies (cf. Ricci 1986: 154, who stressed its essential historical and broadly philological approach), with the consequence that everyone dealing with whatever subject in the field (history, archaeology, linguistics, philology, religion, anthropology, law, history of art, bibliography, etc.) will hardly avoid RSE contributions. Not the earliest journal specialised on Ethiopia (Aethiopica and Aethiops, edited by S. Grébaut in the '20s and '30s, even if focusing almost exclusively on Ge'ez studies, preceded), RSE has imposed itself as a term of comparison in excellency, in consideration both of the scientific solidity and vastity of interests of its editors, and of the contributors' large international provenance (for a complete index of contributors and reviewed authors, cf. Bausi 1996 [also in on-line updated version]).

For the first three years (1941-1943) RSE was supported by the Italian ‘Ministero dell’Africa Orientale Italiana’ in collaboration with ‘Reale Accademia d’Italia’, Rome, and periodically issued with three fascicules each year (nos. 1,1-3,3). Later on, the ‘Ministero dell’Africa Italiana – Ufficio Studi’ sponsored RSE from 1944-1945 (no. 4) till 1951 (no. 10). One fascicule only was issued for the years 1944-1945 (no. 4), but a volume of Studi Etiopici collected and edited by Conti Rossini in 1945 (cf. CRSTud, under the auspices of the ‘Istituto per l’Oriente’) was probably conceived as a sort of supplement to RSE One fascicule only was published again for the year 1946 (no. 5), whereas two yearly fascicules were published in 1947 and 1948 (nos. 6 and 7). No. 7 included a supplement edited by Conti Rossini (1948), which was brought to completion years later by Lanfranco Ricci (cp. Conti Rossini 1953 and 1971). The editorial board included from the beginning Vinigi L. Grottanelli (‘Segretario di redazione per l’Italia’ in nos. 1,1-3,2, ‘Segretario di redazione responsabile’ in no. 3,3, ‘Segretario di redazione’ since no. 4) and Antonio Mordini (‘Segretario di redazione per l’A[frica]. O[rientale]. I[taliana].’, only in nos. 1,1-3,3).

After Conti Rossini’s death in 1949, RSE was edited by Martino Mario Moreno from 1950 (no. 8, 1949, publ. 1950) to 1963 (no. 19). Since Conti Rossini’s death, each number of RSE commemorates the name of its founder beneath the title (‘Rassegna di Studi Etiopici fondata da Carlo Conti Rossini’). Still funded by the ‘Ministero dell’Africa Italiana – Ufficio Studi’ for the years 1949-1951 (nos. 8-10), RSE was subsequently sponsored (but not funded, cf. Ricci 1983: 5) by the ‘Centro di Studi Etiopici e Cristiano-Orientali (Università di Roma – Istituto di Studi Orientali)’ – the ‘Istituto di Studi Orientali’ being led at the time by Giuseppe Furlani –, for the years 1952-1954 (nos. 11-13), when the editorial board was composed of Moreno (‘Direttore responsabile’ since 1949) and Lanfranco Ricci (‘Redattore’ since no. 11, 1952). After more than three years of blackout due to financial and administrative difficulties, the publication of RSE was resumed in 1959 (no. 14, 1955-1958, publ. 1959) thanks to an agreement (inspired by Lanfranco Ricci and endorsed by Francesco Gabrieli) with the ‘Istituto per l’Oriente’ (at present, ‘Istituto per l’Oriente Carlo Alfonso Nallino’, Rome), where Conti Rossini had played an important role in the past decades (cf. Ciasca 1959; Ricci 1983).

After Moreno’s death in 1964, Lanfranco Ricci became editor of RSE, a position which he held continuously from 1964 (no. 20) till 2003 (no. 2 of a new ser.), when he resigned not long before his death in 2007. Ricci’s direction was initially characterised by rather irregular frequency of publication (no. 21, 1965, publ. 1966; no. 22, 1966, publ. 1968; no. 23, 1967-1968, publ. 1969; no. 24, 1969-1970, 1971; no. 25, 1971-1972, publ. 1974; no. 26, 1973-1977, publ. 1978; no. 27, 1978-1979, publ. 1979; no. 28, 1980-1981, publ. 1981). The agreement of 1983 between the ‘Istituto per l’Oriente’ (through which the RSE was also funded by the ‘Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche’) and the ‘Istituto Universitario Orientale’, Naples (under Maurizio Taddei’s presidency), was intended to grant a more substantial financial support, and resulted in time in more regular periodical publication (no. 29, 1982-1983, publ. 1983; no. 30, 1984-1986, publ. 1987; no. 31, 1987, publ. 1988; no. 32, 1981, publ. 1990 etc. till no. 43, 1999, publ. 2000: planned no. 40, 1996, although reckoned, was never published due to missing financial support from Italian ‘Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche’). The 1983 agreement also implied the establishment of an editorial board (comprising Yaqob Beyene, Luigi Fusella and Lanfranco Ricci, ‘Direttore’), including one representative each from ‘Istituto Universitario Orientale’ and ‘Istituto per l’Oriente’. Yet, due to Ricci’s charismatic and authoritative nature, as well his universally acknowledged competence (long and in-depth Ricci’s reviews remain legendary), one may certainly say that for almost forty years RSE has strictly and exclusively reflected his editor’s choices.

For unknown reasons, with the establishment of a new editorial board in 2002 (including Yaqob Beyene and Rodolfo Fattovich, besides the director), Ricci decided to start a new series, of which only two fascicules were published (no. 1,1, 2002, and no. 2, 2003: no. 1,2, 2002 was never published). Since then, after Ricci’s resignation and death, the agreement between the ‘Istituto per l’Oriente C. A. Nallino’ and the ‘Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” ’ has been reformulated through difficult administrative passages, and for the moment being, only a new scientific board has been constituted.

Lit.: Alessandro Bausi, “Indice dei volumi I-XXXVII (1941-1995) della ‘Rassegna di Studi Etiopici” ’, RSE 38, 1994 [1996], 267-96 (on-line updated version at: http://docenti.unior.it/albausi/Home-P_UNO.htm); Raffaele Ciasca, “Premessa”, RSE 14, 1959, 5; Carlo Conti Rossini, “Premessa”, RSE 1,1, 1941, 3 f.; Id. (ed., tr.), Consuetudini giuridiche del Seraé. Raccolte dall'assemblea dei suoi notabili ad iniziativa del commissariato regionale di Addi Ugri, Parte I, Supplemento al volume VII (1948), Roma 1948; Id. (ed. by Lanfranco Ricci), id., Parte II, Supplemento al volume XI (1952),Roma 1953; Id. (ed. by Lanfranco Ricci), id., Parte II [edita nel 1953], Elenco e firme dei notabili.
Allegato al volume XXIV (1971), Roma 1971; Studi etiopici raccolti da Carlo Conti Rossini, Roma 1945; Lanfranco Ricci, “L’etiopistica italiana nel cinquantennio 1920-1970”, in Gli studi sul Vicino Oriente in Italia dal 1921 al 1970, I, L’Oriente preislamico, Roma 1971 (Pubblicazioni dell’Istituto per l’Oriente 63), 153-83; Id., “Studi di Etiopistica”, in Istituto Italo-Africano. Atti del Convegno “Gli Studi africanistici in Italia dagli anni '60 ad oggi”. Roma, 25-27 giugno 1985, Roma 1986, 150-66; Id., “Nota editoriale”, RSE 29, 1982-1983, 5 f.

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