Levi Della Vida, Giorgio
LEVI DELLA VIDA, GIORGIO
LEVI DELLA VIDA, GIORGIO (1886–1967), Italian Arabist and Semitist. Born in Piedmont, della Vida completed his university studies in *Rome. In 1914 he began to lecture at the University of Naples, went on to Turin, and in 1920 was appointed professor at Rome University. He taught Biblical Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, Phoenician and neo-Punic inscriptions, and the histories of the Semitic peoples and their literatures. In all these fields, he published many articles. A number of them, principally in the field of Judaism and Islam, were gathered into the collection Storia e religione dell'oriente semitico (1924). He also edited a series of Arabic and Syriac texts with his translations. His catalog of the Vatican Arab-Muslim manuscripts (vol. 1, 1935; vol. 2, 1965), his collection of documents dealing with the relations between the Church of Rome and the Oriental churches during the reign of Pope Gregory xiii (1948), as well as a series of detailed articles on the manuscripts of the Vatican collection were the fruits of the years he worked in the Vatican Library. His later works include Anneddoti e svaghi arabi e non arabi (1959) and a book of memoirs Fantasmi ritrovati (1966). He was one of the 12 lecturers (out of a total of 1,225 university teachers) who refused, at the end of 1931, to take the oath of allegiance to the Fascist regime and he was therefore dismissed from his position. From 1939–48, he was professor at the University of Pennsylvania, but in 1948 was reinstated in his position in Rome.
G. Strachan, Giorgio Levi della Vida (Eng., 1956); Studi orientalistici in onore di Giorgio Levi della Vida (1956). add. bibliography: M.G. Amadasi, "Bibliografia degli scritti (di Giorgio Levi Della Vida)," in: oa, 7 (1968), 17–38; F. Michelini Tocci, "Giorgio Levi Della Vida nell'anniversario della morte," in: iona, 18 (1968), 463–68; S. Moscati, "Ricordo di Giorgio Levi Della Vida," in: oa, 7 (1968), 1–15; S. Moscati, Ricordo di Giorgio Levi Della Vida (1968); Anon., Giorgio Levi Della Vida: nel centenario della nascita (1886–1967) (1988).
[Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg]