Codice Atlantico (Codex Atlanticus)
f. 307 verso

Representation of the last part
of the “ludo geometrico”
(openwork pattern of stars and roses)

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

Class of Near Eastern Studies

The Class of Near Eastern Studies, established by the Chancellor Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi in 2009, comprises four sections of Arabic, Armenian, Hebrew and Syriac Studies. Each section follows its own programme and extensively studies linguistic, literary, historical and cultural topics in its sector, following a long tradition of the College of Fellows.

Oriental studies have been strongly rooted in the Ambrosiana since the origins of the collections of manuscripts and ancient prints assembled for Federico Borromeo by his delegates, including Michele Maronita and Domenico Gerosolimitano, who bought books for him from Corfu, Crete, Jerusalem, Baghdad, Cairo and other cities in the Near East and North Africa.

The founder of the Ambrosiana personally cultivated such studies, being interested in Arabic, Syriac and Hebrew, rabbinical exegesis, Jewish philosophy and the Kabbala. The rich fund of books of an Oriental character includes polyglot codices, many of them richly illuminated and dealing with history, science and literature. Hence the proceedings of this Class are inspired by a heritage of extraordinary value, including other cultures such as Iran and Islam, with its disciplines embracing the history of art and science, the miniature and codicology.


In the Classis Orientalis, Arabists, Armenists, Biblicists, Hebraists and Syriacists work together, promoting publications, seminars and research in keeping their specific areas of competence. The 15 founding Academicians in 2009 have been joined today by another 65 from 14 different countries.

Amir-Moezzi Mohammad Ali, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris
Arbib Alfonso, Rabbino Capo, Milano
Baffioni Carmela, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Roma -The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
Beit-Arié Malachi, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Bettiolo Paolo, Università degli Studi di Padova
Bonfil Roberto, Gerusalemme
Bons Eberhard, Université de Strasbourg
Borbone Pier Giorgio, Università degli Studi di Pisa
Borgonovo Gianantonio, Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Settentrionale, Milano
Brock Sebastian P., Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford
Calzolari Bouvier Valentina, Université de Genève
Campanini Massimo, Università degli Studi di Trento
Canova Giovanni, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”
Carusi Paola, già Università “La Sapienza) – Roma
Chialà Sabino, Monastero di Bose, Magnano
Chookaszian Levon, Yerevan State University
Contini Riccardo, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”
Cowe Peter, University of California, Los Angeles
Daftary Farhad, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
de Lamberterie Charles, Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris
De Smet Daniel, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
Desreumaux Alain, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
Di Segni Riccardo, Rabbino Capo, Collegio rabbinico italiano, Roma
Endress Gerhard, emeritus, Ruhr Universität, Bochum
Finazzi Rosa Bianca, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano
Géhin Paul, Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes, Paris
Gugerotti S. E. Claudio, Nunzio Apostolico in Ucraina
Guigui Albert, Rabbino Capo, Bruxelles 
Hacker Joseph R., emeritus The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Hainthaler Theresia, Sankt Georgen Hochschule für katholische Theologie und Philosophie,
Frankfurt am Main
Harrak Amir, Canadian Society for Syriac Studies – University of Toronto
Hovannisian Richard, University of California, Los Angeles
Janssens Jules, Leuven
Jori Alberto, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Kaufhold Hubert, Università di Monaco e Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

Kévorkian Raymond H., già Université de Vincennes-Saint-Dénis, Paris
Korn Eugene, The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation, Jerusalem
Kouymjian Dickran, emeritus, Fresno
Kropp Manfred, emeritus Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz
Lacerenza Giancarlo, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”
Larcher Pierre, Université d’Aix-Marseille
Leaman Oliver, Kentucky University, Lexington
Madelung Wilferd, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London
Martínez Gázquez José, Universidad autónoma de Barcelona
Martínez Lorca Andrés, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid
Mayer Modena Maria L., Università degli Studi di Milano
Mengozzi Alessandro, Università degli Studi, Torino
Modarressi Tabatabai Hossein, Princeton University
Morani Moreno, già Università degli Studi, Genova
Morrison Craig E., Pontificio Istituto Biblico, Roma 
Nin Manuel, OSB, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Roma
Outtier Bernard, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
Pane Riccardo, Archivio arcivescovile, Bologna
Passoni Dell’Acqua Anna, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano
Piemontese Angelo Michele, Emerito, Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”
Pirone Bartolomeo, Pontificia Università Lateranense, Roma
Rofé Alexander, emeritus, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Rudolph Ulrich, Università di Zurigo
Schenker Adrian, OP, Université de Fribourg (Suisse)
Schmidt Andrea Barbara, Université catholique de Louvain – University of Göttingen
Schmidtke Sabine, Institute for Advanced Study, The School of Historical Studies, Princeton
Seroussi Edwin, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Sirinian Anna, Università degli Studi di Bologna “Alma Mater Studiorum”
Steindler Moscati Gabriella, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”
Stone Michael, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Taylor David, University of Oxford
Terian Abraham, emeritus St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, New York
Teule Hermann, emeritus, Nijmegen University
Thekeparambil Jacob, Saint Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute, Kottayam
Tottoli Roberto, Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”
Trebolle Barrera Julio, emerito Universidad Complutense, Madrid
Van Ess Josef, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
van Lint Theo M., The Oriental Institute, University of Oxford  
Van Rompay Lucas, Duke University, Durham, NC 
Veltri Giuseppe, Universität Hamburg
Vergani Emidio, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Roma
Witkam Jan Just, emeritus Faculty of Arts, University of Leiden
Zekiyan Boghos S. E. Levon, Istanbul e Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Roma
Zatelli Ida, Università degli Studi di Firenze.

Francesca Forte (Sezione di Studi Arabi) –
Finazzi Rosa Bianca (Sezione di Studi Armeni)
Milani Claudia (Sezione di Studi Ebraici)
Marco Moriggi. (Sezione di Studi Siriaci)
Riccardo Pane (Classe di Studi sul Vicino Oriente).

Academic activities

The activities, on the impulse of the Academic Board, the Executive Council, the Scholarly Committee and the Academic Secretariat, in harmony with the general orientation given by the President of the Academy, concern the annual Academic Dies (2009-2018), publications of miscellaneous volumes in the “Orientalia Ambrosiana” series, and initiatives of study, cataloguing and research. The principal seminars and summer courses have focused on Arabic and Jewish codicology and palaeography, the Syriac manuscripts in the Ambrosiana and Arab philosophy. The Academician Renato Traini, meritorious for the original impulse that he gave to the Ambrosian Academy, bequeathed his library of Arabic studies to the Ambrosiana.
In the Class, academic partnerships are active with the Saint Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute (SEERI) of Kottayam, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Tel Aviv.





An itinerary through the treasures of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana curated by Federico Gallo and Stefano Martinelli Tempesta - Pinacoteca, rooms 2 and 3




From April 15, on the occasion of Design Week, the rooms of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana will host 'Moleskine Detour', an international exhibition promoted by Moleskine and the Moleskine Foundation.

Restoration works for the recovery of the historic balconies of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana


Restoration works for the recovery of the historic balconies of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana

Recovery of the functionality of the balconies of the Sala Federiciana, Borromeo and della Rosa through the installation of lifelines

Notice for the users of the Reading Room





Guided tour of the masterpieces of the Pinacoteca, together with professional guides of our official partner AdArtem