CV of prof. Sante Graciotti


Sante Graciotti (Osimo 1923) studied at the Catholic University of Milan, where he also attended courses in Paleography, Archivistics and Diplomatics at the State Archives, obtaining the corresponding diploma in 1952. In 1953 he graduated in Literature (modern line). The results of his academic curriculum and of his first researches persuaded the authorities of the Catholic University (the rector, Father Agostino Gemelli, and the dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Ezio Franceschini) to entrust him with the task of devoting himself to the study of Slavic languages, literatures and cultures, with the aim of introducing this academic field also at their university. To groom the recent university graduate for this task the Rector entrusted him to the ‘father’ of Italian Slavistics, Giovanni Maver. Under the guidance of Maver, Graciotti started attending the advanced course in Modern Philology, at the University of Rome, in 1954 and obtained the diploma in 1957, specialising in Slavic Philology. Having obtained a scholarship of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he left for Yugoslavia, as early as 1955, directed to Zagreb, in order to work on his specialisation thesis. The following year his scholarship was reconfirmed in Italy, but was not acknowledged in Yugoslavia, so Maver directed him to Poland. After having obtained his specialisation diploma, thanks to a new scholarship, Graciotti had the opportunity to stay in Poland for a whole year (between 1958 and 1959) and then for other six months (1960).

In 1961 Graciotti qualified as lecturer in Slavic Philology and, in the same year, was encharged to fill the post of lecturer in the corresponding chair at the Catholic University of Milan. At the end of 1964 he won the appointment to this chair in an open competition and became permanent professor. On January 1st 1965,  he became professore straordinario and became full professor three years later. Thanks to him in the years that followed, the language tutorships in Russian (which later became a lecturship), Polish and Serbo-croatian were established. In addition, in his Alma mater he took care of setting the foundations for a slavistic library.

In 1972 he moved to the University of Rome, still working under the chair of Slavic Philology. Previously, between 1969 and 1971, Graciotti had been entrusted with several responsibilities in the field of Slavistics at a national and international level. In 1969, together with some colleagues, whom he himself had urged as last survivor of the direction of the old Italian Association of Slavic Philology, he founded the Italian Association of Slavists (AIS), becoming its first president. In the same year he was invited to join the International Committee of Slavists (MKS) as the representative for Italy and today he is still part of that Committee, after having also been one of its vice-presidents and, finally, honorary member. Still in 1969 he joined the editorial board of “Ricerche slavistiche”, and after a few years he first became co-editor in chief and then editor in chief. He holds this post to this day.

In 1978, when the International Association for the Study and the Diffusion of Slavic Cultures (MAIRSK) was founded, under the aegis of the Unesco, he was elected vice-president, as well as president of the Italian Committee. He held this task until MAIRSK stopped working, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

He also took up posts for a certain period in the Italian section of the Association d’Études du Sud-Est Européen, where he covered the post of secretary-general from 1980 and vice-president from 1987.

In 1963 he started his forty-year long cooperation with the Giorgio Cini Foundation of Venice, where between the Eighties and the Nineties he was deputy director initially, and then, from 1993, joint director (in charge of the Europe sector) of the Venice and the East Institute. In this Institute he carried out  a huge activity based on the organisation of conferences and scholarly meetings – proof of which are more than thirty volumes, containing the proceedings of those events – involving the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and more recently, Bohemia, Croatia, Ukraine and Belarus.

He also fostered international meetings dedicated to studies and organisational work, as member of the Academy of the Lincei and as head, for about fifteen years, of the Slavistics Institute, later Department of Slavic and Central-Eastern European Studies (DISSEUCO), of the “Sapienza” University, as well as person in charge of various responsibilities in the AIS, MKS and MAIRSK. His cooperation with Italian and foreign research institutes is also worth mentioning. Finally, he was deeply engaged, between the two millennia (till 2008), as president of the Dalmatian Society of Homeland History.

He was called to become member of the following National Academies: National Academy of the Lincei (Corresponding Member since 1984, National Member since 1993), Polish Academy of Arts (1990), Polish Academy of Sciences (1991), Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (1993), Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (1997), besides other national academies and national institutions, such as the Academy of the Marche (Ancona), the A. Mickiewicz Academy (Bologna), the A. Mickiewicz Literary Society (Warsaw, honorary member), and the Scientific Society of Breslavia (ordinary member).

He obtained the following doctorates honoris causa: University of Tărnovo (1981), University of Cracow (1987), University of Breslavia (1989), University of Warsaw. In addition to this, he received many other scholarly acknowledgements, such as the honorary decoration “for great merits” of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1984), the honorary diploma of the Société européenne de culture (1992), the gold medal of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (1998) and the Vatroslav Jagić Prize of the Croatian Philological Society (1999).