Italian Encyclopedia of Sciences, Literature, and Art

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Italian Encyclopedia of Sciences, Literature, and Art


Enciclopedia italiana di scienze, lettere ed arti), Italiana; the largest comprehensive Italian encyclopedia. It was published from 1929 to 1939 in 36 volumes, the last of which was an index to the entire publication and to the first supplement {Appendice 1), which came out in 1938. Each of two subsequent two-volume supplements, which were issued in 1948–49 and 1961, covered more than ten years (1938–48 and 1949–60).

Most of Italiana clearly shows a preference for the humanities: special attention is paid to history, art, literature, geography, and biography. Extensive survey articles, with lists of recommended literature in a number of European languages, are predominant. Terms are accompanied by references to their French, Spanish, German, and English equivalents. The encyclopedia is richly illustrated, and its reproductions of works of art, geographic maps, and portraits are of utmost value.

Italiana was conceived as a monumental, luxury publication that would attest to the “grandeur” of fascist Italy. Many articles on current affairs are permeated by fascist ideology (even Mussolini was recruited as one of the contributors to the encyclopedia). This sharply diminishes the quality of the encyclopedia, despite the abundance of valuable information in it. The supplementary volumes devote more space to the natural sciences and technology.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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