Leone Caetani

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Caetani, Leone


Born Sept. 12, 1869, in Rome; died Dec. 24, 1935, in Vancouver (Canada). Italian Islamic scholar.

Caetani graduated from the University of Rome with a degree in Oriental philology in 1891. He traveled extensively through the Middle East. From 1909 to 1913, Caetani was a deputy in the Italian parliament representing the Socialist Party; he opposed the Italian aggression in Libya in 1911-12. In 1930 he emigrated to Canada.

Caetani edited a number of sources on the history of early Islam. He proposed the migration theory of the origin of Islam: nomadic tribes, responding to changes in physiographical conditions in Arabia, periodically moved to Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Syria, founding cities and states. Caetani linked the origin of Islam with the last stage of the migratory movement of the population of Arabia.


Annali delVIslam, vols. 1-10. Milan, 1905-26.
Studi di storia orientale, vols. 1, 3. Milan, 1911-14.
Cronografía islámica. Paris-[Rome, 1912].
Onomasticon arabicum …, vols. 1-2. Rome, 1915.


Beliaev, E. A. Proiskhozhdenie islama: Khrestomatiia, part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1931.
References in periodicals archive ?
This historical perspective, which reflects the views of the early twentieth-century historians Henri Lammens and Leone Caetani rather than Sunni belief, is no longer tenable today after a further century of historical research.
Leone Caetani ("'Uthman and the Recension of the Koran," 1915) drew attention to the important role of a distinct class of "Readers" or "Reciters" of the suras (individual tracts that would be collected as the Koran).
Leone Caetani, the distinguished Italian scholar, is the only one who treated the conquests extensively and intensively but he was an Orientalist who had only a modest knowledge of Byzantine history.