Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies


a higher educational institution in Moscow, which operated from 1920 to 1954.

The idea of organizing a Soviet higher educational institution of Oriental studies in Moscow was first expressed in 1918 by M. Gorky in a letter to V. I. Lenin. The decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of Mar. 4, 1919, signed by V. I. Lenin, created the Armenian Institute (later the Southwest Asian Institute), which replaced the former Lazarev Institute of Oriental Languages. On Sept. 7, 1920, the Southwest Asian Institute was reorganized into the Central Institute of Living Oriental Languages; this date later came to be considered the founding date of the institute. On Oct. 27, 1921, all Moscow educational institutions of oriental studies, including divisions of oriental studies at various higher educational institutions, merged with the institute. In 1936 the institute was reorganized into an academy-type institute that accepted only individuals who had completed their higher education; in 1940 it became a general-type institute. Near Eastern and Far Eastern departments were established at the institute with the following divisions: Arabic, Turkish, Iranian, Afghan, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Mongolian. Several other divisions were formed later.

The institute published the special series Trudy Moskovskogo Instituta vostokovedeniia (Transactions of the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies; seven issues published between 1939 and 1953). The well-known Orientalists E. A. Beliaev, E. E. Bertel’s, G. N. Voitinskii, V. A. Gordlevskii, and N. I. Konrad worked at the institute.


Kuznetsova, N. A. , and L. M. Kulagina. Iz istorii sovetskogo vostokovedeniia. Moscow, 1970.
Blagoveshchenskii, M. , and P. Fesenko. “Dvadtsat’ let Moskovskogo instituta vostokovedeniia.” In Trudy [Moskovskogo] Instituía voslokovedeniia, collection 2. Moscow, 1940.


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