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In 2017, we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the death of Jerome de Busleyden, better known among the humanists as Hieronymus Buslidius. He was born in Arlon, in the Duchy of Luxembourg, around 1470, and was considered a great humanist : friend of Erasmus and Thomas More, he was at the origin of the foundation in Louvain, within the University, of the Collegium Trilingue, also called Collegium Trium Linguarum, Collegium Buslidianum, in the Dutch language of the time, Collegie der Dry Tonghen, or more simply said Dry Tonghen. The College (of which part of the building remains in Leuven) was inaugurated in September 1518.
The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), both heirs of the Studium generale Lovaniense which was abolished in 1797 by the French Regime, have chosen to celebrate this anniversary each in its own way : the first, with an exhibition accompanied by two works on the collège of the Ancien Régime ; the second, with the organisation of a colloquium devoted to the restoration and further development of the Orientalist tradition within the Catholic University "restored" by the Belgian bishops in Mechelen in 1834, thanks the freedom of education provided for in the Constitution, and transferred to Leuven the following year.
It’s the contributions presented on this occasion, which are the subject of this book, together with one or two texts to complete the overall picture offered. In a diptych. The first panel of a retable (Éclairages particuliers, ‘Historical background’) attempts to present a panorama of teaching and research in the field of oriental studies for almost two centuries. The second one (Éclairages particuliers, ‘Special insights’) focuses on a few points which, among others, deserve to be highlighted, such as the Leuven tradition of publishing scientific texts inaugurated by Adolphe Rome (1889-1971).
A fascinating history in a field where the University of Leuven quickly became famous on a scientific level and where it gained its first international recognition…