Igor de Rachewiltz, Italian historian of Mongol studies, Died at 75


Igor de Rachewiltz was born on April 11, 1929, in Rome and died on July 30, 2016.

He was an Italian historian and philologist specializing in Mongol studies.

He was the son of Bruno Guido and Antonina Perosio.

The de Rachewiltz family was of Polish noble roots.

Igor earned his PhD in Chinese history from Australian National University, Canberra in 1961.

Rachewiltz dissertation was on Genghis Khan’s secretary, 13th-century Chinese scholar Yelü Chucai.

Rachewiltz married Ines Adelaide Brasch in 1956; they have one daughter.

Starting in 1965, Rachewiltz became a fellow at the Department of Far Eastern History, Australian National University (1965–67).

Igor made a research trip to Europe (1966–67).

Igor published a translation of The Secret History of the Mongols in eleven volumes of Papers on Far Eastern History (1971–1985).

Rachewiltz became a senior Fellow of the Division of Pacific and Asian History at the Australian National University (1967–94), a research-only fellowship.

Igor de Rachewiltz completed projects by prominent Mongolists Antoine Mostaert and Henri Serruys after their deaths.

Igor de Rachewiltz was a visiting professor at the University of Rome three times (1996, 1999, 2001).

During 2004, Igor de Rachewiltz published his translation of the Secret History with Brill; it was selected by Choice as Outstanding Academic Title (2005) and is now in its second edition.

During 2007, Igor donated his personal library of around 6000 volumes to the Scheut Memorial Library at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

In his latter life de Rachewiltz was an emeritus Fellow in the Pacific and Asian History Division of the Australian National University.

Igor research interests included the political and cultural history of China and Mongolia in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, East-West political and cultural contacts, and Sino-Mongolian philology generally.

During 2015, he published an open access version of his previous translation, The Secret History of the Mongols: A Mongolian Epic Chronicle of the Thirteenth Century, that is a full translation but omits the extensive footnotes of his previous translations.

Igor de Rachewiltz passed away at 75 years old.