Princely Academy of Iași

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The Princely Academy of Iași was an institution of higher learning, active in the 18th and 19th centuries.


Founded in Iași (capital of the Principality of Moldavia) by the Prince Antioh Cantemir in 1707, the Academy symbolically continued the Academia Vasiliană, although no direct link exists between the two similar institutions. The main reformer of the Academy was Grigore III Ghica (1776), who modernised it as to compete with the European universities. The studies were done in Greek, and for the better part of the 18th century they were basically Aristotelian. Beginning with the 1760s a series of enlightened directors introduced into the Academy the study of mathematics, natural sciences and modern philosophy, translating and adapting European handbooks. In 1814 Gheorghe Asachi lectured for the first time in Romanian at the Academy, training a class of engineers, until 1819. In 1821 the Academy was disestablished by order of the Sultan, following the activity of the Greek patriotic organization, Filiki Eteria. Political circumstances caused that another Academy did not exist until 1835, when the Mihaileana Academy was established. The new institution had some professors from the ancient one, so that we can trace a direct lineage between the two Academies. The Princely Academy did not offer standard academic degrees, but only diplomas that certified that the possessor was worthy of “the name of learned man”. This name gave to the bearer the possibility to hold diverse administrative offices within the Ottoman Empire and Romanian Principalities.

Notable academics[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Bârsănescu, Ștefan, Academia Domnească din Iași. 1714 - 1821, București : Editura de Stat Didactică și Pedagogică, 1962
  • Camariano-Cioran, Ariadna, Les Academies princières de Bucarest et de Jassy et leurs professeurs, Thessaloniki : Institute for Balkan Studies, 1974