Massimo Pallottino

1982 Balzan Prize for Studies of Antiquity

For his research work and discoveries of outstanding importance carried out in the field of the sciences of antiquity through the excavation of Pyrgi, his contribution to the interpretation of the Etruscan language, and his revealing research on the origins of ancient Rome and the peoples of pre-Roman Italy.

Professor at Rome University, member of the Accademia dei Lincei and many other academies, Massimo Pallottino (*1909 – †1995) was born in Rome in 1909. Universally considered as one of the greatest scientists of Antiquities of our time, he has extended his researches to Archaeology, History, Art and Linguistics, acquiring a great reputation above all in Etruscology.
In the field of Archaeology, the world owes Massimo Pallottino the discovery of Pyrgi. His historical studies led to essays on the origin of Rome which brought new appreciation of the literary tradition. His book on the origin of the Etruscans and his compendium on Etruscology, translated into several languages, confirm the theory of the Italian origin of said people.
In the field of art history, his research on the school of « Vulca », which reverses traditional concepts, is followed by summaries on Etruscan art in general and Etruscan painting in particular. As to the Romans, his essay on « L’arco degli Argentari » initiates an innovative analysis on the Italic component which finds its achievement in his general work « Genti e culture dell’Italia preromana ». In the field of Oriental studies he is distinguished by his studies on the « Orientalizzante » and on the « Urarteo ». Finally, a multitude of works on the Etruscan language opens new paths for the interpretation of this idiom.
As a promoter and organizer of research, Massimo Pallottino has created a constantly growing school of students. He was Chairman of several important scientific and cultural institutions, devoting himself continuously and generously to the cause of the protection and development of the Archaeological assets in Italy and all over the world.

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