Balzan Prize Returns to Oxford

Sir John Elliott, Regius Professor Emeritus in the University of Oxford and Honorary Fellow of Oriel College, has been awarded a prestigious international prize for his work on Spanish history. Sir John has been awarded a 1999 Balzan Prize `for his outstanding contributions to the history of Spain and the Spanish Empire in the early modern period.' The prize is one of four awarded each year by the International E. Balzan Prize Foundation which was set up in 1956 to honour the memory of Eugenio Balzan, a reporter and later administrator with the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The prize won by Sir John was devoted this year to History 1500–1800. Those awarded a prize, worth £200,000, are chosen by a committee of nineteen European scientists and academicians.

The citation for Sir John records that: `His studies of the Iberian peninsula and the Spanish Empire have transformed our understanding of the problems confronting Spain in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and of the attempts made by the country's leaders to avert its decline. His scholarly and elegant writings have brought the study of Spain into the mainstream of European and world history and have inspired a generation of pupils.'

On receiving his award Sir John Elliott, formerly Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford (1990–7) said: `It is a great honour to receive this international distinction, and it is a particular source of pride that the Balzan Prize should again come to Oxford, following last year's award to Sir Robert May.'

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