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Levi, Doro


LEVI, DORO (1898–1991), Italian archaeologist. Levi, born in Trieste, had a distinguished career as organizer of archaeological expeditions, curator, and administrator. He was a lecturer at Florence University, and in 1935 went to Sardinia to become professor at the Cagliari University and the island's director of art and antiquities.

From 1939 to 1945 Levi was in the United States as a guest lecturer at Princeton and Harvard universities. On the staff of Princeton University he took part in the excavations of Seleucia Pieria and Daphne, neighborhoods of ancient Antioch. There Levi excavated and published some of the most beautiful Roman mosaics that dated from the first decades of the second century till the earthquake of 526 c.e. This resulted in his monumental work Antioch Mosaic Pavements (2 vols., 1947).

Levi returned to Italy in 1945 to become adviser on cultural relations to the Ministry of Education. In 1947 he was appointed director of the Italian School of Archaeology in Athens and led archaeological expeditions in the Levant. He organized excavations at Caesarea in Israel in the late 1950s.

Levi's main work, however, was dedicated to the Minoan civilization. He thus directed Italian excavations in Crete at Arkades-Aphrati, Gortyna, and Phaistos. At Phaistos he discovered a Minoan palace. He also specialized in Minoan pottery. In addition Levi led excavations at Iasos, a town in Caria on the Anatolian coast (1960–61). He summarized his activities as part of the Italian school in Athens in The Italian Excavations in Crete and the Earliest European Civilization (1963) and The Recent Excavations at Phaistos (= Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology, vol. 11, 1964).

Levi's scientific interests embraced the whole of the Graeco-Roman world from the early Minoan civilization to Roman and Late antique Antiochia, with a strong leaning toward mythology and the history of religion. These interests came to fruition in his study "The Allegories of the Months in Classical Art" in Art Bulletin (23 (1941), 251–91).

[Penuel P. Kahane /

Samuele Rocca (2nd ed.)]

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