Short List for the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021

The Anglo-Hellenic League
(Registered Charity No. 278892)
The Hellenic Centre, 16/18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS
President and Chief Patron HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO
Joint Patrons HE The Greek Ambassador to the Court of St James’s
HBM Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic
Chair John Kittmer PhD




At its meeting on 7 April, the judging panel for the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 agreed its short list for the competition.

Out of the 21 wonderful books selected by the judges in January to form their long list, the panel has now chosen seven books, published in 2019 or 2020, to go forward as the short list for the final round of judging. Peter Frankopan, Chair of judges, said: ‘This was a year of extraordinary depth and variety, covering Greek history, literature and culture from deep antiquity right up to the present day. Inevitably, choosing a short-list from such a strong selection was not easy. However, I am delighted we have chosen a set of books that show ambition, inventiveness and real originality –ranging from re-telling the siege of Troy to the interpretation of the Moon, from Venus and Aphrodite to Greece during the 19thand 20thcenturies, from the Byzantine Emperor Theodore Laskaris to modern Greek poetry. We will need plenty of coffee (and perhaps something stronger) to select a winner from these masterpieces –each of which deserves to find many eager readers of all ages and each of which will appeal to specialists and the general reader alike.

’The Runciman Award has been run by The Anglo-Hellenic League since 1986,to reward the best book published recently about Greece or on a Greek subject in English. The competition was not run in 2020. In 2021, the League has found new sponsors for the Award and will be relaunching the book prize at an Award Ceremony when Covid restrictions are lifted in London. The Award Ceremony will form part of the UK’s celebrations of the Bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence, which is being celebrated globally this year.The seven short-listed titles are set out in alphabetical order (by author):

Title Author Press Period Genre RRP
The Byzantine Hellene: The Life of Emperor Theodore Laskaris and Byzantium in the Thirteenth Century Dimiter Angelov Cambridge University Press (2019) Byzantium Biography £34.99
Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation Roderick Beaton Penguin Random House (2019) Modern History £30
A Greek Ballad: Selected Poems Michalis Ganas, translated by David Connolly & Joshua Barley Yale University Press (2020) Modern Translation (poetry) £30
Troy Stephen Fry Penguin Michael Joseph (2020) Antiquity Fiction £20
Venus and Aphrodite Bettany Hughes Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Orion) (2019) Antiquity Myth / religion / reception £12.99
The Moon in the Greek and Roman Imagination: Myth, Literature, Science & Philosophy Karen ni Mheallaigh Cambridge University Press (2020) Antiquity Myth / literature / science / philosophy £75
Adoption, Memory and Cold War Greece: Kid Pro Quo? Gonda Van Steen University of Michigan Press (2019) Modern History £69.95

The judges for the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 are:

Prof. Peter Frankopan (chair)

Dr Dionysis Kapsalis

Prof Naoíse Mac Sweeney 

Prof. Judith Mossman

Dr Sofka Zinovieff

Details of the new sponsors and of the Award ceremony will be announced shortly.

John Kittmer (Award Administrator)

for the Council of

The Anglo-Hellenic League

9 April 2021

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