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RUNCIMAN AWARD 2016
Short List Published 11 April 2016 www.runcimanaward.org
The Runciman Award, first conceived in 1983 during Lord Jellicoe’s chairmanship of the Anglo-Hellenic League, was presented for the first time in 1986 and named in honour of Sir Steven Runciman, the eminent Byzantine scholar and the League’s longest serving Chairman. It is given each year for a work wholly or mainly about some aspect of Greece or the world of Hellenism, published in English in its first edition in the previous year. The aim of the Award is to stimulate interest in Greek history and culture from earliest times to the present; to reward and encourage good and accessible writing, of which Sir Steven’s works are an example; and to promote wider knowledge and understanding of Greece’s contribution to civilization and values. The Judges will have these aims in mind, giving due weight to the criterion of increasing understanding of Greece’s contribution to civilization. No category of writing will be excluded from consideration. Thus, for example, the prize may be awarded for a work in the field of history, literary studies, biography, travel and topography, the arts, architecture, archaeology, the environment, social and political sciences or current affairs; or for a work of fiction, poetry or drama. Works in translation, with the exception of translations from Greek literature, will not be considered.
The prestige of the Runciman Award is reflected in the quality of its three judges. Each judge serves for three years, acting in the third year as Chair and then retiring so as to make way for a new judge. A fourth judge is nominated by the sponsor
The Runciman Award has received funding from private sources, business and institutions with an interest in the promotion of Greek Culture. Sponsors have included the Onassis Foundation and, since 1999, the National Bank of Greece. On average forty books per year are submitted for appraisal. How the prize is awarded is the responsibility of the judges, whose decision is final.
It is a condition of the Award that short-listed books should be available for purchase to readers in the UK at the time of the Award ceremony. Publishers of shortlisted books will be notified by the Anglo-Hellenic League
From 2006, the value of the Award rose to £9000, a substantial increase on previous years. This reflects the growing prestige of the prize and the related decision, taken in 2004 by the League in conjunction with the sponsors, the National Bank of Greece, to internationalise the award. It can now be awarded for a book published in any part of the world, provided it is first published in English, and meets the other criteria set out above.
Since 2002 the winner has received a medal in addition to the money prize. This was due to the close personal interest of the late Dr. Theodoros Karatzas, then Governor of the National Bank of Greece. The League remains indebted to the Bank for its strong support of the Award.