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The Anglo-Hellenic League

Dedicated to promoting Anglo-Greek understanding and friendship, through charitable and cultural work. 

News                                                                                            

Monday 21 June 2021, 7pm

Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award Ceremony 2021 & Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Lecture 2021

Ruth Padel

Jane Harrison, Neuro-Anatomy, and 

What Was it Like to Live with Greek Gods?’

Friends Room, Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS

 

We are pleased to announce the annual award ceremony and lecture for the Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Award 2021. The Award is given annually by the League in memory of Katie Lentakis, a stalwart for many years of the London Greek community and a longstanding Vice-Chair of the League. The competition is open to final-year undergraduates at King’s College London for an essay on a Greek subject. The ceremony will be an opportunity to meet and applaud the winner of this year’s competition. 

In a change from our earlier announcement, the annual Katie Lentakis Memorial Fund Lecture will be given by Ruth Padel. We are delighted that Prof. Padel is able to join us and thank her for agreeing to do so at short notice.

 

Ruth Padel is a poet, novelist and former classical scholar,  author of twelve poetry collections, eight books of non-fiction and a novel. She has spent a lot of her life in Greece, particularly in Crete where her second novel - Daughters of the Labyrinth, out in July - is set. 

 

In this talk she brings together various strands of her work on Greek religion, Darwin and science, starting with her debt to the first woman to have an international profile as a classics scholar. Jane Harrison wrote on Greek religion between 1900 and 1912. Ruth Padel worked on Greek religion and tragedy between 1971 and 1995. She looks back on the position of women writers, scholars, scientists and students while Harrison was writing, and explores discoveries made at the time in physiology, psychology, genetics, neuroanatomy and archaeology, which changed ideas about human bodies, minds and history. Threading personal memories (her grandmother researching botany and genetics at Cambridge but unable to take a degree, her own share in the discovery of a branch of the Royal Road at Knossos), she wonders if those scientific discoveries, made around 1900, can help us understand how a religion of many gods allows you to feel and respect divinity as it operates in human lives.   

 

Because of continuing Government regulations owing to the pandemic, this event will take place in line with the requirements of social distancing. Seating will be properly spaced in the Great Hall of the Hellenic Centre. Everyone attending will need to wear a mask, unless exempt. There will be  no reception after the event. 

 

If you wish to attend, please register by e-mail at info@anglohellenicleague.org  by 16 June. We will, in turn, confirm whether or not your registration has been accepted. Please do not attend the event if (a) we have not confirmed your registration, (b) you have or suspect you may have coronavirus symptoms or are in contact with others who have or suspect they have such symptoms, (c) you have returned recently from overseas and are still under quarantine restrictions. 

 

Council of the League - updated

15 June 2021

RODERICK BEATON WINS THE RUNCIMAN AWARD 2021

WITH GREECE: BIOGRAPHY OF A MODERN NATION

 

PRESS NOTICE

 

We are delighted to announce that the winner of the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 is Roderick Beaton for Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation (London: Allen Lane 2019). In winning the Runciman Award for a fourth time, Prof. Beaton has set a new record of achievement.

 

Announcing the result of this year’s competition, Prof. Peter Frankopan, the chair of judges, said:

 

We were lucky enough to read some breath-takingly good books this year – including many that are both brave and ambitious, including re-tellings of stories that are well-known and investigations of real originality about topics rarely, if ever, looked at. Roddy Beaton’s book is a combination of all these qualities. It is not easy to write broad history for wide readership, and to do so well takes real skill. Covering recent centuries of Greece’s history requires courage too, as many have strong opinions about what should be written about – and how. What makes Beaton’s book stand out above all, however, is that just as Sir Steven Runciman’s books opened doors through which new generations of readers and scholars have since walked, so too will Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation. As a jury, we felt that this wonderful book captured the spirit of the Runciman Award perfectly.

 

John Kittmer, chair of the Council of The Anglo-Hellenic League, said:

 

On behalf of the League I warmly congratulate Roddy Beaton for winning this year’s Runciman Award. In its 35-year history Roddy is the only person to have won the award four times: a tremendous achievement. In relaunching the award under new sponsors in this year of the bicentenary of the Greek revolution, we are delighted that the judges have chosen to acknowledge the timely relevance of this great book.

 

The announcement of the winner of the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 was made on Thursday 17 June, 7pm at an event held (because of Covid-19 restrictions) by Zoom webinar. Prof. Stathis Kalyvas (University of Oxford) gave the keynote address on ‘Why the Greek Revolution still matters today’. Peter Frankopan surveyed the field of longlisted and shortlisted books on behalf of the panel of judges. The event closed with an acceptance speech by the winner. 

 

The Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award is sponsored by the A. C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation and the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS:

 

1. The Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award was conceived in 1983, as an initiative of Earl Jellicoe, the then chairman of the League, in honour of Sir Steven Runciman, the distinguished historian of Byzantium and longest-serving chairman of the League (1951-1967). It was first awarded in 1986 and has been awarded most years since then.

 

2. The award is given to the best book (or books) written in English in the previous year on a Greek subject. It aims 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 a wider knowledge and understanding of Greece’s contribution to civilisation and values. 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. Translations from Greek literature into English are also eligible.

 

3. No award was made in 2020. Books published in 2019 and 2020 were eligible for the award in 2021.

 

4. The panel of judges for the award in 2021 comprises: Peter Frankopan (chair), Dionysis Kapsalis, Naoise Mac Sweeney, Judith Mossman and Sofka Zinovieff. The judges announced their long list of 21 titles on 14 January and their short list of 7 titles on 9 April (see www.runcimanaward.org). 

 

5. Roderick Beaton previously won the award in 1995 for An Introduction to Modern Greek Literature (Oxford: OUP 1994); in 2004 for George Seferis: Waiting for the Angel – A Biography (New Haven: Yale UP 2003); and in 2014 for Byron’s War: Romantic Rebellion, Greek Revolution (Cambridge: CUP 2013).

 

6. Enquiries about the Runciman Award can be made to the acting award administrator (Dr John Kittmer) at info@anglohellenicleague.org. Information about the two sponsoring foundations can be found at: https://www.aclcf.org/about-en/the-foundation/ and http://www.leventisfoundation.org/en/. The announcement to publishers for the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2022 will be made in late October 2021.

 

Council of the League

17 June 2021

Monday 21 June 2021, 5pm 

Annual General Meeting of the League

The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, London W1U 5AS

 

Owing to the continued Covid-19 restrictions, the Annual General Meeting for the year ending 31 December 2020 has been moved from its planned date (of 17 June) and will take place at the Hellenic Centre at the above date and time. Social-distancing will be observed at this event; those attending must wear masks, unless exempt. Agenda and papers have  been sent by e-mail to all members. This is a member-only event. If you want to attend and are not a member, please join us before 18 June. The invitation and papers for the event are posted below.

Notice of AGM
2021-05-18 Notice -ANNUAL GENERAL MEETIN[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [199.2 KB]
Runciman administrator & trustee - role description
Runciman Trustee - job description v_1.0[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [99.2 KB]
Trustees' Report and Financial Statements for 2020
2020 A-H Final Signed Accounts.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [205.4 KB]
Minutes of the AGM held in 2020
AGM 2020 Minutes v_2.0.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [177.2 KB]
Candidates for election to Council in 2021/2
The Anglo-Hellenic League 2021 - electio[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [151.6 KB]

TWO NEW SPONSORS GUARANTEE THE FUTURE OF

THE ANGLO-HELLENIC LEAGUE RUNCIMAN AWARD

PRESS NOTICE

 

The Council of The Anglo-Hellenic League is delighted to announce our two new co-sponsors of the Runciman Award: the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation and the A. G. Leventis Foundation. 

 

The Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award has been given most years since 1986 for the best new book published in English in the previous year on a Greek topic. The award honours the memory of the Byzantine scholar and philhellene, Sir Steven Runciman. 

 

Under the new agreement, the two co-sponsors will contribute equally to the funding of the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award for the next five years, beginning in 2021. The total value of the sponsorship agreement to the League is £80,000.

 

The value of the annual prizemoney for the Runciman Award is set at £10,000. 

 

The judging of the Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award 2021 is underway. The judges, chaired this year by Prof. Peter Frankopan, released their long list in January and published their short list on 9 April. The winner will be announced at a ceremony to take place by Zoom webinar on 17 June, at 7pm. Registration for the event will open on 19 May. 

 

John Kittmer, Chair of the Council of The Anglo-Hellenic League, said:

 

‘In this year, when we are celebrating the bicentenary of Greek independence, it is wonderful to relaunch this prestigious award, which recognises the best writing in English about Greece and is a hugely important example of international philhellenism. All of us at the League are thrilled that the A. C. Laskaridis and A. G. Leventis foundations have stepped forward to guarantee the future of the Runciman Award. We look forward to working with them in the years ahead.’

 

Evi Lazou, President of the A. C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, said:

 

‘We are very happy and honoured to commence the support of the prestigious Runciman Award on the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence. As keeping Greek heritage alive is an intrinsic part of the Athanasios C. Laskaridis Charitable Foundation’s mission, we cherish the partnership with an established institution that highlights the spirit, history, art and society of Greece.’

 

A spokesperson for the A. G. Leventis Foundation said:

 

‘The A. G. Leventis Foundation is delighted to support the Runciman Award, the longest established prize of its type in the UK. Over the years, this prestigious award has recognised and celebrated the influence of the Greek world in its broadest terms on European culture. It rewards both scholarship and creativity, but emphasises the importance of accessible writing in stimulating cultural and intellectual contact between Briton and Greek.’ 

 

Council of the League

17 May 2021

NOTES TO EDITORS:

 

1. The Anglo-Hellenic League Runciman Award was conceived in 1983, as an initiative of Earl Jellicoe, the then chairman of the League, in honour of Sir Steven Runciman, the distinguished historian of Byzantium and longest-serving chairman of the League (1951-1967). It was first awarded in 1986 and has been awarded most years since then.

 

2. The award is given to the best book (or books) written in English in the previous year on a Greek subject. It aims 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 a wider knowledge and understanding of Greece’s contribution to civilisation and values. 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. Translations from Greek literature into English are also eligible.

 

3. The prize was last awarded in 2019, jointly to Paul Kosmin (for Time and its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire) and to Robin Osborne (for The Transformation of Athens: Painted Pottery and the Creation of Classical Greece). No award was made in 2020. Books published in 2019 and 2020 are, therefore, eligible for the award in 2021.

 

4. The panel of judges for the award in 2021 comprises: Peter Frankopan (chair), Dionysis Kapsalis, Naoise Mac Sweeney, Judith Mossman and Sofka Zinovieff. The judges announced their long list of 21 titles on 14 January and their short list of 7 titles on 9 April (see www.runcimanaward.org). 

 

5. Enquiries about the Runciman Award can be made to the acting award administrator (Dr John Kittmer) at info@anglohellenicleague.org. Information about the two sponsoring foundations can be found at: https://www.aclcf.org/about-en/the-foundation/ and http://www.leventisfoundation.org/en/. The announcement to publishers for the Runciman Award 2022 will be made in late October 2021.

DEATH OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE PHILIP, DUKE OF EDINBURGH

 

On behalf of the Council and members of the League, our chair has today written today to Her Majesty The Queen and to our Chief Patron, Prince Michael of Kent, a cousin of the late Duke, to express our profound sympathy and condolence for the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His family and personal history embodied the ties between Britain and Greece, between the Greek and British peoples, which we, in this organisation, strive to foster and strengthen. His Royal Highness lived a life of exemplary public service. He will be much missed and his memory lovingly preserved.

SEVEN MAGNIFICENT BOOKS TO CELEBRATE THE GREEK BICENTENARY 

 

JUDGES ANNOUNCE THE SHORT LIST FOR 

THE ANGLO-HELLENIC LEAGUE RUNCIMAN AWARD 2021 

‘AMBITION, INVENTIVENESS AND REAL ORIGINALITY’

 

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 19th and 20th centuries, 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 below, 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

Bicentenary of the Start of the Greek War of Independence 

Letter to the President of the Hellenic Republic

 

By way of letter dated 25 March 2021, our Chair has written to the President of the Hellenic Republic, Her Excellency Mrs Katerina Sakellaropoulou, on behalf of the members and Council of the League, to express our congratulations on the start of the bicentenary celebrations. A copy of the letter (in Greek) is set out below.

Outline Cultural Programme for 2021

 

We set out here our outline cultural programme for 2021. Information about how to sign up for events is generally released four weeks before the event. Watch this site for more information. Because of the pandemic, all events advertised to take place in person are liable to change at short notice.

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