Runciman Award judges unveil 21 picks to mark 1821 Greek Revolution


The judges of the prestigious Runciman Award for books about Greece have unveiled their long list of 21 titles for the 2021 installment of the event, which is scheduled to be held in London on June 17, as part of the UK’s celebration of the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence.

“This is a wonderful – and thrilling – long list. We have such an amazing range of books about Greece in all its forms and glories. The books we have chosen go from the siege of Troy to Herodotus through the Byzantine era to Greece in the Cold War and bohemian lives on 1960s Hydra. As we face weeks more locked down because of the pandemic, what a treat to be able to be able to dive into books written by some of the superstars of the academic and literary worlds,” Peter Frankopan, chair of judges and respected historian, said of the selection.

The Runciman Award has been run since 1983 by The Anglo-Hellenic League and seeks to reward the best book published in the previous year in English about Greece or on a Greek subject. The competition was not run in 2020, though a new sponsorship deal has been agreed, paving the way for this year’s event.

“It is great to be relaunching the Runciman Award in 2021, when we are celebrating the bicentenary of the Greek War of Independence. I am delighted to welcome Peter Frankopan as chair of judges and Sofka Zinovieff as a new member on our panel,” said John Kittmer, chair of the League and UK ambassador to Greece from 2013 to 2016.