Two Runciman winners named

The Runciman Award of the Anglo-Hellenic League for 2006 has been won jointly this year by Tom Holland and Robin Lane Fox. Holland shared this year’s award for his «Persian Fire» (published by the Time Warner Book Group) with Fox for «The Classical World» (published by Allen Lane). Announcing the award at a ceremony held at the Hellenic Center in London on May 23, the chairman of the panel of judges, Sir Roger Tomkys, congratulated both authors, saying the judges had found it impossible to choose between their books. Sir Roger praised «Persian Fire» as a brilliant and accessible account of early and classical Greek history during the period of the Persian wars, saying it was likely to bring a new generation of enthusiasts to Greece and its past. He then congratulated Fox on an enviably well-written account and the best contemporary overview of 900 years of classical history. He noted that while the book obviously goes beyond the bounds of the Hellenic world, it does so through the eyes of the philhellene Emperor Hadrian, carrying the Greek theme on through the Roman centuries. Holland has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for BBC Radio. His previous book, «Rubicon,» was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson prize and won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History in 2004. Fox is a fellow of New College, Oxford and University Reader in Ancient History. His books include «Alexander the Great,» «Pagans and Christians» and «The Unauthorized Version: Truth and Fiction in the Bible.» Five other books were short-listed for the award: «Picturing Death in Classical Athens» by John Oakley (published by CUP), «Attalos, Athens and the Acropolis» by Andrew Stewart (CUP), «Basil II and the Governance of Empire (976-1025)» by Catherine Holmes (OUP), «Greek Tragedy and the British Theater 1660-1914» by Edith Hall and Fiona Mackintosh (OUP), and «Polytheism and Society at Athens» by Robert Parker (OUP). The 9,000-pound (13,068-euro) Runciman Award, named in honor of the late Sir Steven Runciman and awarded to a book on Greece or some aspect of the Hellenic scene, is sponsored by the National Bank of Greece. The Anglo-Hellenic League established the Runciman Award in 1986.

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