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John Dillery named runner-up for the Runciman Award.


Best of Greece

The Runciman Award is an annual literary award offered by the Anglo-Hellenic League for a work published in English dealing wholly or in part with Greece or Hellenism.

"This year the judging panel also decided to celebrate the achievements of John Dillery, author of Clio’s Other Sons, Berossus and Manetho, by declaring him runner-up. In the words of Professor Harrison:

John Dillery’s Clio’s Other Sons: Berossus and Manetho, takes as its topic two fragmentary historians of the Hellenistic age, Berossus and Manetho. Both were priests, one Babylonian, the other Egyptian. Both, however, wrote their histories in Greek in the new world of the successors to Alexander. Were these works a form of cultural resistance to following Greek rule or acts of collaboration? Professor Dillery steers a wise course between these two extremes. He shows instead how both authors reflect a complex interpenetration of cultures: how the Greco-Macedonian conquests sparked a new kind of history writing in Egypt and the New East, but how at the same time both historians sought, as Professor Dillery puts it, to ‘preserve the integrity of their civilisation in the face of foreign domination’. This is a study which is based on a profound understanding of previous Greek history writing, but also of Egyptian and Near Eastern tradition – a near unique combination. If it is true that Clio’s Other Sons won’t be hitting the bookstands at WHSmith, it is also the case that it is beautifully written, could not do more to make some very difficult questions clear, and deserves a wide readership. It is a magnificent work of scholarship, one of the most important books on Ancient Greek history writing for many years and by a close margin, our runner-up for this year’s award."