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The LHP adjudicating committee met by teleconference on May 7th to discuss the Shortlist of candidates for books published in 2020 and select the winner. The committee was chaired by A.G. Leventis Professor emeritus Paul Cartledge (Clare College, University of Cambridge) and also included Professor Peter Frankopan (Worcester College, Oxford), Mr Robin Lane Fox (New College, Oxford), Dr Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway, University of London), Professor emeritus Michael Paschalis (University of Crete), and Dr Jennifer Wallace (Peterhouse, University of Cambridge).

The five books shortlisted by the committee were:

*Leon Saltiel’s The Holocaust in Thessaloniki: Reactions to the Anti-Jewish Persecution, 1942–1943 (Routledge) -- an original study based on new archival historical research, illuminating the municipal, civil, and religious responses to the tragedy of the Holocaust victims of Thessaloniki

* Stephen Fry’s Troy (Penguin/ Michael Joseph) – the third book in a projected tetralogy retelling myths linked with the Trojan War with imagination, intelligence and hunour

*Judith Herrin’s Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe (Penguin/ Allen Lane) -- an absorbing account of the important historical role of Ravenna during a crucial period of Christian-Byzantine transition, introducing its people, monuments and civilization

* Benjamin Wardhaugh’s The Book of Wonders: The Many Lives of Euclid’s Elements (Harper Collins/William Collins) --detailing Euclid’s achievements and the impact of the major Greek invention of maths, a cultural-historical lifestory of mathematical thinking and writing

*Rosa Andújar’s edition of The Greek Trilogy of Luis Alfaro: Electricidad; Oedipus El Rey; Mojada (Bloomsbury/Methuen Drama) -- a collection of the three Greek plays by Mexican-American playwright, Luis Alfaro, a highly original cultural and linguistic adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra, Oedipus Rex and Euripides’ Medea to the life of urban/ immigrant Latinx communities in Los Angeles. Andújar offers an excellent introductory essay and her commentary provides both ancient and modern context for each play.

The winner of the 2020 LHP was The Greek Trilogy by Luis Alfaro and Rosa Andujar.

Michael Moschos


The London Hellenic Prize London, 10 May 2021

"Empty Theatre (almost)"by Kevin Jaako, licensed under CC BY 2.0