The 2006 Prize

In the 18th of October 2007, Averil Cameron received the John D. Criticos Prize from Elisabeth Fotinelli Criticos in a ceremony held by the London Hellenic Society.
View photos of the 2006 Prize

2006 Averil Cameron, The Byzantines

“Averil Cameron’s The Byzantines marks a welcome departure from most previous attempts to portray and characterize Byzantine civilization. The book focuses squarely on the people of the Byzantine Empire, their views of themselves and their culture, and how these changed over time. The result is a remarkably clear view of who the Byzantines were, and the book will contribute significantly to a restoration of Byzantium to its rightful place at the center of the historical tradition of Europe.” Timothy Gregory, Ohio State University

Book Description
This book introduces the reader to the complex history, ethnicity, and identity of the Byzantines.


  • Brings Byzantium – often misconstrued as a vanished successor to the classical world – to the forefront of European history.
  • Focuses on the Byzantine people – their identity, ethnicity, and culture.
  • Explores the importance of Byzantium as a meeting point between Islam and Christianity.
  • Deconstructs stereotypes surrounding Byzantium.
  • Beautifully illustrated with photographs and maps.

From the Back Cover
Byzantium occupies an uncertain place in European history. Though often misconstrued as a vanished successor to the classical world, Byzantium belongs in the mainstream history of Europe and the Mediterranean; its impact is still felt throughout the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. This book introduces the reader to the complex history, ethnicity and identity of the Byzantine empire.

The Byzantine world was also where early Islam and Christianity met, and the Byzantines engaged with and existed alongside Muslims, from the Arabs in the seventh century to the Ottoman Turks in the fifteenth. During its long history the size and shape of the Byzantine empire underwent many dramatic changes, and the pluralist world of late Byzantium was very different from that of the eastern Roman empire when Constantinople was founded in the fourth century AD. The world around it also changed dramatically during that time, yet Byzantine identity was both tenacious and distinctive. The tension between change and continuity in Byzantine society is one of the main themes explored in this book.

About the Author
Averil Cameron is Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine History at Oxford and the Warden of Keble College, and was recently awarded a DBE. Her publications include Changing Cultures in Early Byzantium (1996) and Eusebius, Life of Constantine (ed. with Stuart G. Hall, 1999), and she is a co-editor of volumes XII, XIII and XIV of the Cambridge Ancient History.