Committee for 2013

Aris Berlis

is a literary critic and translator of English literature and literary theory into Greek.

Among his many translations are included:

He has also translated Roman Jakobson's Essays on Language and Literature (Estia, 1998) and M.H.Abrams's The Mirror and the Lamp (Kritiki, 2001). He has edited translations of Richard Ellmann's James Joyce: A Biography and George Seiner's After Babel. He has published a volume of essays on the poetry of Odysseus Elytis (Ypsilon, 1992) and a volume of essays on literature (Critical Essays, Ypsilon, 2001).

A regular contributor to magazines, Aris Berlis is active as a literary critic and theorist of translation. He held posts as:

He has also represented Greece as a member of the European Union Committee (Arianne Programme) for the subsidising and the advancement of literary translation among EU countries and has been awarded the State Prize for Translation in 2012.


Felix Budelmann

is lecturer in Greek and Latin languages and literature at the University of Oxford and Tutor in Classics at Magdalen College. Born in Germany, he studied in London and Cambridge, and subsequently taught at the University of Manchester and the Open University. He also held a one-year research fellowship at Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington and had a spell as a management consultant.

Felix works on ancient Greek literature, especially tragedy and lyric, and its afterlife in various periods and countries, in particular twentieth-century Africa. He also has an interest in the history of classical scholarship. His most recent publication is The Cambridge Companion to Greek Lyric (Cambridge 2009). For three years he was reviews editor of the Journal of Hellenic Studies, and is now co-editor of the Cambridge Classical Journal. He is currently preparing an anthology of early Greek lyric for Cambridge and, in a more speculative vein, is thinking about ways of applying cognitive science to Greek literature.

He is the current Chair of the Adjudicating Committee.


Liz James

is Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex. She studied Ancient History and Archaeology at Durham, Byzantine Studies at Birmingham and then did a doctorate in Byzantine art at the Courtauld Institute where she was supervised by Robin Cormack. At Sussex, she makes it her mission to keep the flag of Byzantine art flying at all times. Liz's research interests are a varied mix of the use of light and colour in Byzantine art, the making of mosaics and the role played by gender in Byzantine society. She has just come to the end of a three year Leverhulme Trust-sponsored International Network exploring the composition of Byzantine glass mosaic tesserae, a project much more interesting than that sounds.


Robin Lane Fox

was born in 1946, in what he sometimes thinks of as his third life. He was educated at Eton College and Magdalen College Oxford and after his BA in 1969 became a Fellow by Examination of Magdalen College in 1970. He then wrote his book on Alexander the Great which was published in 1973 and has since been published in many languages and remained in print in most of them after winning several literary prizes in the UK. It has sold up to a million copies worldwide by now. His aim is to update it in the nearish future.

He then taught classical languages and literature at Worcester College, Oxford from 1973 to 1977 as a Lecturer, then Fellow, while also learning Arabic and setting out on the road to retraining as an Islamic historian. This aim was sabotaged by election to a Fellowship and University Lecturership in Ancient History at New College, Oxford where he has served the undergraduates, his primary love in the University, since 1977, arguably becoming better at the duties of the job. In 1990 he was promoted to be Reader in Ancient History for the University as well. He had published Pagans and Christians (1986) which was kindly received by classicists because it did not relate to much which they were working on at the time or thereafter. He followed it with The Unauthorised Version on truth and fiction in the Bible (1992) which continues to have a vigorous life in public libraries and then with an edited and partly-authored book on Xenophon and The Ten Thousand (2004) which scholars read more enthusiastically than he did. In 2005 he published his A History of The Classical World (2005) which has become a best-seller in the USA, UK and other languages, especially Spanish and this year, German. It co-won the Runciman Prize for 2005 and has attracted major reviews in many countries, especially Germany and Spain where it was top of the non-fiction bestselling lists.

In 2008 he published Travelling Heroes, a study of Greek, especially Euboean, contact with the Near East and the West and the mythical tales which they acquired and projected onto the world around them. It took him very many years of travel and thought and to his surprise was then filmed as a one-man documentary for the BBC, to appear, no doubt to the public's bafflement, this autumn, 2010. The book has been translated and paperbacked widely since 2009. In his view it is in places his least awful book since bits of Alexander.

His previous lives were first, as a Euboean settler in the Chalkidki in the mid-eighth century BC where he acquired the knowledge deployed for the first time in Travelling Heroes, and then as a rejuvenated Chalcidic-Macedonian cavalry commander in the army of Alexander, a role which therefore came naturally to him to demand as his return for being Historical Consultant to Oliver Stone's epic film Alexander (2004). Cavalry service and starry times in the wilds of Morocco, Thailand and Hollywood brought him back to life from his temporary entombment in the green orchards near Mieza in Macedon's heartland. It is not yet clear when, or if, he will die again.

His classical interests are the classical world, especially archaic Greece and fifth to fourth Athens and the 50-40 BC turning point. He is always writing away but remains wary of committing himself by saying what he is writing about next, a question which most interests those who do not intend to read what he has written already. He has tried to cover the sources from Homer to Muhammad, inclusive, in his teaching life. He is Garden Master of New College, Oxford and since 1970 the weekly gardening columnist for the Financial Times. He is about to publish Thoughtful Gardening (2010) here and in the USA and A History of Macedon, 650BC-100AD with 16 fellow contributors, many from Greece, for Brill of Leiden in 2011.

He has been a Criticos judge since the Prize's beginning in 1997-8.


Nick Lowe

was born in Manchester, grew up in Glasgow, and read Classics at Cambridge, where he did his PhD on Greek religion under Geoffrey Kirk. Having survived the demise of classics in three other London colleges, he is Reader in Classical Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he is a broad Greek and Latin literary specialist with particular interests in comedy, prose fiction, narrative generally, and the interface between literary theory and cognitive science. Books include The Classical Plot and the Invention of Western Narrative (2000) and Comedy (2008), and he is currently trying to see off a big project on the classical Greek world in historical fiction. He pops up sporadically on television and radio, including a handful of appearances on In Our Time, and even more sporadically manages to deliver something to the TLS. Among other lives, he has been reviewing films for Interzone for 25 years; a 400,000-word anniversary collection is threatened for 2010. He is married with two daughters and lives in the dodgiest bit of Hampstead, where neighbours cover their ears in delight at his mastery of palm-wine guitar. He is no relation to anyone talented.


Michael Moschos

was instrumental in the establishment of the Criticos Prize, along with its creator and sponsor John D. Criticos. In his capacity as Vice-Chairman of the London Hellenic Society, he has managed and co-ordinated the Prize from London and Athens since its inception in 1996.

After graduating from Athens College, he studied English and Comparative Literature (M.A., M.Phil., Columbia University) with special interests in classical Greek tragedy, Shakespeare and Renaissance theatre (on which subject he defended his Ph.D. dissertation) and modern poetry. He taught at Columbia (1976-8) and Athens College (1978-1980); wrote weekly for the literary pages of Athens daily Kathimerini (1978-88), and for the Independent (1985-95), as well as for several literary magazines in Athens (Tram, To Dendro, etc.).

Since 1982 he has been active in shipping and, in 1996, established Levant Maritime Company Ltd, which owned and successfully built in Japan dry-bulk vessels which incorporated innovative specifications and set a benchmark for international dry-bulk transport.

He has lived and worked in New York, Athens and (mostly) London for the past 35 years.

Michael studied Maritime Law in London and, for seven years (1988-95), was the representative of Greek shipping to NATO; he has always maintained a lively interest in international relations and ocean trade.

In addition to English, he speaks French, German and has translated from Russian the work of Joseph Brodsky, a dear friend whose poetry he published in Greece.

For the past 5 years he has worked closely with Souillac-based Sebastien Linard to plant and grow an organic walnut-tree farm in Artemision, northern Evia. Last autumn he was happy to take to market his first produce.

Married to Despina Fafalios since 1978, they have two children and have recently celebrated the birth of their first grandchild. The family always spend summers together on their native island of Chios.


Fani Papageorgiou

is a poet and critic. Her book When You Said No, Did You Mean Never? (Shearsman, 2013) won the Hong Kong Poetry Prize.


Stephanos Pesmazoglou

is Professor of the Theory of Political Ideology and Public Policy at the Department of Political Science and History, Panteion University, Athens; Visiting Professor at Princeton University in 1999 and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS 2005). He held seminars in various research institutes and departments (among which N.Y. New School, Bogazici University (various times) etc.

His research, writing and teaching have focused on political, ideological and educational aspects of postwar South European societies (including the Balkan South East) and Turkey. His current research is on 'The transformations of Modern Greek Mythology (19th and 20th century)'.

He is co-editor of the social sciences review 'Synchrona Themata' (affiliated up to 2001 with the European Review of Books Liber).

He has written numerous books, articles in journals and collective volumes. Some of his publications include: 'Parallel lives' in the European South (1986), Education and the Economy: The Asymptotic nature of a Relationship (1987, which won the 1989 Athens Academy award), Europe and Turkey: Reflections and Refractions. Textual Strategies in Academic Discourse (1993), Ideology and Rhetoric in Turco-European Relations (1994, winning the 1999 Ipekci award), Educational Exchanges and Technical Assistance: The Diplomacy of Ideas (1985), Kosovo, the double-edged 'Hubris'. Surveillance and Punishment (in Greek, 2001; translation in Serbo-Croat) based on an initial article 'Kosovo: La guerre de Troie n'a pas eu lieu' published later in 2004 in Balkaniologie. Editor The Political, Economic and Social Implications of Greece's entry into the EEC (1978) and Current Trends in Greek Historiography (1988), "Greek Universities: Europe during socio-political and Institutional constraints", review Higher Education Policy, Isogan Page, vol. 5, n. 4 (December 1992), 'Government Ideology and the University Curriculum in Greece', in European Journal of Education, vol. 29, n. 3 (1994), 'Inventing a Curriculum for the Social Sciences: Some Presuppositions for the Redefinition of Scholarship', Higher Education in Europe, Vol.XXIII, No.4 (1998), 'Some Fallacies in Perceiving Greek University Education',in the edited vol. Greek Higher education. Prospects for Reform (Pella pub., 1998), 'Patterns of studies in Greek Universities: A micro-level approach of four disciplines', in the book Innovation and Adaptation in Higher Education, The Changing Conditions of Advanced Teaching and Learning in Europe edited by Claudius Gellert (London: Jessica Isingsley pubs, 1999), ch.9 'L'Universite Grecque: Paradoxes et problemes majeurs' in Christophe Charle & Charles Souli (ed.) Les Ravages de la modernization universitaire en Europe (2007), 'The Mythological foundations of the Greek Nation-State' in Modern Greek Myths (Etaireia Spoudon Neoellinikis Paideias, 2007), 'National and linguistic domination: Theories of nationalism and Language' in Licht und Warme. In Memory of A-F. Christidis (Centre of the Greek Language, 2008).


Elizabeth Speller

is a poet and author. She has published a biography of Emperor Hadrian, companion guides to Rome and to Athens (recommended by the Olympics 2004 site) and a family history, Sunlight on the Garden (Granta). Of this book a TLS reviewer said: 'There are echoes … of Sylvia Plath's ability to combine beauty with irony, and suffering with comedy.' Her second novel is to be published by Virago in 2011 and she is currently working on a fictionalised account of the first day of the battle of the Somme to be published in 2014. She has contributed to publications as varied as the Independent, Financial Times, Sunday Times, New Statesman, TLS, and Vogue and produced the libretto for a requiem for Linda McCartney - Farewell - composed by Michael Berkeley (OUP and EMI). She was short listed for the Forward Prize last year and her poetry is in several anthologies, most recently in Tellus, 2011.

Elizabeth read Archaeology and Anthropology and then Classics at Cambridge as a mature student and stayed there to do an MPhil. She won a BP studentship and a Henry Arthur Thomas award. Her post-graduate research and current interests are in the use of classical themes in C20/21 literature, especially in war poetry and the discourse of conflict. She has held a visiting scholarship at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge and has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Bristol and Birmingham. At present she holds a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at the University of Warwick.


Carrie Vout

is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow and Director of Studies at Christ's College. With an undergraduate degree and doctorate in Classics from Cambridge and a MA in Classical and Byzantine Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, she held lectureships at the Universities of Bristol, London and Nottingham before returning to Cambridge permanently in 2006. She is a Historian and Art Historian who publishes on a wide range of topics from Graeco-Roman History through to Greek Art and nineteenth-century sculpture. Her recent work includes Power and Eroticism in Imperial Rome, published by Cambridge University Press. She is also an editor of the Cambridge Classical Journal, Omnibus and French Art History journal, Perspective. In 2009, she was awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize. The Leverhulme Trust writes: 'Dr Caroline Vout is emerging as one of the most impressive of the younger generation of interpreters of the art, especially the sculpture, of classical antiquity. Her arguments about the meaning of ancient objects, such as portrait busts and standing statues, are grounded in her belief that meanings change with time and with circumstance. The intelligence of this position is matched by Dr Vout's interest in addressing herself not only to her immediate constituency of experts on antiquity but to a much wider circle. She has acquired ways of communicating powerfully and clearly about little-understood works of ancient art to a broader public, as was evident from her highly successful and ground-breaking exhibition on the Antinous: the Face of the Antique (Leeds, 2006).' The catalogue won the inaugural Art Book Award. In 2010, she was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Outside of academia, Carrie has written for the Times Literary Supplement, Apollo, The Burlington, History Today, Minerva, has appeared on television and on Woman's Hour and has acted as academic consultant for programmes like Channel Four's recent This is Civilization series, and for Hampton Court Palace. She is currently co-directing a major Arts and Humanities Research Council project entitled 'Reinterpreting Greece and Rome at the Fitzwilliam Museum', the aim of which is to underpin the current redisplay of the Museum's Graeco-Roman collection by bringing academic research and public outreach together. She is co-editor of the important school and teachers' magazine for Classics, Omnibus, is on the Committee of the Cambridge Greek Play, and on the Council of the Classical Association, and from 2006-2009 was Cambridge's Access and Outreach Officer for Classics.


Jennifer Wallace

is a lecturer in English Literature at the University of Cambridge and Harris Fellow of Peterhouse. She grew up in London and Edinburgh, and went to Cambridge in 1984 for a degree in Classics and English. She continued to combine the two subjects in her doctoral dissertation there on Shelley and Hellenism. A three-year research fellowship at Clare College, Cambridge followed, before she took up the post at Peterhouse in 1995.

Jennifer has published extensively on Hellenism and classical reception in the eighteenth and nineteenth century, including her book, Shelley and Greece in 1997, and articles on Byron, Keats, Illyria, the bluestocking Elizabeth Carter, Matthew Arnold and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, among others. More recently she has written books on archaeology (Digging the Dirt:The Archaeological Imagination) and on classical, Shakespearean and modern drama (The Cambridge Introduction to Tragedy). Digging the Dirt focused on archaeological sites from Stonehenge to Ground Zero and explored the metaphorical implications of digging. The reviewer for the Times Higher Education Supplement commented: 'Digging the Dirt is an exquisitely written labour of love, part history of archaeological thought . . . and part personal voyage. Wallace argues for retaining a commitment to the rights of desire, to the poetics of depth and to the "aura" that differentiates what lies beneath our modern living surfaces, what is there now, and what happened in between. Digging the Dirt is less about archaeology and more an examination of humanity—an enthralling, clever and accessible read that would be thought-provoking for the uninitiated public'.

Beyond academia, Jennifer has reviewed fiction for the TLS and written feature articles for the THES, including interviews of Andre Brink, David Mamet, Edward Said, Slavoj Zizek, Luce Irigaray and many other philosophers, writers, and feminists. She's written on biblical archaeology in Israel for the Smithsonian magazine, and covered, for other magazines, issues of rural development and environmental destruction in India and China.

She lives in London (and commutes to Cambridge) with her partner, the photographer Robert Wallis.

The Committee has, in the past, called upon many other prominent academics and authors to join it as required. Among them, in recent years, were Nasos Vayenas, Elizabeth Jeffreys and Sir Roger Tomkys.

The former Chairs have been Caroline Vout, Elizabeth Speller, David Ricks, Robin Osborne, Paul Cartledge and Judith Herrin.