2014 CAMWS First Book Award

Ian Moyer

The committee received sixteen nominations for the award; the number of nominations was much higher than in the previous two years (ten nominations in 2013, eleven in 2012). After checking the membership status of the books' authors, fourteen were found to be eligible. These books represented a wide range of fields such as Greek literature, Roman literature, Greco-Roman literature, Greek history and historiography, Roman history and historiography, ancient history, and archaeology, and several were cross-disciplin


We judged the books in two rounds, beginning in early October when committee members received copies of all the books. For the first round, each book was read by two committee members. Five books were rated so highly that they made it to the second round. Each committee member then read the books that they hadn't previously read in the first round. Committee members sent their numerical rankings and narrative evaluations of each of the finalist books to the chair. Bill Hutton volunteered to tabulate these into one efficie

nt document, which we sent out to all committee members in advance of our Skype conference call, held on March 3. Four committee members participated in this call; others were unable to participate due to differences of time zone (being in Europe) or other commitments. The fact that not all committee members were able to participate in this discussion to select the Book Award winner was not problematic because there was general consensus going into the call, although all committee members acknowledged that three books in particular were outstanding, and choosing among them was difficult.

This year's winner is Ian Moyer for his book Egypt and the Limits of Hellenism (Cambridge, 2011). Committee members evaluated Moyer's book as follows: "This book is a tour de force of sensitive examination of the interaction of Egyptian and Greco-Roman cultures. It stands out . . . in the sheer amount and variety of evidence considered, and that across an impressive timespan." "This book tackles a particularly pressing need - a reevaluation in post-Said terms of the intersection between Egypt and the Greco-Roman world." "This is an important book for several reasons and for me was the clear winner. Moyer combines expertise in Egyptology and Classics to provide a fresh perspective on the cultural interactions between Egypt and the Hellenic world. The dual perspective is rare and valuable. He combats over-reliance on colonialist analogies, focusing instead on 'transactional and dialogic' processes in the formation of the culture of Hellenistic Egypt." "This book definitely 'wowed' me, and it makes an important contribution that will affect a wide variety of fields within the discipline."