Rhakotis Book Prize Shortlist

We can announce the shortlist for this year’s Rhakotis Prize.

We can announce the shortlist for this year’s Rhakotis Prize. The following books interrogate the idea of ‘Classics beyond the classics’, examining the ancient world and its legacy in all its complexity.

All books published between January 2020 and December 2021 and whose topic is broadly the ‘Classics beyond the classics’ are eligible.

This year the panel went to Quags in London for a quick bite and a long discussion. An excellent wine selection. Following which we can announce the following shortlist has been announced:


Calling out to Isis by Solange Ashby, a fascinating study of ancient Philae which must shift the geographic focus of ancient historians.

Women of Troy by Pat Barker continues the retelling of Troy began in The Silence of the Girls.

Ancient Cities by Greg Woolf tells the long history of urban settlements, a timely look at one of humanity’s most enduring creations.

The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper is set in the brothel at Pompeii. A stunning classic.

The Interpretation of Dreams by Artemidorus. The first English translation of this important ancient text with summary book, by Peter Thonemann.

Beyond Egyptomania Objects, Style and Agency, edited by Miguel John Versluys. An important new set of essays analysing the reception of Ancient Egypt.

Longlisted books

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome by Emma Southon, funny and historically accurate. 

Golden Mummies of Egypt by Campbell Price, a reappraisal of the collection of mummified remains held by the University of Manchester.

The Riddle of the Rosetta by Jed Buchwald and Diane Greco Josefowicz retells the intriguing story of how the ultimate scholarly frenemies cracked the most ancient riddle of all time.

Ethnic Identities in the Land of the Pharaohs by Uroš Matić, a timely and short book showing how racist ideology informed European Egyptology for centuries.

Stephen Fry’s Troy, an avuncular retelling of that most pernicious of myths.

The Eternal City: A History of Rome in Maps by Jessica Maier, a beautiful and fascinating book about that most intriguing of cities.

Alaric the Goth by Douglas Boin, a great read for anyone who finds the ‘Fall of Rome’ has a contemporary feel.

The Last Assassin Paperback by Peter Stothard, how Octavius got vengeance for the murder of his uncle Julius Caesar. Combines the pace of Taken with the depth and subtlety of Gibbon.

What did you read this year? Share your favourite books in the comments below:

By Rhakotis Magazine

Classic beyond the classics