British Academy Fellow wins major history prize in Poland

16 Oct 2017

A British Academy Fellow has won a major history prize in Poland for a book examining the political union between Poland and Lithuania between 1385 and 1569.

Professor Robert Frost FBA, Burnett Fletcher Chair in History at the University of Aberdeen, was awarded the prestigious Pro Historia Polonorum prize for his Oxford History of Poland-Lithuania, Vol. 1: The Making of the Polish-Lithuanian Union, 1385–1569 (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015). 

The Pro Historia Polonorum prize, worth 20,000PLN (£4,000), is awarded every five years by the Polish Historical Association for the best book on the history of Poland or East Central Europe written in a foreign language by a non-Polish author. 

Professor Frost’s book was chosen from among 165 nominated by Polish historians.

Commenting on the award, Professor Frost said:

“This award is truly a great honour for me. I would like to thank the Polish Historical Association for awarding me this wonderful prize, and Senate of the Polish Republic, and its marshal, Stanisław Karczewski, for financing the prize so generously.

“In an age in which many governments are turning aside from funding the Humanities and Social Sciences, a government that recognises the importance of History for the modern age deserves considerable praise." 

The book, which demonstrates the importance of the Polish-Lithuanian union for an understanding of the politics not just of modern Poland, but also of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania and of the later formation of the Germanic states, resulted from a British Academy/Wolfson Research Professorship, awarded to Professor Frost in 2009.

This grant, funded by the Wolfson Foundation and offered through the British Academy, provides a small number of outstanding established academics with the opportunity to take extended research leave to enable them to concentrate on a significant research programme, while freed from normal teaching and administrative commitments.

The Pro Historia Polonorum prize is funded by the Polish Senate and was presented by the Marshal of the Polish Senate on Wednesday 11 October at the opening ceremony of the III Congress of International Researchers of Polish History in Kraków, in which 250 historians from 37 countries are taking part.

Listen to Professor Frost talk about the history of unions and nation states as part of our From our Fellows podcast:


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