The Kenyon Medal is awarded annually in recognition of work in the fields of classical studies and archaeology.
History of the prize
The award was endowed by Sir Frederic Kenyon (1863–1952), elected a Fellow in 1903 and serving in turn as the Academy’s sixth president and second secretary. The medal was awarded for the first time in 1957.
Eligible nominations can be for any scholar whose work relates to classical studies and archaeology.
How to nominate
Nominations for the Kenyon Medal are currently closed and will open again on 1 December 2023.
If you have any queries about submitting a nomination, please email [email protected]
Professor T.P. Wiseman FBA has been awarded the 2022 Kenyon Medal for his enormous contributions to the fields of Roman history and literature.
An Oxford graduate (DPhil 1967), Peter Wiseman began his teaching career at the University of Leicester (1963-1976, with a year at Toronto in 1970-71); in 1976 he was appointed Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter, a post he has held ever since (Emeritus since 2001). In 1988 he was awarded an honorary DLitt by the University of Durham, and one of his many books on Roman history and Roman literature (The Myths of Rome, 2004) won the American Philological Association’s Goodwin Award of Merit. He has been President of the Roman Society (1992-95), Chairman of Council of the British School at Rome (2002-07), and honorary President of the Classical Association (2000-01) and the Devon and Cornwall Record Society (2011-17).
"I feel enormously honoured to receive the Kenyon Medal. It’s a particularly significant award, because it represents the judgement of one’s fellow-scholars in both of the quite different disciplines that deal with the ancient world. I was very well taught, at Manchester Grammar School and at Balliol, to be a text-based classicist. I have no archaeological expertise, but in 1962-3 I had the great good fortune to spend a year as Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome, where talking to real archaeologists and getting to know how they worked was a formative experience for me.
"Ever since then I’ve done my best to do justice to the material as well as the textual evidence for ancient history. I think it’s important that each set of specialists should have some sense of the other side’s modus operandi, to understand how much or how little it’s legitimate to infer from whatever textual or material data happen to survive. Sir Frederic Kenyon spent a lifetime studying the physical remains of ancient literary texts, so I hope he would approve.
"Respect for the evidence is of course what all the humanities disciplines depend on: scholars must have not just the obsessive curiosity to find the evidence in the first place, and the creative imagination to make it say something about the lost world of the past, but also the empirical rigour to test their hypotheses against the limits of what survives. You could say that those qualities are exactly what the Academy exists to promote – and with unlimited pseudo-data now instantly accessible on everybody’s phone, they have never been more necessary.
"My wife Anne is also a classicist, and that year in Rome was the start of our married life. So I’m particularly grateful to the Academy for granting me this honour just in time for our 60th wedding anniversary!"
- Professor T.P. Wiseman FBA, August 2022
2021 Dr David Breeze OBE FSA FRSE
2020 Professor Dame Averil Cameron FBA
2019 Professor Peter Parsons FBA
2015 Nigel Wilson FBA
2013 Professor Alan Cameron FBA
2011 Emeritus Professor David Peacock
2009 Dr James Adams FBA
2007 Professor Sir Geoffrey Lloyd FBA
2005 Professor Sir Fergus Millar FBA
2003 Professor John Nicolas Coldstream FBA