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Shay Eshel

In The Concept of the Elect Nation in Byzantium, Shay Eshel shows how the Old Testament model of the ancient Israelites was a prominent factor in the evolution of Roman-Byzantine national awareness between the 7th and 13th centuries. The Byzantines' interpretation of the 7th century epic events as manifestations of God's wrath enabled them to incorporate the events into a paradigm which they now embraced: the Old Testament paradigm of the Israelite Elect Nation's complex relationship with God, a cyclic relation of sin, wrath, punishment, repentance and salvation. The Elect Nation concept enabled the Byzantines to express the shift in their collective identity toward a shrunken, yet more clearly defined, national awareness.

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Paul Knoll

The first fully developed history of the University of Cracow in this period in over a century, “A Pearl of Powerful Learning.” The University of Cracow in the Fifteenth Century places the school in the context of late medieval universities, traces the process of its foundation, analyzes its institutional growth, its setting in the Polish royal capital, its role in national life, and provides a social and geographical profile of students and faculty. The book includes extended treatment of the content of intellectual life and accomplishments of the school with reference to the works of its most important scholars in the medieval arts curriculum, medicine, law, and theology. The emergence of early Renaissance humanist interests at the university is also discussed.

Winner of the Early Slavic Studies Association 2016 Book Prize for most outstanding recent scholarly monograph on pre-modern Slavdom.
The work was described by the prize committee as: "A thoughtful, highly-informed, and nuanced history of the University of Cracow, an important institution in a pivotal period of Poland’s history. Knoll's treatment of such important issues as the role of the University in national life and the controversial and highly technical matter of the impact of Humanism are dealt with tactfully and thoughtfully. The book will become the definitive work on this topic, and will ensure that the material will rapidly be absorbed into general histories of education and of universities in the Renaissance."


Winner of The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America's 2018 Oskar Halecki Award. This award recognizes a book of particular value and significance dealing with the Polish experience and is named after the distinguished 20th century Polish medieval historian, Oskar Halecki, who was one of the founders of PIASA. Professor Knoll will be recognized for this award during the 77th Annual Meeting of PIASA in Gdansk, Poland in June 2019.