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This medal is awarded to the individual who has, in the view of the assessors, made the most distinguished contribution to the Humanities, including archaeology, classics, English, history, Irish language, modern languages and linguistics, philosophy and other cognate areas. It is awarded to John Myles Dillon, Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Dublin.

Professor Dillon’s academic career began at the University of California, Berkeley, where he rose from postgraduate student to Chairman of the Classics Department in eleven years. He was appointed Regius Professor of Greek at Trinity College in 1980. His major work, The Middle Platonists was published in 1977, and is recognized worldwide as an outstanding contribution to the study of Greek philosophy and is still the standard work on the subject. His most recent book, The Heirs of Plato, has also established itself as another classic of philosophical analysis. The complete corpus of his work, comprising some ten other books and over 150 articles and reviews, represents, in the words of his nominators, ‘one of the major contributions in the modern era to the study of ancient philosophy’. His standing is reflected not only in constant worldwide invitations as lecturer and visiting professor, but in the appearance of a Festschrift in his honour to which 22 leading ancient philosophers contributed. He is a Visiting Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris; he founded and is Director of the Dublin Centre for the Study of the Platonic Tradition; he is Director of the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens, and has been elected to the highly prestigious position of President of the International Plato Society. John Dillon’s career has been one of enormous distinction in which he has magnificently represented Ireland in the international field of classical scholarship.