Former Laureates

Union Académique Internationale

Union Académique Internationale


Founded in 1919, the Union Académique Internationale is, according to its articles of incorporation, an academic umbrella organisation of national scholarly associations or groups of comparable institutions. It is in essence a supranational organisation, whose aim is to promote cooperation in research and the publication of material fundamental to research in the fields of philology, archaeology, history, political and social sciences and the humanities in general. It for instance made the publication possible of the mediaeval Latin translations of Plato and Aristotle. Another project in which universities and museums all over the world collaborate is the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. Byzantine music, a Corpus des Troubadours, Medieval Latin, an encyclopaedia of Islam, the terminology of international law and inscriptions are other current projects.

The scholarly activities of the Union Académique Internationale were never limited to European culture alone, yet the union was awarded the Erasmus Prize for having promoted the cooperation of almost all European academies and for stimulating important scholarly research. In so doing, it not only maintained and raised the level of European humanities but also encouraged research in cultural areas outside of the European tradition.
Professor Rensselaer W. Lee, then President of the Union, of Princeton University accepted the prize.

The plan to publish a new critical edition of the Opera Omnia of Erasmus had already been conceived in Rotterdam in 1963. The Union Académique Internationale gave its cultural and financial support to this project, making it possible for the first volume of the edition to appear in time for the 500th anniversary of Erasmus’ birth in 1969.