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prize, in maritime law, the private property of an enemy that a belligerent captures at sea. For the capture of the vessel or cargo to be lawful it must be made outside neutral waters and by authority of the belligerent. A prize court, in the territory of the belligerent or in that of an allied power, must adjudicate that the property belonged to an enemy national. After the prize is captured, it is ordinarily placed in charge of a prize master and sent into port for judicial proceedings; however, if the enemy character of the ship is readily apparent, it may be destroyed at sea (after passengers, crew, and ship's papers have been removed), with the captor's government being liable for the losses of neutrals. If the prize is sold before being adjudicated, the proceeds must be delivered to the court for distribution. In the case of condemnation, the entire proceeds go to the belligerent government. In the United States, since 1899, the crew of the vessel effecting capture has had no right to share in the profits of the sale. A prize court renders a decision on the basis of the ship's papers, the testimony of those on board, and other relevant factors. If the ship is not condemned, it is released and damages are awarded where no justifiable reason for its capture has been shown. Prize law initially developed from the desire of governments to share in the profits made by ships engaged in privateering. The governments also wished to minimize diplomatic claims for damages by establishing regular procedures for disposing of captures. Although they nominally apply international law, prize courts (in the United States, the federal courts) in awarding judgment have been influenced, or even bound, by the national law. To avoid this, prize cases are sometimes referred to international tribunals. Efforts to establish an international prize court with appellate jurisdiction, however, have not succeeded.


See J. W. Garner, Prize Law during the World War (1927); C. J. Colombos, Treatise on the Law of Prize (3d ed. 1949).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a form of incentive for achievements in work, science, literature, art, and other socially useful activity.

In the USSR the following prizes have been established: the Lenin Prize, State Prize of the USSR, state prizes of Union republics, the Lenin Komsomol Prize, and the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations. State Prizes have also been established in a number of other socialist countries. For example, the Dimitrov Prize is awarded in Bulgaria, the Kossuth Prize in Hungary, the Gottwald Prize in Czechoslovakia, the National Prize in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and state prizes in Poland and Rumania. There are also state prizes in certain bourgeois countries, including France and Italy. The World Congress of Partisans of Peace awards the International Peace Prize.

Prizes in science. The tradition of awarding honorary prizes for major scientific works, discoveries, and inventions began in the 18th century. In 1714 a prize for finding a precise method of determining longitude at sea was established in Great Britain. Portions of the prize were paid out as late as 1765; the recipients were the heirs of T. Mayer, for Mayer’s lunar tables, L. Euler, for solving problems of lunar theory, and J. Harrison, for improving the chronometer. During the 18th century prizes for successfully solving problems at special competitions were awarded by the leading academies of sciences. The French Académie des Sciences began awarding prizes in 1720, the Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin in 1746, the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in accordance with its charter of 1747, and the Bavarian Academy in 1756. Subsequently prizes for scientific research were established by a number of scientists, rich patrons, scientific and other societies, funds, and editorial boards of scientific journals.

Before 1917, most prizes for scientific works in Russia were awarded by the Academy of Sciences. The academy’s prizes included the Demidov Prize, which was awarded from 1832 to 1864 for works in many branches of science; the K. M. Ber Prize, which was awarded from 1867 for works in anatomy, histology, embryology, and other fields; the Lomonosov Prize, awarded from 1866 in many branches; the V. Ia. Buniakovskii Prize, awarded from 1878 in mathematical analysis; the G. P. Gel’mersen Prize, awarded from 1879 in geology, paleontology, and other fields; the F. F. Brandt Prize, awarded from 1896 in zoogeography and other areas; and the K. D. Ushinskii Prize, awarded from 1901 in educational psychology. Prizes for scientific works and for solving problems in competition were also awarded by government departments; for example, the Main Artillery Administration in 1845 established the Mikhail Great Prize for works and inventions in artillery. Scientific societies also awarded such prizes; for example, the St. Petersburg Society of Natural Scientists began awarding the K. F. Kessler Prize for works in zoology in 1889, and the Kazan Physics and Mathematics Society began awarding the N. I. Lobachevskii International Prize for works in mathematics in 1897. Educational institutions also awarded prizes. For example, the Mikhail Artillery Academy awarded a prize from 1854, and the Surgical Academy awarded the I. F. Bush Prize from 1838.

In the USSR, along with the Lenin Prize and the State Prize, various prizes have been established and named after outstanding Russian and Soviet scientists. The Academy of Sciences of the USSR awards prizes named after various known persons, including D. I. Mendeleev (prize established in 1934 for chemistry and chemical technology), I. P. Pavlov (1934, physiology), A. O. Kovalevskii (1940, embryology), K. A. Timiriazev (1941, plant physiology and other fields), S. A. Chaplygin (1942, mechanics), V I. Vernadskii (1943, biogeochemistry and other fields), S. V. Lebedev (1944, chemistry and technology of synthetic rubber and other fields), V. L. Komarov (1944, botany and other fields), P. L. Chebyshev (1944, mathematics), I. I. Mechnikov (1945, microbiology and other fields), A. N. Bakh (1946, biochemistry), A. E. Fersman (1945, mineralogy and other fields), F. A. Bredikhin (1946, astronomy), A. P. Karpinskii (1946, geology and other fields), V. V. Dokuchaev (1946, soil science), N. I. Lobachevskii (1947, geometry), E. S. Fedorov (1947, crystallography), V. G. Belinskii (1947, literary criticism, theory, and history of literature), P. P. Anosov (1948, metallurgy and other fields), N. D. Zelinskii (1949, chemistry and petrochemistry), M. V. Lomonosov (1956, physics), A. M. Butlerov (1956, organic chemistry), I. M. Sechenov (1956, general physiology), N. G. Chernyshevskii (1956, social sciences), A. S. Popov (1959, radio engineering and electronics), N. I. Vavilov (1965, genetics and other fields), G. V. Plekhanov (1969, philosophy), and A. S. Pushkin (1969, Russian language and literature).

The Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR awards prizes named after N. N. Burdenko (1946, neurosurgery and other fields) and N. F. Filatov (1947, pediatrics). Since 1958 it has awarded prizes named after S. P. Botkin (internal diseases), V. M. Bekhterev (neurology and other fields), V. P. Vorob’ev (general anatomy), N. P. Kravkov (pharmacology and toxicology), G. F. Lang (cardiovascular pathology), N. I. Pirogov (surgery), A. L. Miasnikov (1967, cardiology), N. N. Petrov (1967, oncology), and other scientists. The V. I. Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences awards prizes for land cultivation, farm soil studies, and agronomic chemistry, as well as plant cultivation and genetics, plant protection, livestock raising, veterinary science, hydraulic engineering, land improvement and water management, forestry, and land and forest reclamation. Prizes are also awarded by certain scientific societies; for example, the Geographical Society of the USSR has awarded the S. I. Dezhnev Prize since 1948 for the best works on the geography of Northeast Asia. Universities also award prizes. Moscow State University has awarded the M. V. Lomonosov Prize since 1945 for work in many fields of knowledge. Prizes named for outstanding scientists have been established in the Union republics; an example is the Avicenna State Prize of the Tadzhik SSR (since 1967).

Other socialist countries have also established prizes named after outstanding public figures and scholars. The GDR has the F. Engels Prize for works on history and the R. Virchow Prize for works on medicine. Poland has the M. Sklodowska-Curie Prize for works in physics and the O. Lange Prize for works in economics.

The Nobel Prize is the foremost international prize for scientific works and discoveries. Other international scientific prizes have also been established, and Soviet scientists have been among their laureates. For example, the International Academy of Astronautics has awarded the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim International Astronautics Award since 1961; recipients include M. V. Keldysh and the cosmonauts A. G. Nikolaev and V. I. Sevast’ianov. An international astronautical prize set up by A. Galabert in 1958 has been awarded to Iu. A. Gagarin and V. V. Nikolaeva-Tereshkova, to the Soviet scientists A. A. Shternfel’d and A. G. Masevich, and to the USSR Academy of Sciences for creating the Luna 16 space probe. A special committee of the International Mathematics Congress awards the Fields Prize; one winner of the prize was S. P. Novikov. The works of A. N. Kolmogorov have been recognized by the Bolzano International Prize, which was established in 1962.

In Italy the Christopher Columbus Prize for communications was established in 1954; one of its winners was the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. In 1958 the M. Panetti Prize for works in mechanics was established. It has been awarded to N. I. Muskhelishvili. Since 1956 prizes have been awarded by the American Atoms for Peace Committee; the 1963 winner was V. I. Veksler. There are international prizes for works promoting cooperation between two countries. Soviet and Indian scholars, for example, have been awarded the J. Nehru Prize since 1968.

In France the most prestigious, national scientific prizes are awarded by the Académie des Sciences. These include G. Cuvier (established in 1839, natural science, zoology, and geology), J. J. L. Lalande (1802, astronomy), and P. A. Chikhachev (1890, archaeology, geography, and geology of Asia) prizes. In Italy the National Prize of the President of the Republic (in many branches of science) is considered the highest scientific award, although the A. Feltrinelli Prize (1949, in many branches) and other prizes have also been established. One of the prominent scientific prizes in the USA is the prize of the National Academy of Sciences, given in the fields of the natural, exact, and technological sciences. A number of national prizes are awarded to foreign scientists also. In other countries, including Great Britain and the Federal Republic of Germany, medals for the best scientific works are often accompanied by special monetary awards. Thus, since 1957 the Royal Society has awarded the G. Jaffe Prize with its G. Copley Medal (established 1731). Monetary awards also accompany the E. Rutherford and C. Darwin prizes.

Prizes in literature and the arts. The practice of awarding prizes in the arts (first in music) began in ancient Greece, where participants in the Olympic Games were rewarded, as were the best musicians at the Pythian Games and other contests, including theatrical competitions. During the Middle Ages, prizes were awarded to the victors in jousts and tournaments, music festivals, competitions among troubadors and minnesingers, and dramatic competitions.

During the 19th century, various societies and editorial boards began awarding prizes in literature and the arts. Thus, in prerevolutionary Russia the Academy of Sciences established (1881) the A S. Pushkin Literary Prize, recipients of which have included A. N. Maikov, la. P. Polonskii, S. Ia. Nadson, I. A. Bunin, and A. P. Chekhov. The Society of Russian Dramatic Writers and Operatic Composers established the A. S. Griboedov Prize, which was awarded to A. N. Ostrovskii, L. N. Tolstoy, A. M. Gorky, and others. The most important music prize was the Glinka Prize, established in 1884 by the well-known publisher M. P. Beliaev for the best works by Russian composers; the first winners were M. A. Balakirev, A. P. Borodin, P. I. Tchaikovsky, N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov, C. A. Cui, and A. K. Liadov.

In the USSR, writers and artists are awarded the Lenin Prize, State Prize of the USSR, state prizes of Union republics, and the Lenin Komsomol Prize. Moreover, special prizes have been established in literature, music, theatrical arts, and cinematography.

The Union republics have set up special state and Komsomol prizes in literature and the arts. The RSFSR awards the M. Gorky and N. K. Krupskaia literary prizes, the K. S. Stanislavsky Prize for dramatic works and stage presentations, the M I. Glinka Prize for music, the Vasil’ev Brothers Prize for cinematic arts, the I. E. Repin Prize for sculpture and the pictorial arts, and the V. I. Bazhenov Prize for architecture. The Ukrainian SSR awards the T. G. Shevchenko Prize for literature and other forms of art, as well as literary prizes named after Pavlo Tychina, Maksim Ryl’skii, Lesia Ukrainka, and Nikolai Ostrovskii. The Byelorussian SSR awards the Ianka Kupala Literary Prize, the Iakub Kolas Prize for children’s literature and art, the P. N. Lepeshinskii Prize for journalism and music, and the Byelorussian Komsomol Prize.

The Uzbek SSR awards the Khamza Prize for achievements in the arts, the Uzbekistan Komsomol Prize, and the Niazi Literary Prize. The Georgian SSR awards the Georgian Komsomol Prize and the Shota Rustaveli Prize for achievements in the arts. The Armenian SSR awards the Komsomol Central Committee Prize to encourage creative youth, the A. Khachaturian Prize to composers, and the A. Danielian Prize to performers.

In the Kazakh SSR prizes include the Abai Literary Prize, the K. Baiseitova and Kurmangazy music prizes, and the Kazakhstan Komsomol Prize, which is awarded for various artistic achievements. The Azerbaijan SSR awards the M. F. Akhundov Literary Prize and the U. Gadzhibekov Music Prize. The Turkmen SSR awards the Makhtumkuli Prize and the Turkmenistan Komsomol Prize, both given for achievements in various art forms. The Kirghiz SSR awards the Toktogul Satylganov Prize for various artistic achievements. The Moldavian SSR has the Boris Glavan Moldavian Komsomol Prize, awarded in the arts, and the Tadzhik SSR has the Abu Abdullo Rudaki Prize, also awarded in the arts.

The Lithuanian SSR presents the Lithuanian Komsomol Prize for achievements in the arts and the Žemaitė and P. Zibertas literary prizes. In the Latvian SSR prizes include the Latvian Komsomol Prize, awarded for achievements in all forms of art, and the E. Veidenbaum Literary Prize. In the Estonian SSR prizes include the Estonian Komsomol Prize, given for various artistic achievements, and the Juhan Smuul Literary Prize.

A number of autonomous republics also award prizes in literature and the arts. Prizes in individual art forms have also been established by creative unions. The Journalists’ Union of the USSR, for example, has set up a prize for the best works of the year published or broadcast over the radio or television, as well as the M. I. Ul’ianova Prize for the most efficient mass creative activity organized at the editorial offices of city, raion, or large-circulation newspapers. The Moscow city organization of the Journalists’ Union of the USSR has established a prize for the best works in international journalism.

Prizes in literature and the arts are also awarded in foreign countries. The oldest of these is the Grand Prix de Rome, established in 1803 by the Academy of Arts in Paris. It is awarded to graduates of art schools through special competitions. Winners of the Grand Prix de Rome include the composers J. Halevy, H. Berlioz, G. Bizet, J. Massenet, and C. Debussy.

The GDR has established the J. Becher Literary Prize, and Rumania, the Vasile Alecsandri Prize. Widely known are such literary prizes as the Pulitzer (USA), Prix Goncourt and the prize of the Académie Française (France), the James Tait Black Prize (Great Britain), the Viareggio and Lanciano prizes (Italy), the Cervantes Prize (Spain), the Büchner and Goethe prizes of the city of Frankfurt am Main, the Mendelssohn Grant (Great Britain), and the Casa Editrice Ricordi Prize (Italy).

There are also international prizes in literature and the arts, for example, the Lotus Prize of the Bureau of Afro-Asian Writers, the Hans Christian Andersen Award of the International Board on Books for Young People, and the International Publishers’ Prize.

Various international and national music competitions at which prizes are awarded have become popular, along with film festivals, exhibitions, and other such events. Most famous are the three gold medals awarded at the International Moscow Film Festival, the Golden Lion and Silver Lion awards of the International Film Festival in Venice, the Grand Prix of the International Ballet Competition in Moscow, the Golden Palm of the Cannes Film Festival, the Crystal Globe Prize of the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, the Oscar of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and prizes of international art exhibits and competitions in Venice, Sao Paulo, Ljubljana, Krakow, and Bratislava. Prizes named after L. P. Abercrombie, A. Perret, and J. Tschumi have been established by the International Union of Architects. UNESCO has a prize for the best student works in architecture and other fields.


Korneev, S. G. Sovetskie uchenye—pochetnye chleny inostrannykh nauchnykh uchrezhdenii. Moscow, 1973.
Kopelevich, Iu. Kh. Vozniknovenie nauchnykh akademii. Leningrad, 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a prize?

Receiving a prize may indicate that the dreamer thinks an award is merited for some outstanding accomplishment.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


Prodigality (See DISSIPATION.)
Caleb’s daughter; promised in marriage to conqueror of Debir. [O.T.: Joshua 15:16–19; Judges 1:12–15]
blue ribbon
denotes highest honor. [Western Folklore: Brewer Dictionary, 127]
annual prize for highest achievement in American poetry. [Am. Lit.: Hart, 88]
awarded annually for best achievements in television programing and performance. [TV: Misc.]
Enrico Fermi Award
given for “exceptional and altogether outstanding achievement” in atomic energy. [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
to marry winner of singing contest. [Ger. Opera: Wagner, Meistersinger, Westerman, 225–228]
gold medal
traditional first prize. [Western Cult: Misc.]
annual award for best French fiction. [Fr. Lit.: NCE, 1106]
awarded by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for the best in the recording field. [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
annual fellowships for creative work. [Am. Hist.: Hart, 337]
Heisman Trophy
awarded to the outstanding college football player of the year by New York Athletic Club. [Am. Sports: Misc.]
laurel wreath
ancient award for victory. [Western Cult.: Brewer Dictionary]
Medal of Freedom
highest award given a U.S. citizen; established 1963. [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
National Book Award
given by the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters to outstanding works. [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
Newbery-Caldecott Medal
awarded by the American Library Association for outstanding children’s books. [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
monetary awards for outstanding contributions benefiting mankind. [World. Hist.: Wheeler, 718]
gold statuette awarded to film actors, directors, writers, technicians, etc. [Am. Cinema: Brewer Dictionary, 788]
awards made in letters, music, and journalism. [Am. Hist.: Wheeler, 824]
Silken Threads
the three great prizes of honor in Lilliput. [Br. Lit.: Gulliver’s Travels]
Tony (Antoinette Perry Award)
presented annually for outstanding work in the Broadway theater. [Am. Hist.: Misc.]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. something given to the winner of any game of chance, lottery, etc.
2. any valuable property captured in time of war, esp a vessel
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Shortlisted for the 2014 Artes Mundi 6, Kjartansson was, that year, awarded the Derek Williams Trust Artes Mundi Purchase Prize for a film installation entitled The Visitors.
Lech, who runs a print studio in Poland, also won the Clifford Chance Purchase Prize, meaning the London-based law firm, which has a notable collection of prints, will buy her work.
The winner of the main pounds 1,000 prize is Kathryn Lowries and winner of the Purchase Prize is Lisa Gunn.
When the Artes Mundi exhibition is held every two years, it offers a PS30,000 purchase prize so the museum can acquire work from one of the shortlisted artists for its collection.
PONTYPRIDD An exhibition of work by the 10 shortlisted artists eligible for the University of Glamorgan pounds 3,000 Purchase Prize at Oriel y Bont, Ty Crawshay, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd until October 18.
Other win-nerwere: Emma Stibbon and Glynis Mills (Friends of the Laing Art Gallery Purchase Prize); Bronwen Sleigh (V& A Print Prize); Rachel Gross, from America (Northern Print International Residency Prize); and Katherine Jones (Solution Group Website Design Prize).
First prize is pounds 1,000, plus there is a Visitor Choice Prize (voted for by visitors to the exhibition), and a Purchase Prize (the selected piece is purchased by the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum and belongs to its permanent collection).
These include the pounds 5,000 Northern Print Award, the Friends of the Laing Art Gallery Purchase Prize, the V& A Print Prize and the Nexus Art on Transport Commission Prize.
First prize is pounds 1,000 and there is a visitor's choice prize and a purchase prize.
PONTYPRIDD FemaleWales is an exhibition of work by the 10 shortlisted artists eligible for the University of Glamorgan pounds 3,000 Purchase Prize at Oriel y Bont, Tye Crawshay, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd until October 18.