Peter Green (historian)

Peter Morris Green (born 22 December 1924) is a British classical scholar noted for his works on the Greco-Persian Wars, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Age of ancient history, generally regarded as spanning the era from the death of Alexander in 323 BC up to either the date of the Battle of Actium or the death of Augustus in 14 AD.[1] Green's most famous books are Alexander of Macedon, a historical biography first issued in 1970, then in a revised and expanded edition in 1974, which was first published in the United States in 1991; his Alexander to Actium, a general account of the Hellenistic Age, and other works. He is the author of a translation of the Satires of the Roman poet Juvenal, now in its third edition.


Green went to school at Charterhouse. During World War II he served with the Royal Air Force in Burma. In Firpo's Bar in Calcutta he met and became friendly with another future novelist, Paul Scott, who later used elements of Green's character for the figure of Sergeant Guy Perron in The Raj Quartet.[2]

After the war, Green attended Trinity College of Cambridge University, where he achieved a Double First in Classics, winning the Craven Scholarship and Studentship in 1950. He subsequently wrote historical novels and worked as a journalist. In 1963 he and his family moved to the Greek island of Lesbos, where he was a translator and independent scholar. In 1966 he moved to Athens, where he was recruited to teach classics for College Year in Athens, and published Armada from Athens, a study of the Sicilian Expedition of 415-3 BC (1970), and The Year of Salamis, a history of the Greco-Persian Wars (1971). In 1971 Green was invited to teach at the University of Texas at Austin, where he became Dougherty Centennial Professor of Classics in 1982, emeritus from 1997. In 1986, he held the Mellon Chair of Humanities at Tulane University in New Orleans. He is now an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa and also has held visiting appointments at Princeton University and at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Bob Dylan used Green's translations of Ovid, found in The Erotic Poems (1982) and The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters (1994) as song lyrics on the albums "Love and Theft" (2001) and Modern Times (2006).

Green is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.[3]

Green was married to Classicist and ancient historian Carin M. C. Green, who died in 2015.[4]


Book reviews


  1. "Novelist, Critic, Translator, Historian: An Interview with Peter Green"
  2. Hilary Spurling. Paul Scott: A Life. London: Hutchinson, 1990, pp. 144, 148.
  4. Obituary "Professor Carin M. Green March 30, 1948 - July 2, 2015 Iowa City, Iowa"
  5. Peter Green (8 January 2013). Alexander of Macedon, 356–323 B.C.: A Historical Biography. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-95469-4.

External links

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