Peter Green (historian)

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Peter Morris Green (born 22 December 1924) is a British classical scholar noted for his works on 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. 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 also the author of a translation of the Satires of the Roman poet Juvenal.


During World War II Green 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.[1]

After the war, Green attended Trinity College of Cambridge University. 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 then to Athens, where he was recruited to teach classics for the College Year in Athens.

Green taught in Athens from 1966 to 1971, and at the University of Texas at Austin, where he became Dougherty Centennial Professor Emeritus of Classics in 1982. 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 a visiting professorship 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).


Book reviews[edit]


  1. ^ Hilary Spurling. Paul Scott: A Life. London: Hutchinson, 1990, pp. 144, 148.

External links[edit]