Well-known classicist speaks on the Delphic Oracle at Xavier on Saturday, Nov. 1

Peter Green's presentation in the Rettig Lecture Series is free and open to the public | October 29, 2008

Peter Green, PhD, is one of the most respected classicists in the profession and has a worldwide reputation for excellence. He presents his lecture, "Possession and Pneuma: The Essential Nature of the Delphic Oracle," on Saturday, Nov. 1, at 4:00 p.m. in the Conaton Board Room of Schmidt Hall at Xavier.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Green is not a stereotypical classicist. He has a healthy, youthful sense of humor. As an only child, he was so bored that he taught himself to read at the age of 3.

In a 2003 interview with Cornell College in Iowa, he said, “I retired on the blue carpet under the grand piano with a stack of books, and in a sense I've never come out since. I'd read all of Tennyson's ‘Idylls of the King’ by the time I was 6. Didn't understand half of it, but the noise was magical.”

He believes the study of classics can help society solve almost anything to do with politics, since the classics are deeply rooted in the psychology of power. Green finds the ancient world unbelievably fascinating, so much like today in politics, literature, art but so different in sex and  social morés such as slavery and religion. He says the ancient world found very different solutions for some of the same problems we face today.

Green obtained his PhD in Classics from Cambridge University in 1954. After a decade as a London littérateur, he emigrated to Greece with his family in 1963, working as a writer and professional translator. He also returned to classics, teaching in the  College Year in Athens study program in Greece, and publishing works on the Persian Wars, the Sicilian Expedition and Alexander. In 1971 he was invited as a professor to the University of Texas at Austin and stayed until 1997, when he went emeritus and joined his wife, Carin, a professor (and currently chair) of Classics at the University of Iowa. His latest book is a short history of the Hellenistic Age.