B.A., Wellesley College; A.M., Ph.D., Radcliffe College; L.H.D., Trinity College; Ph.D. (hon.), University of Patras; L.H.D., Grinnell College
Professor Emerita of Classical Studies
Retired from teaching in 2005, but continues to work on scholarly projects and give the occasional lecture.
The second revised edition of my book The Lives of the Greek Poets was published in 2012; it describes how (and why) ancient biographers constructed fictional life-histories from the poets’ own works. In Greek Gods, Human Lives (2003) I tried to describe the crucial role played by the gods in ancient narratives. I’m also interested in fictional biography; the second edition of my book The Lives of the Greek Poets was published in 2012. In the past I have written about women in antiquity. Women's Life in Greece and Rome (Ed. 3, 2005), of which I’m a co-editor, is the standard source book in the field; the second edition Women in Greek Myth appeared in 2007. My books Not Out of Africa, Black Athena Revisited, and History Lesson deal with controversial theories about the origin of ancient Greek civilization, and were widely reviewed and discussed in public media during the 1990s.
I used to teach courses on Classical Mythology and Women’s Life in Greece and Rome, as well as ancient Greek and (occasionally) Latin language courses.
I’m now working on two related projects: a translation of Sophocles’ Electra for the new Modern Library Greek Drama, of which I am a co-editor, and also a book about the gods in Euripides’ dramas. I am a Trustee of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.
I have been working with other retired faculty on issues of common interest, and helping other faculty with the transition to retirement. I like to walk on local trails and kayak (unambitiously) on the Charles River.