Carin M. C. Green Memorial

Peter and Carin Green



We walked through the last of summer,
When shadows reached long and blue
Across days that were growing shorter:
You said: 'There's autumn too'.

- Philip Larkin, "We met at the end of the party"





At the Crossroads of Greco-Roman History, Cuture, and Religion
Papers in Memory of Carin M.C. Green

At the Crossroads

Edited by Sinclair W. Bell and Lora L. Holland.
Available now from Archaeopress.

At the Crossroads of Greco-Roman History, Culture, and Religion brings together recent research from a range of upcoming and well-established scholars to demonstrate the richness of the cross-cultural exchange of ideas around the ancient Mediterranean along with the reception of and continuing dialogues with these ideas in the medieval and modern worlds. The crossroads theme both honours the memory of our late colleague and friend Carin M. C. Green, who published an important book on the cult of Diana—one of whose aspects was Trivia, the goddess of crossroads—and emphasizes how each encounter of new topic or genre forces the reader to pause and think before proceeding down the new path.



Carin M. C. Green Memorial Scholarship Recipient of 2017

Carin M.C. Green Memorial Scholarship

To the Classics Department, 

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to you for making my study abroad opportunity a reality. I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor and I am deeply appreciative of your support.

The scholarship I received allowed me to travel to Israel for an archaeological excavation. I was in Israel from July 2017 to August 2017. The program was an archaeological project as well as a field school. I was introduced to the basic techniques of excavation, survey, conservation and resource management, geographic information systems, heritage studies and public archaeology. My mornings were spent digging in the dirt while my afternoons were filled with pottery washing, archaeobotany, and photogrammetry. 

Thank you again for your generosity and support. This valuable learning experience would not have been possible without your support. I would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Cargill for all of his support. 


Spencer Silver, Class of '18


"Women, the Circus, and the Defense of Rome" Lecture

"Women, the Circus, and the Defense of Rome" by Carin M. C. Green
Toledo Museum of Art
March 20, 2010



Carin M.C. Green Memorial Scholarship Fund

The department has established the Carin M. C. Green Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide funding for undergraduate majors who are traveling abroad to study or participate in archeological excavations. Please consider making a donation to the fund.



Memories of Carin

If you'd like to share a memory of Carin, please email


     When I began to write my undergraduate thesis (on a topic dealing with religion in ancient Rome), Prof. Rosemary Moore asked, "Do you know Carin? Carin Green? Have you taken a class with her yet?" No, I had not yet taken a class with her, but I definitely knew who she was. Every Classics major at UI did. Rosemary strongly advised me to send Carin an email, introduce myself, and ask if she would be willing to sit on my thesis committee. I immediately sent the email. Carin responded within a day and said she'd love to meet with me.
     Prior to this meeting, my only personal experience with Carin was very brief. The department had decided to split an advanced level Latin class for a semester; Carin was teaching one section and Rosemary the other. The first day of the semester, Rosemary was unable to make it to class, so Carin visited my class briefly to explain how the semester was going to work. I clearly remember thinking to myself, "Wow. What a PRESENCE this woman has." I was intrigued, but very intimidated.
     I had not forgotten these thoughts as I cautiously walked into her office for the first time. It was early August 2008, midday, and I recall sweating profusely, but not from the sweltering humidity for which Iowa summers are known; I was decidedly freaking out on the inside. I had heard so much about the prestige of Carin Green - the rigor of her classes, her scholarship on Lucan, how much the grad students respected her, and her amazing brilliance overall. I do not know how, but I managed to compose myself and tap lightly on the frame of her door.
     Carin was everything that everyone has promised and more. She had already read most of the writing sample I had sent her. She had a list of sources for me to look at, and she immediately agreed to advise my thesis. I felt like I was getting more intelligent by just speaking with her. After I left our meeting and strolled down Dubuque Street to home, I knew I had just met one of the most phenomenal human beings. EVER.
     Carin become more than just a thesis advisor. I took two upper level Latin classes with her (Latin composition just about legitimately killed me.). She stuck by me as we saw my disaster of an undergraduate thesis to its death. She gave me the best advice anyone ever could have when I applied for grad school. I would have never made it to Tufts without her. I'm pretty sure she was the originator of my nomination for the Dean's Achievement Award.
     Carin became a mentor and a friend.
     I will always remember Carin, the kindness she showed me, the time she invested in me, all the sound advice and help she provided for me, and the Latin composition death she almost gave me. My heart breaks when I think of the world without her, but as Epictetus once advised us:  "It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death... Never in any case say I have lost such a thing, but I have returned it. Is your child dead? It is a return. Is your wife dead? It is a return. Are you deprived of your estate? Is not this also a return?"
      Quiesce in pace, Carin. Spero te ad locum laetum quo veneris redivisse.

- Brigid Freymuller, Classical Languages and History, 2010

     I transferred to UI as a junior undergrad and Carin was among the first professors I met in the Classics Department. At first I was too dumb and naive to be in awe of her, but after I stumbled through Sallust I realized that she was the first person I had ever met who knew so much about so much, not just the broad outlines, but deep oceans of subjects that flowed and merged and recombined to show how the world, ancient and modern, was connected. She was no computer, but a passionate, curious, student in her own right who took the pains to know, to inquire, and, most importantly, to teach. She, more than any other, inspired me to adopt the same attitude toward the ancient world, to give life to the peoples of the past to show how we can make a better, more impactful today and tomorrow. Naturally, afterward, I took every class I could with her, and eventually helped her with her Roman Civilization class. Her sound advice and  letters of recommendation got me into graduate school. Ever since I've kept a framed picture of her and Peter standing by my side on graduation day. I'll never forget her, nor let the spark of her life fade in me; on the contrary, I try to teach with that same passion, to get to know my students with the same curiosity and loving-kindness. Thank you, Carin, for bringing out the best in us, and for making me a better me.

- Dan Davis, Luther College

     David and I are so sorry that we cannot attend Carin's memorial.  Family matters require that we be in California at that time.  It will be lovely, I know, and will honor her well.
     We both feel privileged to have known Carin, and I am grateful to have worked with her and to have counted her as a friend.  I am still so saddened by her passing.  Carin and I shared an office the first year she came to Iowa (my second year), in the cavernous basement of Schaeffer Hall.  It was then that I discovered Carin's devotion to, and talent for mentoring, students.  I was so impressed with the patient time she gave each student, and at how she shepherded them through the material she was teaching.  Her commitment to teaching and helping students knew no bounds, and I know she will be sorely missed by many of those she taught.
     I was always glad that Carin and I worked in the same area--ancient religion--and I enjoyed conversations with her as well as teaching the Proseminar together on this topic.  I admire her work so much.  Carin was also passionate in her devotion to the department and to helping it move ahead and flourish.  I will always remember how she gave so much of her energy to the department and to the university, both before and during her chairmanship.  Her contributions to the department are many, and will be enumerated at her memorial, and she will be rightly honored for them.  What I remember most, though, is how she combined this devotion to the good of the department with such grace, humor, and kindness.  She was a pleasure to be around.  I remember once when the two of us were stuck in some airport, returning from CAMWS or the APA.  We whiled away hours talking and drinking wine, and then I drove her home through the dark cornfields.  Those hours went so fast;  her company was so easy and so pleasant.  We will both miss her very much.

- Mary Depew

     Carin is one of the people I remember most vividly from my initial visit to Austin for my on-campus interview.  She and Peter (I suspect primarily Carin) organized dinner at an Indian restaurant and Carin was so kind, supportive and genuinely interested in me and my work that she totally put me at my ease and set the tone for the whole visit.  In my first few years as an Assistant Professor she was always the voice of sanity and optimism that kept everything in perspective and made everything seem possible.  I really missed our 3 hour lunches when she went to UVA, and in the last few years we have met up primarily at the annual meetings where we set aside the Thursday night for a really long dinner.  I felt they set me up for the whole year. We laughed so much.  I always felt I had more oxygen in me after I spent time with Carin.  I will miss her.

- Lesley Dean-Jones

     Carin was a remarkable person.  I'm not sure I've known anyone else who spoke and acted with the same combination of wisdom, kindness, and authority.
     As an undergrad at Iowa, I once translated some Lucan into English verse as a term project, and Carin graded and discussed it with me.  There was a lot of red ink on that paper, all of it backed up by insightful commentary.  We had a long conversation about poetry, and she read aloud to me from Louis MacNeice's "Cock o' the North," which I'll always remember.
     I also served on some university committees as an undergrad representative, and Carin once took me aside and helped me first learn how to navigate that unfamiliar boardroom environment.  Her advice was sound, grounded in long experience as a tireless advocate for the classics and humanities.
     Besides those two memories, I often recall little things she said about the ancient Roman mind, or about some particular author, and as I learn more, I keep finding more truths behind what she said.
     I'm sad she's gone, and I know she will be missed by many others.

- Kyle Oskvig

     Carin has been and will continue to be missed for a lot of reasons.
     Each of us has our own particular void that she once filled.  I will miss her willingness to share time and expertise.  Some years ago, I talked with Carin about possible outside reading texts for my Ancient History class at Kirkwood. We met in her office; she suggested some titles, and discussed the pros and cons of each book.  She then sent me home with her copies to peruse at my leisure.  Her book suggestions were a perfect fit for my students and elicited some excellent writing. I am still grateful for Carin's generosity and unerring assistance.

- Beth Mentzer

     I only knew Carin briefly, but she was a much needed presence to me.
     I will never forget that when I approached her after a panel she presided over at the APA, me an unprompted and unknown graduate student to her, she was immediately gracious and interested about the topic of my dissertation.
     Without concern for the added obligation, she was very kind in agreeing to be my outside reader.  I could never have done my work without her support, and I regret the loss of a scholar but, even more, a truly good-hearted, patient person.  Her family and friends are in my thoughts.

- Lisa Whitlach

     Words still fail me to put on paper everything Carin represents for me and I insist on using present tense here. I see her benevolent smile, her warm presence, and unconditioned attention. In her "Rapid Readings in Latin" seminar, my four-year old son learned English. She is such an engaging teacher that one day when she asked at the end of class whether we had questions, my crayon-engulfed son raised his head and said his first English sentence, "No, we do not have questions." Carin was greatly amused. Her presence had touched him too. The rest I told Carin in a postcard at the beginning of the summer.

- Svetla Slaveva-Griffin

     I was truly privileged to know Carin for some four decades.  Hers was a unique combination of scholarly intellect, personal warmth, emotional intelligence, and that rare quality in academe, common sense.  I remember her bravely toiling with me in a graduate seminar on Vergil's Georgics (maybe that is why she ultimately wound up in an agrarian state, but I am not taking any credit for that :), being a wonderful hostess at Peter's and her place in South Austin, always being constructive and exhibiting both empathy and tough love for grad students and faculty (some of whom had trouble growing up).  I was delighted when she shifted more of her scholarly work toward Roman religion - it's an area where, to use one of Peter's many spot on dicta (made in connection with some trendy approaches to literature), you can't be a track-laying vehicle laying your own tracks.  Work in Roman religion requires rigor and discipline and the shortage of American scholars in this field has been both explicable and daunting. Her book on the Nemi cults is an outstanding contribution both methodologically and for its findings, and it has been both utile and dulce to share it with many of my students.
     When I flew to San Jose the other day I couldn't help but think of her.  She brought some California with her and all in a good way.  In so many words, she was a class act in every way and I sorely miss her.

- Karl Galinsky

     I had the privilege of studying under Carin as a graduate student at Iowa, eventually writing my PhD on Lucan under her advisorship, and now as a Classics professor in my own right I realize just how much I owe to her unfailing support, her keen wisdom in _how_ to say things worth saying (and how to cut out from my writing things not worth saying), her warm generosity of spirit, and (as Karl Galinsky points out above) her plain common sense. In short, Carin made my successful path through grad school and my PhD possible.
     I owe her a debt that I can never repay, except in investing as much in my own students. She died the day before my wedding this summer, and I can still remember how in the midst of such joy and anticipation the news of her passing took my breath away. Somehow the news simply made me resolved to be all the more loving and kind and sincere.
     When I write, I still her her gentle but firm voice in my head, correcting my many infelicities. She believed in me, often when I had difficulty believing in myself. I told her as she stood by my side the day I received my PhD diploma that she was the only reason I was standing there. She smiled because she knew the truth of it, a warm smile full of humble warmth, as always. She was truly an inspiration. Often when someone passes, people pause to write exaggerations of the truth out of a desire to be polite. Not this time -- anything good that can be said of Carin (and is being said on this memorial page) is simply true. She combined a deep and infectious passion for the classical past with her sincere conviction that the past *mattered* for how we live today. As her former student, may I live out her legacy by being, like her, a scholar, mentor, and friend to all my students and colleagues.
     She is and will continue to be missed.

- Mark Thorne

     Carin was one of the most kind and generous people I've known.  I first met her in graduate school when she was wearing a wool sweater in the October heat of Virginia. I knew that she was not a local!  Her time at UVA was short but punctuated with exciting visits (for us grad students too) from Peter, who would sometimes attend our classes.
     After graduate school we found ourselves in neighboring states and joked about being neighbors.  I always enjoyed visiting with her at Classics meetings or here in Omaha when she and Peter would lecture at Creighton.  I will miss her as a dear friend who knew how to listen and to give sage advice, who was a generous mentor and teacher, and a devoted promoter of Classics.

- Martha Habash

     The memory that immediately comes to mind on hearing of the passing of Carin Green is from 1995. I was in my last year of grad school in Classics, and the office I shared with the other Classics grad students was in Schaeffer Hall, where the College of Arts and Sciences offices were.
     I was the only one in the TA office. Carin pokes her head in the door and says "Come here" in a conspiratorial tone. She leads me into the A&S office area (where we were only allowed if we were using the copier). That day there was an insane spread of goodies for something. We grab plates and dish it up fast before we're challenged.
     We go back to her office and eat. First thing I try tastes like rabies and lost innocence. Carin starts laughing hard, because she knows what I'm going to say: "What the hell is that stuff?"
     And so Carin explains caviar to me. It still tastes like overdue bills and cork to me. But stealing swanky food with her was an afternoon I won't forget.

- John Ira Thomas

     We worked together at UT back then. Then she was the most authentic person I knew and she allowed me to be her friend, even though I was an irritating and needy person. But the lessons of her integrity and honesty and friendship have given me shape and happiness. I still carry on talks with Carin in my head. I see something, either elevated or plain, and wonder what Carin would have thought about it. It gave me great pleasure to see her come in to her own deserved rights in Classics. I think she always thought that I was friends with her because of her esteemed husband. Of course Peter is a rich and beautiful part of who Carin was and is to me now. But for me, she always has stood on her own, her elegance, intellect, curiosity, and kindness have enriched my life indelibly.
     Carin taught me to apply moderation liberally which has been an extremely useful superpower in my cache of coping mechanisms, especially after learning to enjoy Retsina at her house parties.
     I will always treasure Carin and I know her life has made this world a better place.

- Claire Lewis