Carolina López-Ruiz

Professor in the Divinity School, the Department of Classics, and in the College
Swift Hall 406B
Research Interests: History of Religions, Comparative Mythology, Ancient Mediterranean World

Carolina López-Ruiz studies comparative mythology and cultural exchange, especially the intersections among Greek, Phoenician, and other groups throughout the first millennium BCE. Drawing on both textual and archaeological sources, her work produces a more integrated view of the ancient Mediterranean that transcends the barriers between Semitic and Indo-European languages and cultures that have been erected in the study of the western Classical heritage. Her books include When the Gods Were Born: Greek Cosmogonies and the Near East (Harvard University Press, 2010); an anthology, Gods, Heroes, and Monsters: A Sourcebook of Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern Myths in Translation (Oxford University Press, 2014, 2nd ed. 2018), that integrates Near Eastern and Classical mythological narratives; and several volumes that consolidate and advance the field of Phoenician studies. Her recent monograph, Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean (Harvard University Press, 2021), pushes back against the Hellenocentric framework of much ancient scholarship and places the Phoenicians’ cultural agency front and center. Since 2022, she is co-director of the University of Chicago excavations at the Phoenician site of Cerro del Villar in Málaga (Spain), with David Schloen (NELC) and in collaboration with the University of Málaga (dir. J. Suárez Padilla).

Recent Publications

  • Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean. Harvard University Press, 2021.

[The Mediterranean Seminar Book Prize 2023; ASOR Frank Moore Cross Award 2022; Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Best Subsequent Book Award 2022]

  • Oxford Handbook of the Phoenician and Punic Mediterranean. Oxford University Press, 2019. (Editor, with Brian Doak.)
  • “From ‘Monkey Island’ to ‘Fire Gates’: a Phoenician Name for Pithekoussai,” Semitica et classica 15 (2022): 1-16.
  • “From Kothar to Kythereia: Exploring the Northwest Semitic Past of Aphrodite,” in H. H. Hardy II, J. Lam, and E. D. Reymond, eds. “Like ʾIlu Are You Wise”: Studies in Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures in Honor of Dennis G. Pardee. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2022, 353-73.
  • “Not Exactly Atlantis: Some Lessons from Ancient Mediterranean Myths,” in M. Álvarez Martí-Aguilar and F. Machuca Prieto, eds., Historical Earthquakes, Tsunamis and Archaeology in the Iberian Peninsula. Singapore: Springer, 2022, 19-36.
  • “Siting the Gods: Narrative, Cult, and Hybrid Communities in the Iron Age Mediterranean,” in A. Kelly and Ch. Metcalf, eds. Gods and Mortals in Early Greek and Near Eastern Mythology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021, 37-57.
  • “The God Aion in a Mosaic from Nea Paphos (Cyprus) and Graeco-Phoenician Cosmogonies in the Roman East,” Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 21-22 (2020), 423-47.
  • “The Sphinx: a Greco-Phoenician Hybrid,” eds. J. Price and R. Zelnick-Abramovitz, Text and Intertext in Greek Epic and Drama: Essays in Honor of Margalit Finkelberg. Oxon-New York: Routledge, 2020 [2021], 292-310.
  • “They Who Saw the Deep: Achilles, Gilgamesh, and the Underworld,” Kaskal: Rivista di storia, ambienti e culture del Vicino Oriente Antico 15 (2018): 85-108 [2020] (with F. Karahashi and M. Ziemann)