Ancient Arabia

Ohio Wesleyan Classics Professor Publishes Book on Rome’s Conquest of Mesopotamia, Arabia

By Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan Professor of Classics Lee Fratantuono’s new book, ‘Roman Conquests: Mesopotamia and Arabia,’ explores Rome’s expansion into the Middle East. (Cover photo by Caroline Hamlin)

DELAWARE, Ohio – In his new book, Ohio Wesleyan University professor Lee Fratantuono, Ph.D., traces the military, political, and economic expansion of Rome into the Middle East from the first-century B.C. through sixth-century A.D.

Fratantuono, chair of Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Classics, explores how the Romans established a highly successful province that stretched into remote desert regions of modern Saudi Arabia, with the Roman Empire reaching its greatest expanse in Arabia under the emperor Trajan.

He examines the period of history beginning with the days of Pompey the Great and continuing through the great conflicts of the sixth-century A.D., including the first Roman military expedition into what is today Yemen in the southern Arabian Peninsula.

Fratantuono’s new book, titled “Roman Conquests: Mesopotamia and Arabia,” is the eighth of 10 volumes in a series devoted to the expansion of the Roman Empire. The books are being published in the United Kingdom for the Pen & Sword Military “Roman Conquests” series.

Much of the work for this book was done in collaboration with his highly popular Ohio Wesleyan course on “The Roman Empire.” It is Fratantuono’s 14th book and is illustrated with photographic work done in the Middle East and Europe by Ohio graduates Katelyn McGarr, Class of 2010, and Caroline Hamlin, Class of 2019.

Fratantuono’s 15th and 16th books both are forthcoming, co-authored publications titled “A Companion to Latin Epic, 14-96” and “Virgil, Aeneid 4,” respectively.

Learn more about Fratantuono and Ohio Wesleyan’s Classics Department at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at