Press Release, Faculty

Ohio Wesleyan Classics Professor Releases New Book

December 14, 2016 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan alumna Katie McGarr, Class of 2010, took photographs for professor Lee Fratantuono’s latest book, including this bust of the emperor Nero in Cyprus. (Photo copyright by Katie McGarr)

Lee Fratantuono Collaborates with 2010 OWU Graduate on New Illustrated Volume

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University professor Lee Fratantuono, Ph.D., has completed a new book that interprets and explains Roman historian Tacitus’ writings on the end of Nero’s life, including the emperor’s frantic and fruitless search for the fabled gold of Queen Dido.

Fratantuono’s book, “Tacitus: Annals XVI” offers a complete introduction, text, and commentary to the last surviving book of historian Tacitus’ monumental “Annales” or “Annals” of imperial Rome.

“Book 16 of Tacitus’ work is focused on key episodes of the principate of the emperor Nero,” said Fratantuono, Ph.D., director of OWU’s Classics Program, “including the aftermath of a conspiracy against the emperor’s life and the memorable death scene of the famous writer Gaius Petronius.”

Fratantuono’s book is the newest volume in the Bloomsbury Publishing “Latin Texts and Commentaries” editions published in the United Kingdom for use in schools and colleges.

The book is an outgrowth of the courses Fratantuono regularly teaches on Tacitus (in Latin) and his popular “Roman Empire” survey of Rome’s history and literature from the Battle of Actium to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Fratantuono’s commentary on Tacitus’ history is both philological and historiographical, and is accompanied by a glossary of Latin vocabulary.

Fratantuono said he is pleased to have collaborated with Ohio Wesleyan alumna and freelance photographer Katie McGarr, Class of 2010, whose images from the south of France and northern and central Italy “significantly enriched” the book project.

“Katie was already engaged with photographic work for a number of other book projects of mine on Roman military history,” said Fratantuono, the university’s William Francis Whitlock Professor of Latin, “and we were fortunate that she was able to contribute some stunning images from Provence as well as Rome.”

Learn more about Fratantuono and Ohio Wesleyan’s Classics Program 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 nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 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,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at