Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan Professor of Classics Publishes Major New Resource for Scholars of the Ancient World

July 13, 2015 – by Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University professor Lee Fratantuono, Ph.D., has completed his seventh book, which is being published in the prestigious “Mnemosyne Supplements” series of Brill in Leiden, The Netherlands.

“Virgil, Aeneid 5” is the product of several years of sustained, collaborative scholarly work between Fratantuono, director of OWU’s Classics Program, and co-author, Riggs Alden Smith, Ph.D., professor and chair of classics at Baylor University.

The 772-page book provides a freshly edited critical text of Book 5 of Virgil’s poem based on firsthand investigation of the manuscripts, a translation into English prose, and a vast commentary – the largest ever produced in any language.

Book 5 of the Aeneid is devoted to the landing of the Trojans in Sicily and the memorial games celebrated there in honor of Aeneas’ father, Anchises, including a regatta, foot race, boxing match, archery competition, and equestrian display; the burning of the Trojan ships at the behest of goddesses Juno and Iris; and the mysterious loss of Trojan helmsman Palinurus.

Fratantuono and Smith are at present engaged in a similar effort to produce a commentary on “Aeneid 8,” the book in which Aeneas finally arrives at the site of the future Rome.

Fratantuono, who joined the Ohio Wesleyan faculty in 2005, is a specialist in Latin epic poetry and imperial Roman history. His next projects scheduled for completion and release include a study of the military history of the Battle of Actium, in which Octavian and Agrippa defeated Antony and Cleopatra; a co-edited volume of papers on imperial Latin epic; and a co-edited “Festschrift” for Blaise Nagy, Ph.D., professor of classics at The College of the Holy Cross.

Fratantuono’s previous books are “A Reading of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura” (2015), “Ovid, Metamorphoses X” (2014), “Madness Triumphant: A Reading of Lucan’s Pharsalia” (2012), “Madness: Transformed: A Reading of Ovid’s Metamorphoses” (2011), “A Commentary on Virgil, Aeneid XI” (2009), and “Madness Unchained: A Reading of Virgil’s Aeneid” (2007).

Learn more about Fratantuono’s latest book, “Virgil, Aeneid 5,” at and more about 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 86 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,750 students represent 46 U.S. states and territories and 43 countries. 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