Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan University Professor Publishes Sixth Book

May 11, 2015 – by Cole Hatcher

Director of Classics Lee Fratantuono, Ph.D., Re-examines Roman Poet’s ‘De Rerum Natura’

DELAWARE, Ohio – “There is much to like – no, really like – about this book,” one reviewer says of Ohio Wesleyan University professor Lee Fratantuono’s forthcoming book, “A Reading of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura.”

Fratantuono, Ph.D., director of OWU’s Classics Program, will release the book – his sixth since 2007 – in June through Rowman & Littlefield Publishers’ Lexington Books imprint.

“A Reading of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura” discusses the writings of Titus Lucretius Carus, a Roman poet and philosopher who penned “De Rerum Natura” (On the Nature of the Universe). The six-book epic provides a naturalistic explanation of the physical origin, structure, and destiny of the universe. The epic helped to lay the foundation for the development of western science.

In reviewing Fratantuono’s book, Blaise Nagy, Ph.D., of College of the Holy Cross, states: “Fratantuono clearly loves the poet of the atoms, and it’s contagious. Just as importantly, he understands the mind and muse of Lucretius better than any modern commentator.

“Like the round and smooth atoms which, in the world of Lucretius, bring pleasure, Fratantuono’s commentary brings clarity, comprehension, and even enjoyment to a re-reading of the poem,” Nagy concludes. “Both learned and accessible, this book will be first off the shelf for years to come.”

Fratantuono’s previous books are “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).

Collaboratively, Fratantuono is a co-editor of three forthcoming publications. Fratantuono is working with Stephen Maddux, Ph.D., on a two-volume critical edition of the medieval Latin sermons of Peter the Lombard on the liturgical year; with Caroline Stark, Ph.D., on the “Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Latin Epic, 14-96 C.E.”; and with Alden Smith, Ph.D., on “Virgil: Aeneid 5.”

In addition, Fratantuono has published numerous scholarly articles on Latin poetry, including work completed with Ohio Wesleyan classics students Michael McOsker, OWU Class of 2007, and Cynthia Susalla, OWU Class of 2012, both now pursuing graduate studies in the discipline. At Ohio Wesleyan, Fratantuono also sponsors a yearly series of guest lectures by leading classicists from the United States and abroad, and he has led students on study-abroad experiences to France, Monaco, and Italy.

Learn more about Fratantuono’s latest book, “A Reading of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura,” 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