Press Release

Roman Redux

August 14, 2019 – by Cole Hatcher

The ‘Virgil Mosaic,’ located at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, is the oldest surviving portrait of the ancient Roman poet Virgil. The mosaic, which dates from the 3rd Century A.D., will be the subject of a paper Ohio Wesleyan Professor of Classics Lee Fratantuono plans to write for a volume on Roman art in North Africa. (Photo courtesy of I, Cybjorg)

Classics Professor Publishes Six Papers in Six Countries on Ancient Poet Virgil

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University Professor of Classics Lee Fratantuono, Ph.D., an internationally recognized authority on the poet Virgil, has published six new papers in scholarly journals in six countries, including his 50th article on the ancient Roman poet.

“The Wolf in Virgil” has appeared in the French journal Revue des études anciennes. “Virgil’s Pastoral Apollo” was published in the Italian Bollettino di studi latini. “Lunar References in Virgil’s Aeneid” is included in the first issue this year of Graeco-Latina Brunensia from the Czech Republic. Rounding out the international half-dozen papers are “Virgil’s Dido and the Death of Marcus Antonius” (Hungary); “Virgil’s Sororities of Nymphs” (Spain); and “Lausus in the Aeneid” (Portugal).

All six papers are devoted to studies of the acknowledged master of Roman poetry, Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil), author of the Aeneid. This fall, Fratantuono, who also chairs the OWU Department of Classics, will offer an advanced course that will read selections from Virgil’s 12-book epic in Latin. Two sections of his popular “Roman Empire” course will devote time to studying the relationship of the poet to his patron, the great Roman emperor Augustus.

Currently, Fratantuono is immersed in his third major commentary for the Dutch publishing house Brill on a book of the Aeneid – this time Book 4, which is devoted to the celebrated love affair between Aeneas and Queen Dido of Carthage. He already has co-authored the most comprehensive commentaries on Books 5 and 8 ever published.

This past summer, Fratantuono was able to view the oldest surviving portrait of the poet Virgil at the Bardo Museum in Tunis, while in Tunisia to visit the site of Carthage as part of his scholarly research. The celebrated “Virgil Mosaic” will be the subject of a paper Fratantuono is planning to contribute to a volume on Roman art in North Africa.

Learn more about Fratantuono and Ohio Wesleyan’s Classics Program at www.owu.edu/classics.


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 www.owu.edu.