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Professor and Associate Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education
Latin Literature, Classics, ancient Rome, ancient Comedy, Plautus, Terence, jokes, puns, wine, Virgil, neo-Latin
- Latin literature of all time periods and classical Roman society. Special interests include wine, comedy and jokes, Virgil, classical ideas about the mind, psychiatry, or mental illness, and the application of social psychology to classical texts.
I regularly consult on Latin for museums, institutions, dealers, and collectors. I've exposed forgery in Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age paintings, discovered the forgotten provenance of a major manuscript, and I interpret manuscripts, books, maps, and engravings of all kinds. Please email me if you need help.
In 2016 I received the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties.
1. In progress. How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing. Princeton University Press. (A translation and edition of Vincent Obsopoeus’ 1537 De Arte Bibendi).
2. In press. (co-ed.) Quasi Labor Intus: Ambiguity in the Latin Language (Essays in Honor of Fr. Reginald Foster, OCD) (co-ed. with Charles McNamara and William Short). Paideia Institute Press.
(in press). 'The Myth of Ovid's Exile.' Electryone (in English, and will appear elsewhere in Chinese translation.)
(in press). ‘Before Pussy Riot: Free Speech and Censorship in the Age of Plautus.’ (On Sotades as the "barbarian poet" in Miles Gloriosus)
(in press). 'A Cute Illness in Epidaurus: Eight sick jokes in Plautus' Gorgylio (Curculio).' Quasi Labor Intus: Ambiguity in the Latin Language.
2017. ‘O Maravilhoso Mistério de Mater-Virgo de Joannes Burmeister.’ A comédia e seus duplos: o Anfitrião de Plauto. (English translation here)
2016. 'What Rome Can Teach Us Today: Ancient Lessons for Modern Politics.' Foreign Affairs.
2016. 'Reconsidering Some Plautine Elements in Plautus (Amphitryo 303-7, Captivi 80-4).' Classical Journal.
Recent or upcoming talks (click here for details):
- "Camerarius Camelarius: A New Salt Road to the Modern World."
- "From Democracy to Authoritarianism: The Death of the Roman Republic."
- "Psychiatry in the Sistine Chapel."
- "Title IX Problems: Rape and Responsibility at UVA and classical Athens."