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The College of Arts Sciences

Michael Fontaine C.V.

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Research Interests

Latin literature of all time periods, from the middle Republic through the Italian and Northern Renaissance, and classical Roman, Greek, and Renaissance society. Special interests include wine, ancient comedy and jokes, Virgil, classical ideas about the mind, psychiatry, or mental illness, and the application of social psychology to classical texts.






Board Appointments

  • 2015- The Paideia Institute for Humanistic Studies, advisory board member
  • 2015- Anales de Filología Clásica journal (Buenos Aires), advisory board member
  • 2016- Faculty Advisor to Humor Us! sketch comedy group, Cornell University
  • 2016- Electryone (Rhodes and Alexandria) journal, advisory board member
  • 2015-7 Classical World journal, Associate Editor for Latin literature



Ph.D. 2003, Brown University, Classics. Dissertation: "The Sophisticated παρὰ προσδοκίαν [para prosdokian] in Plautus," directed by Adele Scafuro

I took 1999-2000 off to study Latin in Rome with Reginald Foster as a lay student at the Pontifical Gregorian University, courtesy of a Rotary Club Ambassadorial scholarship. I spent summer 2001 at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

B.A. 1998, Millsaps College, Classics, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa

I spent spring 1997 in Rome at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies, summer 1997 in Rome at Reginald Foster’s Latin school, and summer 1995 at the U.C. Berkeley Latin workshop.


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1. 2019. 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. 2018. (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. (See here.)