Ohio Wesleyan University’s Lee Fratantuono, Ph.D., associate professor of humanities-classics and the Whitlock Professor of Latin, and classics/ancient studies major Cynthia Susalla ’12 of New Windsor, Md., have completed a scholarly article that will be published in Belgium in 2012.
The article, “Virgil’s Camilla and the Authenticity of the Helen Episode,” examines a lengthy scene in Book II of Virgil’s “Aeneid” in which the Trojan hero Aeneas contemplates killing Helen amid the ruins of his destroyed city. Since antiquity, scholars have disputed whether Virgil actually wrote the scene. The article offers a new study in defense of the passage’s authenticity by providing parallels between the poem’s second and second-to-last books and the characters of Helen and the Italian heroine Camilla.
Fratantuono’s and Susalla’s work will appear in a volume edited by Professor Carl Deroux of the Université libre de Bruxelles, “Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History XVI.” The book is the latest in a series of article collections the editor has produced since 1980 for the Société des études latines, a Belgian learned society devoted to the study of Roman antiquity. Besides the article collections, the Société has published a classics journal since 1937, now in the Beeghly Library periodicals collection, as well as a monograph series that in 2009 published a revised version of Fratantuono’s doctoral thesis, “A Commentary on Virgil, Aeneid XI.”
The article was solicited by the volume editor, and Fratantuono invited Susalla to collaborate on the contribution.
“Cindy had done first rate work in my Horace seminar in fall 2009,” Fratantuono says. “I had co-authored a paper with another major, Michael McOsker ’07, who is now pursuing doctoral work in classics at the University of Michigan. I wanted to continue working with students on scholarly projects leading to publication in classics journals, and the invitation from Professor Deroux to contribute an article to his volume seemed a good opportunity to work with a top student on an interesting project.”
The edited volume is expected to be published in 2012.