Collage of books

10. 2023. Prudentius. How to Cope: An Ancient Guide to Slaying Your Demons. Princeton University Press.

9. 2023. Ovid. How to Get Over a Breakup. Princeton University Press.

“Step right up, all you naive victims: come to my dictums, if you’re a fool for love.”

8. 2022(Inspired by) Marcus Tullius Cicero. How to Grieve: An Ancient Guide to the Lost Art of Consolation. Princeton University Press. Secret decoder-ring data set eventually online here.

I even did something no one’s ever done before: I talked myself out of depression.” (Cicero, March 45 BCE)

7. 2021. Marcus Tullius Cicero. How to Tell a Joke: An Ancient Guide to the Art of Humor. Princeton University Press. Translations: Korean, Malaysian.

The world’s first guide to laughing your way to the top, from the first man who did it. “Humor is risky, since ‘wit’ is so close to ‘twit’.” — Quintilian. What’s the secret?

6. 2020Vincent Obsopoeus. How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing. Princeton University Press. Translations: German, Turkish, Spanish. Pirated in Japan.

The world’s first guide to drinking. “Weirdly time-travelly” — The Daily Beast. Imitated in Japan. What’s the buzz?

5. 2019. John Placentius. The Pig War. Puzzled Out by Michael Phontaine. Pigtures penned by David Beck. Paideia Institute Press.

Overview and backstoryCornell Chronicle


4. 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.)

Overview and Backstory: Cornell Chronicle

Lumine decipiens noctem φωστῆρα vocabant
Christicolae signum, nomen et omen erat.
Namque ut nocte regit tenebrisque per aequora cursum
sideribus fixis nauta vagante rate,
fidum dum regimen balbi per opaca rogamus,
haud aliter 
φωστὴρ hic Reginaldus erat.

3. 2015Joannes Burmeister: Aulularia and other Inversions of Plautus. Leuven University Press: Bibliotheca Latinitatis Novae.


2. 2014. (co-ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy (co-ed. with Adele Scafuro). Oxford University Press USA, 2014 (898 pp.). Translation: Greek (2022).


1. 2010Funny Words in Plautine Comedy. Oxford University Press USA, 2010. (328 pp.)

  • Reviews: The book was the subject of a mammoth 88-page review essay titled “Doing Justice to Plautus, a Master of Comedy, a Master of Wordplay,” in International Studies in Humour, 4(2), 2015, 2-89 (E. Nissan). Other reviews: American Journal of Philology 132 (2011), 510-3 (A. Sharrock); Ancient History Bulletin Reviews Online 1 (2011) 67-70 (W. Stockert); L’Antiquité Classique 82 (2013), 333-5 (L. Demoulin); Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014-06-52 (J. Tatum); Eos 98 (2011), 317-20 (D. Dutsch); Greece and Rome 58 (2011) 116-117 (R. Langlands); Gnomon 83 (2011), 692-5 (John Henderson); Journal of Roman Studies 101 (2011), 9-14 (S. Goldberg); Latomus 71 (2012), 863-866; (M. Crampon); New England Classical Journal 37.4 (2010), 296-8 (D. Christenson)