A native of New York City, I was educated at Dartmouth (B.A. 1969) and Harvard (M.A. 1971, Ph.D. 1975) and began my university teaching career at the University of Chicago, where I was the Avalon Foundation Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities before joining the Princeton faculty in 1997 as Professor of Classics and Kennedy Foundation Professor of Latin. I have taught and written mainly in the areas of Roman rhetoric, the history of ancient education, Roman ethics, and textual criticism.
My books have addressed topics ranging from the social structure of Roman education in the fourth and fifth centuries CE (Guardians of Language: The Grammarian and Society in Late Antiquity: Berkeley 1988) to the cultural psychology of the Roman elite in the late Republic and early Empire (Emotion, Restraint, and Community in Ancient Rome: Oxford 2005) and have included editions and annotated translations of Suetonius (De grammaticis et rhetoribus, Latin text with introduction, translation, and commentary: Oxford 1995), Cicero (Speech on Behalf of Publius Sestius, translation with introduction and commentary: Oxford 2006), Seneca (Seneca: Anger, Mercy, Revenge, with Martha Nussbaum: Chicago 2010), and the Saturnalia of Macrobius (Loeb Classical Library edition, 3 volumes: Harvard 2011). My critical edition of the Saturnalia was published in the Oxford Classical Texts series (2011), and The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads, a travelogue-cum-historical and cultural essay, appeared in the University of Chicago Press's “Culture Trails” series (2012). I am currently working on another critical edition—of Suetonius' Caesars—for the Oxford Classical Texts series.
My undergraduate teaching ranges from the introductory courses in Latin—including “Turbo-Latin,” an intensive immersion that combines two semesters of instruction in one—through intermediate courses on “Roman Letters” and “Insult, Slander, and Invective in Latin Literature,” to advanced courses on a range of authors and texts, mostly prose. My graduate teaching has included the semi-annual survey of Latin literature and seminars on Cicero, Seneca (with Andrew Feldherr), epistolography, Roman culture in the age of Tiberius (with Ted Champlin), and textual criticism.