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Cornell University School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions


Michael Fontaine

Michael Fontaine is a professor in Cornell's Department of Classics and associate vice provost of undergraduate education.

His scholarly specialization is Latin and Greek literature from Homer through the Renaissance, with a special focus on Rome’s late republic and early empire. In the last five years, Fontaine has offered CAU seminars on "The Trial of Socrates," "The Death of the Roman Republic," Homer’s Odyssey, "The Greatest Hits of Greek Tragedy," and "Epicureanism: A Classical Guide to a Happy Life," as well as CAU study tours to Greece, Croatia, and Italy.

Fontaine earned an undergraduate degree in classics from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi and a PhD in classics from Brown University. He is also an alumnus of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and serves on the advisory board of the Paideia Institute. He returned to Italy in 2019 as the Paideia Professor in Rome, teaching exceptional college students to converse in Latin amid the monuments and ruins of the eternal city.

Fontaine's latest book, out in early 2020, is How to Drink: A Classical Guide to the Art of Imbibing (Princeton University Press). He lives in Ithaca with his wife, Alyssa, and two children.