Faculty Profile

Christopher Francese

The Asbury J. Clarke Professor of Classical Studies (1996)

Contact Information


East College Room 106


My main teaching focus is on Latin literature and Greek and Roman Mythology. I also teach a course on a classical approach to public speaking. I have written books on ancient Rome and Latin literature: Ancient Rome: An Anthology of Sources (2014, with Scott Smith); Ancient Rome in So Many Words (2007), Parthenius of Nicaea and Roman Poetry (2001) and Latin and Ancient Greek Core Vocabularies (2020). I love working with secondary teachers and direct a series of professional development workshops for Latin teachers, the Dickinson Latin Workshops. My other passion is digital humanities, and getting students involved with the creation of high-quality resources for learners of Latin and Greek. I direct Dickinson College Commentaries, a series of online multimedia editions of classical texts, and co-direct Dickinson Classics Online, which provides resources for Chinese speaking students of Latin and Greek. I also produce the Latin Poetry Podcast, a series of Latin texts translated and read aloud in the original.


  • B.A., Oberlin College, 1987
  • M.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1989
  • Ph.D., 1993

2023-2024 Academic Year

Fall 2023

CLST 100 Greek and Roman Mythology
An introduction to the study and interpretation of Greek and Roman myths, as they appear both in ancient sources and in later music, sculpture, painting, and literature. The course focuses on interpretive approaches that can help us to define the insights of these myths into to human psychology and the predicaments of men and women, and to apply those insights critically to our own time.

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

GREK 201 Introduction to Greek Prose
A review of syntax and selected readings from prose authors. Consideration is given to authors whose style and grammar best illustrate the characteristics of Attic Greek of the Classical period. Supplemental readings in English provide historical and cultural context for the author chosen. Prerequisite: 102 or the equivalent.

Spring 2024

CLST 150 Pub Sp:Secrets fr Classical Tr
An introduction to the ancient art of public persuasion, with examination of more recent examples of effective speeches at crucial junctures in American history, insights from the Greek and Roman theorists and practitioners, and practice putting these ideas and techniques to use. Since speech can be a weapon as well as an art, the class examines the ethical aspects of oratory in the context of citizenship in a republic.

LATN 242 Vergil, Aeneid
Selections from the epic, with emphasis on Vergil's literary aims and technique. Prerequisite: 202 or the equivalent. Offered every third year.

LATN 352 Roman Satire
Readings from the satires of Juvenal or Horace with study of Roman social life in the early Principate. Prerequisite: at least one course at the 200-level.

CLST 500 Independent Study