George Fredric Franko

George Fredric Franko

Professor Franko specializes in ancient comedy. His keen interest in drama has led to roles in the Forum Romanum (a Latin news program) and in the Hollins production of Plautus’ Menaechmi, as well as directing plays for the Virginia Governor’s Latin Academy.

He has published in leading journals of classical philology and makes a mean green salsa, though his salsa dancing still needs work.

Areas of Expertise

  • Greek and Roman Theater
  • Classical Reception
  • Early Modern English Theater

Courses Taught

  • Greek & Shakespearean Tragedy
  • Roman History & Shakespeare
  • Roman History
  • Greek History
  • Literature and Thought in Ancient Greece
  • Elementary Latin
  • Roman Epic Poetry
  • Roman Lyric Poetry
  • Roman Comedy
  • Cicero
  • Elementary Greek
  • New Testament Greek
  • Homer
  • Plato


  • M.A., Ph.D., Columbia University
  • M.Litt., Mary Baldwin University
  • B.A., College of William and Mary

Publications & Articles

  • Plautus: Mostellaria, Bloomsbury Academic, 2022
  • A Companion to Plautus, ed. George Fredric Franko & Dorota Dutsch, Wiley-Blackwell, 2020
  • “Shakespeare, Plautus, and the Comedy of Pairs” in Guide to the Season Plays, Shakespeare Theatre Company, 2018-19, pp.12-19
  • “Festivals, Producers, Theatrical Spaces, and Records” in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Comedy, ed. M. Fontaine & A. Scafuro, Oxford, 2014, pp. 409-423
  • “Seasons and Similes in the Aeneid,” Classical Bulletin 85 (2009), 49-59
  • “Epidamnus, Thucydides, and The Comedy of Errors,” International Journal of the Classical Tradition 16 (2009), 234-240
  • “The Trojan Horse at the Close of the Iliad,” Classical Journal 101 (2005), 121-123
  • “Plautus and Roman New Comedy” in Greek and Roman Comedy: Translations and Interpretations of Four Representative Plays, ed. S. O’Bryhim, University of Texas Press, 2001, pp. 147-239
  • “Derek Walcott’s Italian Eclogues I and the Teaching of Latin Poetry,” Classical Outlook 77 (1999), 1-4


  • Berry Professor of Liberal Arts, 2007-2010, 2019-2022
  • President of the Classical Association of Virginia 2014-2016
  • Played L. Clunius Flaccus in Spectatores, plaudite! (“Forum Romanum” Episode # 21, in Latin),
  • Dogberry in Much Ado about Nothing (Page to Stage Theater Co., Roanoke), The Douglas in Henry IV, Part 1 (Mary Baldwin / Blackfriars Playhouse)
  • Taught, guest lectured, and codirected plays for the Virginia Governor’s Latin Academy for High School Students (1993-2017)