James J. O'donnell is a classicist who served for ten years as Provost of Georgetown University and is now University Librarian at Arizona State University. He is the author of several books including Augustine, The Ruin of the Roman Empire, and Avatars of the Word. He is the former president of the American Philological Association, a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, and the chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies. He is seen here at an ancient monastery on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire, in Syria.
"James O'Donnell's The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History takes as its centrepiece the period of Ostrogothic rule in sixth-century Italy. . . . [It is] revelatory: scholarly and original, unafraid to tackle profound issues of cultural and religious identity, and often hauntingly poetic."--Times Literary Supplement (London)