James J. O’Donnell tells stories of ancient times with modern resonance. Trained as scholar and historian, he has won academic recognition and advancement to senior leadership positions while continuing to write authoritative and widely-read studies of the ancient world and its peoples. Born in Germany, brought up in the American southwest, educated at Princeton and Yale, he travels widely in search of history, the future, and fine dark chocolate. He has taught at numerous universities, most notably for twenty-one years at the University of Pennsylvania and now for almost a decade at Georgetown University, where he serves as Provost. He is a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and has been President of the American Philological Association. His books range from a scholarly commentary on Augustine’s Confessions to an important biography of that saint, an account of The Ruin of the Roman Empire, and Avatars of the Word: From Papyrus to Cyberspace, an early study of the lines connecting ancient and modern technologies of the word.