University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Cicero and his Correspondents (PGHC11244)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course will be to investigate the letters of Cicero and his correspondents.
Course description Cicero's letters consist of sixteen books of letters to Atticus (426 letters, from 68 to 44 BC), sixteen books of letters to and from Cicero's family and friends (435 letters, from 62 to 43 BC), three books of letters to his brother Quintus (27 letters, 60-54 BC) and two books of letters to and from Brutus (24 letters, 43 BC). The second of these collections, Ad Familiares, contains correspondence with such luminaries as Pompey and Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, Cato, Caelius, Varro, and Mark Antony. The classes will explore this material in a range of aspects: Cicero's relations with his family and with particular individuals, prominent or obscure; the conventions of social interaction; the public or private nature of the letters; their stylistic registers; the literary style, sophistication and attitudes of Cicero's correspondents; and the use and function of prose rhythm in the letters. Students will be expected to research prescribed topics and present them in the classes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNormally Latin to Honours degree level is required, or equivalent experience at the discretion of the course organiser.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in their seminar participation and in their coursework essay that they have extended their knowledge and understanding of (1) the history and personalities of the Ciceronian period; (2) the letters of Cicero and his correspondents; and normally (3) Latin language and style
  2. Demonstrate in their coursework essay that they have been able to undertake a clearly defined research project on a body of material in which there is still ample scope for original research, and at a level appropriate to students in their first year of postgraduate study
Reading List
M. von Albrecht, Cicero's Style: a Synopsis (Leiden and Boston, 2003)
M.Beard, "Ciceronian correspondences: making a book out of letters", in T.P.Wiseman (ed.), Classics in Progress (Oxford, 2002), 103-44
G.Boissier, Cicero and his Friends, ed. 2 (London, 1897)
J.Carcopino, Cicero: the Secrets of his Correspondence (London, 1951)
J.-M.Claassen, Displaced Persons: the Literature of Exile from Cicero to Boethius (London, 1999)
M.T.Griffin, "Philosophical badinage in Cicero's letters to his friends", in J.G.F.Powell (ed.), Cicero the Philosopher (Oxford, 1995), 325-46
J.Hall, Politeness and Politics in Cicero's Letters (New York, 2009)
G.O.Hutchinson, Cicero's Correspondence: a Literary Study (Oxford, 1998)
R.Morello and A.D.Morrison, Ancient Letters: Classical and Late Antique Epistolography (Oxford, 2007)
C.E.W.Steel (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Cicero (Cambridge, 2013), esp. ch. 3 by J.G.F.Powell on Cicero's style and ch. 12 by R.Morello on Cicero's letters
P.White, Cicero in Letters: Epistolary Relations of the Late Republic (Oxford, 2010)
A.Wilcox, The Gift of Correspondence in Classical Rome: Friendship in Cicero's Ad Familiares and Seneca's Moral Epistles (Madison, WI and London, 2012)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled, contact must be made with a Course Secretary in order for approval to be obtained.
Course organiserDr Dominic Berry
Tel: (0131 6)50 3590
Course secretaryMr Gordon Littlejohn
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information