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Symposium: Philosophy in Cicero's Letters

  • Columbia University International Affairs Building 1512 New York, NY 10027 USA (map)

Philosophy in Cicero's Letters

 A Symposium at Columbia University

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

1512 International Affairs Building

10:30-10:40                 Welcome


First Paper Session (Chair: Gareth Williams)


10:40-11:40                 Margaret Graver, "The Dregs of Romulus"

                                    Respondent: Brad Inwood


11:40-12                      Break


12-1                             Raphael Woolf, "Philosophy and Death in Cicero's Letters to Atticus"

                                    Respondent: Wolfgang-Rainer Mann


Second Paper Session (Chair: Dan-el Padilla Peralta)


2:30-3:30                     Katharina Volk, "Pompeian Group Therapy in Cicero's Letters (47-                                                            45 BCE)"

                                    Respondent: Yelena Baraz


3:30-3:50                     Break


3:50-4:50                     Nathan Gilbert, "Cicero the Philosopher at Work: The Genesis and                                                             Execution of De Officiis III"

                                    Respondent: James Zetzel


4:50-5:15                     Final discussion


5:15                             Reception





Co-sponsored by the Department of Classics and the Society of Fellows in the Humanities

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)—ill-fated statesman during the collapse of the Roman Republic, Latin orator extraordinaire, and the author of a wide-ranging and influential corpus of philosophical writings—is unique among premodern individuals in that we possess large parts of his correspondence and are thus unusually well informed about both the minutiae of his life and the developments of his thought.  In recent years and months, scholarly interest has increasingly turned to the philosophical aspects of this correspondence, which contains everything from passing references to philosophical jokes, serious disquisitions, and the author's attempts to apply philosophical precepts to his own and his correspondents' lives. 

The one-day symposium, "Philosophy in Cicero's Letters" aims to capture this moment in the fast-developing scholarship on Cicero, ancient philosophy, and intellectual history.