Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cicero rewriting Plato: three exploratory seminars

The Durham Centre for the Study of the Classical Tradition ( is in the early stage of developing a research project tentatively entitled ŒCiceroniani sumus: the influence of Cicero on the cultural imaginary of the West¹. A central theme here is Cicero¹s role in mediating and transforming Greek philosophy, not least through his translations and adaptations of Plato. As a first sounding of this territory, the Centre will sponsor three exploratory seminars in Epiphany term 2009 that will look at Cicero¹s engagement with Plato in the de Republica:

Seminar 1: Cicero, de Republica 1.65-67 ~ Plato, Politeia 8. 562c - 563c.

Seminar 2: Cicero, de Republica 3.27 ~ Plato, Politeia 2.360e - 362b.

Seminar 3: Cicero, de Republica 6.26-29 ~ Plato, Phaidros 245cff.

The seminars are open to all. Indeed, an analysis of Cicero¹s reception of Plato should ideally draw on expertise in an unusually wide range of areas within the field: ancient Greek, Greek philosophy, Latin, Roman history, and political theory, among others. The seminars are designed to bring together experts in all of these areas, in what we hope will be a mutually illuminating conversation. We shall work with the original texts, but also translations, and, even though we shall be discussing points arising from the Greek and the Latin, there is no expectation that participants have these languages.

Dates and times:

Seminar 1: Friday, 6 February, 1 - 2.30 pm
Seminar 2: Friday, 27 February, 1 - 2.30 pm
Seminar 3: Friday, 13 March, 1 - 2.30 pm

If you are interested in joining, please contact either Louise Hodgson
( or Ingo Gildenhard (

We shall distribute readings (original texts, translations, commentaries) to all participants early next week.

Louise Hodgson
Ingo Gildenhard