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Prof Catharine Edwards

  • Overview



    • PhD, University of Cambridge

    Professional memberships

    • Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (member of the editorial board for Journal of Roman Studies 2009-2014)

    • Classical Association


  • Research


    Research interests

    • •Subjectivity, gender, self-construction
    • •The younger Seneca, especially his Letters
    • •Cicero, especially his letters
    • •Roman cultural history
    • •Responses to the city of Rome in antiquity and later periods
    • •Classical receptions in the nineteenth century

    Research overview

    My work focuses on the cultural history of the Roman world, particularly Rome in the early principate, as well as aspects of its reception in later centuries. The complex literary strategies of Roman texts are an intrinsic part of that world’s fabric. Literary texts articulate, for instance, the preoccupation of upper-class Romans of the last days of the republic and the principate with suicide as a potentially noble course of action – but they also need to be seen as fuelling that preoccupation, perhaps even playing a contributory role in the decision of some individuals to take their own lives. I am interested in the ways in which conceptions of gender and other aspects of personal and social identity operate through, and are inflected by, language.

    Research clusters and groups

    • Mind and body

    Post doctoral staff

    • Dr Caroline Barron
  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students who are interested in undertaking research in any of my areas of research interest.

    Current Supervisions

    • Joint Principal Supervisor for 1 Birkbeck students
    • Principal Supervisor for 3 Birkbeck students
    • Second Supervisor for 1 Birkbeck students


    Teaching modules

    • Introduction to Classical Culture (HICL074D7)
    • Latin set book (A) (HICL165S6)
    • The Empire of Letters: Correspondence in the Roman World (HICL203S6)
    • The Ancient World (SSHC404S4)
  • Publications




    Book Section

  • Business and community

    Business and community


    I have taken part on many occasions in BBC Radio 4's 'In our time',  contributing to episodes on:

    ·       Agrippina the Younger
    ·       Cleopatra
    ·       Roman Britain
    ·       Virgil’s Aeneid
    ·       Tacitus and the decadence of Rome
    ·       Pliny the Younger
    ·       The Augustan Age         
    ·       Seneca the Younger

    I presented a TV series ‘Mothers, murderers and mistresses: empresses of ancient Rome’ (3 episodes, each 60 minutes, Hotsauce TV) first broadcast BBC Four.