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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

    Honours and awards


  • 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 late republic and early principate. The complex literary strategies of Roman texts (I have worked particularly on Seneca, Ovid and more recently Cicero) are an intrinsic part of that world’s fabric. 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.

    Another important strand in my research has been the reception of antiquity in later centuries, particularly the C19th, and how receptions of antiquity are implicated in strategies of cultural formation and self-construction (I have published on the reception of Rome in Gibbon, in Mme de Stael, T.B.Macaulay, Nathaniel Hawthorne and in C19th guidebooks, particularly the work of Augustus Hare).

    Research clusters and groups

    • Mind and body
  • 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 doctoral researchers



    I contribute to a wide range of modules on Roman history, Latin literature and the reception of classical antiquity. 

    Teaching modules

    • Introduction to Classical Culture (HICL074D7)
    • Latin set book (B) (HICL205S6)
    • The Ancient World (SSHC404S4)
    • Journeys to the Underworld in Classical Literature and Culture (SSHC410S5)
  • 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.

    Because of my expertise on Seneca, I am regularly asked to speak or write on the applicability of Stoic practices to modern life, as in this piece I wrote for London's Evening Standard: