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Pliny: Letters

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course Professor Christopher Whitton (University of Cambridge) explores Pliny’s Letters. In the first lecture we introduce Pliny, his political career and his literary output, and think about the idea of letters of literature. After that, in the second lecture, we think about the style of Pliny’s Letters, from the collection as a whole to the style of individual letters. In the third, fourth, fifth and sixth lectures, we think the representation of society in Pliny’s Letters, including his engagement with politics, his presentation of women and slaves, and his reflections on the institution of slavery itself. In the seventh, eighth and ninth lectures, we think about Pliny’s Letters as philosophy, natural philosophy and history, respectively, before turning in the tenth and final lecture to provide some suggestions for further reading.

About the Lecturer

Christopher Whitton is Professor of Latin Language at the University of Cambridge. He works on Latin literature of the early Roman Empire, especially Pliny the Younger and Tacitus, with particular interests in prose style, intertextuality and the intersection of literature and history. His main research projects at the moment are a 'green and yellow' commentary on Tacitus Annals 14 and a monograph provisionally entitled Tacitus Revoiced: Reading the Histories with Pliny the Younger.

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