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Politics of the Late Republic: Cicero the Correspondent

4. Post-Civil War Letters (49-43 BC)

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About this Lecture


In this module, we explore the four letters on the specification that were written after the civil war: (i) Att. 13.40 (to Atticus, 45 BC); (ii) Att. 14.4 (to Atticus, 44 BC); (iii) Fam. 10.28 (to Trebonius, 43 BC); and (iv) Fam. 10.6 (to Plancus, 43 BC). In particular, we focus on: (i) the political situation following the civil war; (ii) Cicero’s relationship with his brother, Quintus; (iii) his thoughts on the assassination of Caesar, and his own political machinations following the events; (iv) the figure of Plancus, the addressee of Fam. 10.6; (v) the crossover between Cicero’s oratory and his correspondence; and (vi) the extent to which Cicero expected his letters to be read by more than just the intended recipient.


In this course, Professor Catherine Steel (University of Glasgow) explores Cicero as a correspondent in a set of lectures designed to be used alongside the OCR A Level Classical Civilization option, ‘Politics and the Late Republic’. In the first module, we provide an introduction to Cicero’s letters a whole, thinking in particular about the importance of letters generally in the ancient world and the various letter collections that have come down to us. After that, in the following three modules, we go through each of the eleven set letter, which we have grouped into three distinct periods: letters written before the civil war (62-49 BC), letters written during the civil war (49 BC), and letters written after the civil war (49-43 BC).


Catherine Steel is Professor of Classics and Head of the Department of Classics at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests relate to the Roman Republic, the writings of Cicero and Roman oratory. Her recent publications include Reading Cicero: Genre and Performance in Late Republican Rome (2005), The End of the Roman Republic, 146-44 B.C.: Conquest and Crisis (2013) and (with Dr Henriette van der Blom) Community and Communication: Oratory and Politics in Republican Rome (2013).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Steel, C. (2020, September 05). Politics of the Late Republic: Cicero the Correspondent - Post-Civil War Letters (49-43 BC) [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Steel, C. "Politics of the Late Republic: Cicero the Correspondent – Post-Civil War Letters (49-43 BC)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 05 Sep 2020,