skip to primary navigationskip to content

Jannis Frederik Koltermann

Jannis Frederik Koltermann

Supervisor: Dr Christopher Whitton

College: Darwin College

Title of thesis (preliminary): The Politics of Gossip. Imperial Power in Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars


  • Since 2019: PhD Classics, Darwin College, University of Cambridge
  • 2017-2018: MPhil Classics, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge
  • 2016-2017: MA Ancient History, Universität Tübingen (Germany)
  • 2013-2016: BA Latin Literature, Universität Tübingen (Germany)
  • 2012-2015: BA History and Political Science, Universität Tübingen (Germany) and Université d'Aix-Marseille (France)

My PhD thesis explores Suetonius as a political writer. Focussing on those chapters in the 'Lives of the Caesars' that discuss an emperor's 'private' life (drinking habits, love affairs etc.), I examine the function of gossip in negotiating imperial power. My aim is a) to challenge the assumption that Suetonius is not interested in politics, b) to demonstrate how our interpretation of the Lives benefits from reading across them and c) to contribute to our understanding of political communication in Imperial Rome.


Other academic interests

  • Political culture of Ancient Rome
  • Theory and history of historiography
  • Reception of ancient thought in modern literature and philosophy (esp. existentialism)

Upcoming events

Illustrating Ancient History: Bringing the Past to the Present

Nov 03, 2020

Cast Gallery, Museum of Classical Archaeology, Sidgwick Avenue, CB3 9DA

Upcoming events

RSS Feed Latest news

Access & Outreach coordinator

Jan 18, 2021

Details of how to apply for this post are now available online. Closing date 11 February 2021.

Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

Jan 13, 2021

An online corpus of more than 2,000 inscriptions in Greek and Latin of the Roman period from Cyrenaica (eastern Libya), of which Joyce Reynolds is the Principal Author has been published to mark her 102nd birthday.

Dr. Neil Hopkinson

Jan 08, 2021

The Faculty reports with great sadness the death of Dr. Neil Hopkinson (1957–2021).

New Director of the Museum of Classical Archaeology

Jan 06, 2021

Caroline Vout begins her term as Director of the Museum of Classical Archaeology.

View all news