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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

E Caucus seminar

May 27, 2020

Virtual - Zoom

Literature Seminar

May 27, 2020

Virtual - Zoom

Bridging Binaries LGBTQ+ tour

Jun 06, 2020

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Classics

Athens: Economy & Democracy Conference (in honour of P. Millett)

Jul 09, 2020

Faculty of Classics and Downing College, Cambridge

Upcoming events

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New Collection Videos

Mar 31, 2020

The Museum of Classical Archaeology is pleased to announce the first in a series of short videos on objects in the collection, featuring the Faculty's own Prof Caroline Vout.

Building Closure

Mar 20, 2020

The Faculty Building is closed from 5 pm on Friday 20 March until further notice.

Coronavirus guidance

Feb 06, 2020

A link to the College and University guidance on the Coronavirus is available here

CREWS: Visiting Fellowship focused on the study of ancient writing systems

Jan 22, 2020

Details of how to apply for this Visiting Fellowship are now available online. The deadline for applications is 5pm GMT on Monday, 17th February 2020

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