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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)

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