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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History


Dr Nathan Gilbert, PhD Toronto

(email at

I am an Assistant Professor in Latin Literature in the Department of Classics and Ancient History. I come to Durham from the University of Toronto, where I completed my PhD in Classics in June 2015 and lectured the following year; thereafter I joined Durham as a Junior Research Fellow (2016-17). My research examines Cicero's philosophical works in light of his interactions with his philosophically-inclined Roman contemporaries, such as Atticus, Brutus, Cassius, or Varro. I believe that doing so allows us to better understand the genesis and originality of the philosophica--in contrast to older approaches which see Cicero's treatises as mere copies or translations of musty books of lost Hellenistic philosophers. Other interests include Epicureanism and the Herculaneum papyri, as well as the social history of ancient philosophy, particularly in Republican Rome. I have recently developed a side-project on Montaigne's reception of Lucretius; I hope to explore the reception of ancient philosophy in the Renaissance in greater detail down the road.

Areas of MA/PhD Supervision

I welcome students with interests in Cicero; Hellenistic Philosophy; Roman Intellectual History and Culture; Renaissance Receptions of Ancient Philosophy and Antiquarianism.

Current Students

Kristine Weeks, Satire in Aulus Gellius and Lucian

School Talks and Outreach

I am happy to encourage interest in the Classics in this region by giving a visiting lecture. Topics include Cicero, Lucretius, Ancient philosophy, or ancient Atheism. Sample talks include "Epicurus: an atheist or a believer?" 


Chapter in book

Journal Article

Book review

  • (2017). Review of Annas and Betegh, Cicero's De Finibus: Philosophical Approaches. Classical Review 67(1).

Conference Paper

  • (Submitted), "No new pleasures under the sun: from Lucretius to Montaigne".

Doctoral Thesis

  • (Accepted). "Among Friends: Cicero and the Epicureans". PhD.

Working Paper