Talking to Virgil

BookTalking to Virgil

Talking to Virgil

A Miscellany


April 1st, 1992





A unique collection that uncovers connections between a fascinating assortment of subjects with classical associations, ranging from Plato to Anthony Powell.

Peter Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Roman History at Exeter University and a Fellow of the British Academy. He came to Exeter in 1977, and was Head of Department from 1977 to 1990. Although he retired in 2001, he is still involved in graduate teaching at both MA and PhD levels. ‘I've been obsessed with the history and literature of Rome for nearly half a century’, he says. Among the results of that obsession have been books on Catullus (Catullan Questions 1969, Catullus and his World 1985), on Roman political history (New Men in the Roman Senate 1971, Flavius Josephus: Death of an Emperor 1991), on Roman historiography (Clio's Cosmetics: Three Studies in Greco-Roman Literature 1979, Historiography and Imagination: Eight Essays on Roman Culture 1994), and on Roman myth and legend (Remus: a Roman Myth 1995, Roman Drama and Roman History 1998).

Professor Wiseman in these essays bears his own learning lightly, and his hope that, just as it was written for pleasure ... this is a book to be read for pleasure, deserves to be fulfilled...
Times Literary Supplement

This is a delightful book, one which amply demonstrates how versatile Wiseman is, from cartography to the sonnets of Hopkins, dabbling in depth, always to be taken seriously, always securely grounded in scholarly evidence ... The book is accessible to the classical civilisation student and the non-specialist reader.

... The collection contains a number of essays which in the final analysis should encourage readers of this journal to think about the classical tradition in new and potentially profitable ways ... Wiseman writes with clarity and grace, and the balanced fairness with which he sketches the superficiality of Baddeley and the eccentricities of Knight allows the reader to encounter them as interesting figures in their own right. What is more, the essays printed here suggest that there can be more to the study of the Classical tradition than we generally acknowledge.
International Journal of the Classical Tradition

Author Information

T. P. Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Roman History at the University of Exeter and a Fellow of the British Academy. He came to Exeter in 1977, and was Head of Department from 1977 to 1990. His published books include Catullan Questions (1969), New Men in the Roman Senate (1971), Cinna the Poet (1974), Catullus and his World (1985), Roman Political Life (1985), and Remembering the Roman People (2009). And on the study of Roman historiography, and from there to the myth-history of early Rome: see Clio’s Cosmetics (1979), Historiography and Imagination (1994), Remus: A Roman Myth (1995), Roman Drama and Roman History (1998), The Myths of Rome (2004), which won the American Philological Association’s Goodwin Award of Merit, and Unwritten Rome (2008)

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
List of illustrations
Preface and acknowledgements
1. Killing Caligula
2. The Giants' Revenge
3. Julius Caesar and the mappa mundi
4. Mortal Trash
5. The Centaur's Hood
6. A Roman Villa
7. With Boni in the Forum
8. Rediscovering a Benefactor
9. Talking to Virgil
10. Uncivil Discourse