Workshop in Ancient Philosophy Week 1 MT17

Ancient Philosophy

The School of Athens

Speaker: Raphael Woolf (KCL)

Title: 'Philosophy and Death in Cicero's Letters to Atticus'


The Letters to Atticus form a substantial part of Cicero’ surviving correspondence. We have good reason to believe that Atticus had marked Epicurean sympathies and we know that Epicureanism is a philosophical school that Cicero engages with extensively and critically throughout his writings. As we also know, it is a school which has a particular view about the nature of death, and about what our proper attitude towards death should be; and it regards this attitude as a crucial element in our ability to live a good life.  Taking its topic as both a reflection on, and evidence for, Cicero's inclination to use the correspondence as a place to do philosophy, this paper argues that we find in the Letters to Atticus one half of a philosophical conversation about the proper attitude towards death and its relation to one's conception of the good life.


Convenors: Dr Karen Margrethe Nielsen, Prof Ursula Coope, and Dr Luca Castagnoli

Webpage: Workshop in Ancient Philosophy