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Dr Nathan Gilbert

Associate Professor

Associate Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History
Member of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies


I am an Associate Professor 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 worked as a lecturer for the following year; thereafter I joined Durham as a Junior Research Fellow (2016-17) and was appointed to the Department permanently in 2017. Previous to my graduate studies I spent a year abroad at the University of Bonn as a DAAD scholar; my BA is from Carleton College (USA), which fostered my enthusiasm for liberal arts and interdisciplinary approach to research in the humanities.

My research examines Cicero's philosophical works in light of his interactions with his philosophically-inclined Roman contemporaries, such as Atticus, Brutus, Cassius, and Varro. I argue this approach 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 (I am working on a new edition of the fragments of Metrodorus of Lampsacus with Michael McOsker), as well as the social history of ancient philosophy. More recently, I have developed a serious interest in Buddhist philosophy: I hope to introduce Pāli language modules at Durham in the coming years and to integrate the study of Greco-Roman philosophy with the rich Indian philosophical tradition.

Areas of MA/PhD Supervision

I welcome students with interests in Cicero; Hellenistic philosophy; Roman Intellectual History; Buddhist philosophy and comparative philosophy.

Current Students
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, and Ancient Philosophy. Sample talks include "Epicurus: atheist or pious believer?" 


Supervision students