About our staff
Dr Dominic Berry
Senior Lecturer; Classics
Classics Director of Teaching
I come from a farming background in the Scottish Borders, went to school in England and then for eight months held what would now be called an internship at one of the oldest and most venerable City of London stockbrokers. My employers told me that a job would be waiting for me when I left university, but when the time came I chose Classics instead. Meanwhile, the stockbroking firm has been swallowed up by HSBC, the building I worked in has been demolished and replaced by one vastly taller, and I am still here--and still fascinated by the Greeks and Romans.
I did my degrees at the University of Oxford, where I was a Scholar at Exeter College and then a Senior Scholar at Lincoln College. I completed my DPhil thesis, a commentary on Cicero’s Pro Sulla, in 1991; on its publication by Cambridge University Press in 1996 it was awarded the Conington Prize. During my time at Oxford I also held lectureships at Merton College from 1988 to 1991 and at Christ Church in 1990. From 1991 to 2006 I was a Lecturer, then a Senior Lecturer, at the University of Leeds. In 2006 I moved to Edinburgh to take up a Senior Lectureship within the School.
I have served as a Council member of the Roman Society (1999-2002) and as an External Examiner at the National University of Ireland Maynooth (2001-05), the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (2005-06), the University of Birmingham (2011-15) and the University of Oxford (2015-19).
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Ancient Civilisations
- Language & Literature
I am primarily interested in Latin language and literature, and in the political history of the late Roman republic. These topics are neatly combined in the writings and career of Marcus Tullius Cicero, which continue to be the focus of my publications. Cicero is both the leading prose writer of the first century BC and the major historical source for that period; because so much of what he wrote survives (preserved because of its stylistic qualities), and because so many of his writings are directly concerned with contemporary events, the period of Cicero’s adult lifetime is the best attested period in all ancient history.
My research has concentrated on commentary on some of Cicero’s better known speeches, through the medium of the traditional text and commentary and of the annotated translation; it has embraced aspects such as text, style, rhetoric and persuasion, prosopography and law. I have so far published three books on Cicero, an edition and commentary on Pro P. Sulla in the Cambridge “orange” series (1996, reissued 2004) and two Oxford World’s Classics translations, Cicero: Defence Speeches (2000, reissued 2008) and Cicero: Political Speeches (2006, reissued 2009). In addition, a revised selection from these last two volumes was published by the Folio Society in 2011 under the title Cicero: Orations. In 2010 my colleague Andrew Erskine and I published an edited volume entitled Form and Function in Roman Oratory with Cambridge University Press, bringing together criticism of Roman orators such as Cicero and Pliny with criticism of the oratory found in other prose genres such as historiography and philosophy.
PhD APPLICATIONS. I welcome informal enquiries from postgraduate students who are interested in undertaking doctoral research on any aspect of Cicero and/or the history of the late republic. I would be happy to work with you on your application to study for a PhD at Edinburgh with a view to acting as your supervisor if you choose to do your doctoral research in our department. Even if your ideas are not yet fully worked out, please do feel free to get in touch.
Current research activities
I have recently completed a monograph on Cicero’s Catilinarians; it is currently in the press and will be published by Oxford University Press (USA) in 2019 or 2020. The book is primarily concerned with the question (never before asked or answered): how can we interpret, from a literary point of view, speeches which we know are not in the form in which they were originally delivered, but have been altered by their author to take account of later events? The project has made me think hard about what Cicero’s speeches are for, and what we are doing when we read them.
I am currently working on two articles, on Cicero's Pro Marcello and on Sallust's sources. I am also starting work on my next book, which will be on Cicero's jokes.
- Roman World 1A: The Rise of Rome
- Latin 1B
- Latin 1D (course organiser)
- Latin 2A (course organiser)
- Latin Language A (course organiser)
- Latin Language B (course organiser)
- Cicero the Advocate (course organiser)
- The Catilinarian Conspiracy (course organiser)
- Violence and Disorder in Roman Society, 133-31 BC (course organiser)
- The Emperor Nero (course organiser)
|Name||Degree||Thesis topic||Supervision type||Completion year||Link|
|Ito, Masayuki||PhD||Roman diplomatic methods in the middle republic||Secondary||2016|
|Murray, Lauren||PhD||Aristocratic fathers and sons in the middle and late Roman republic||Secondary||2015|
|Evangelou, Gabriel||PhD||Philia in Cicero's correspondence||Primary||2015|
|Liong, Katherine||PhD||Cicero de re militari: a civilian perspective on military matters in the late republic||Primary||2011|
|Morton, Peter||MScR||Re-thinking the Sicilian slave rebellions||Secondary||2009|
D.H.Berry, Cicero: Orations (Folio Society, 2011).
D.H.Berry, Cicero: Political Speeches (Oxford University Press, 2006).
D.H.Berry, Cicero: Defence Speeches (Oxford University Press, 2000).
|D.H.Berry, Cicero: Pro P. Sulla Oratio (Cambridge University Press, 1996). Conington Prize 1996.|
D.H.Berry, Co-editor with Andrew Erskine, Form and Function in Roman Oratory (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Articles and book chapters
D.H.Berry, ‘Neglected and unnoticed additions in the text of three speeches of Cicero (In Verrem II.5, Pro Murena, Pro Milone)’ in R.Hunter and S.P.Oakley (eds), Latin Literature and its Transmission: Papers in Honour of Michael Reeve (Cambridge University Press, 2016), 10-21.
D.H.Berry, 'Did Aeneas love Dido?', Proceedings of the Virgil Society, 28 (2014), 197-217.
D.H.Berry, ‘Cicero, Marcus Tullius: Pro Archia’, The Literary Encyclopedia (2013).
D.H.Berry, 'In defense of Caelius’ in P.E.Knox and J.C McKeown (eds), The Oxford Anthology of Roman Literature (Oxford University Press, 2013), 122-39.
D.H.Berry, 'The first speech against Catiline’ in P.E.Knox and J.C.McKeown (eds), The Oxford Anthology of Roman Literature (Oxford University Press, 2013), 115-21.
D.H.Berry, 'Cicero and Greek art', Papers of the Langford Latin Seminar, 15 (2012), 223-41.
D.H.Berry, 'Form and function' (with A. Erskine) in D.H.Berry and A.Erskine (eds), Form and Function in Roman Oratory (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 1-17.
D.H.Berry, 'Letters from an advocate: Pliny's "Vesuvius" narratives (Epistles 6.16, 6.20)', Papers of the Langford Latin Seminar, 13 (2008), 297-313.
D.H.Berry, 'Oratory', in S.J.Harrison (ed.), A Companion to Latin Literature (Blackwell Publishing, 2005), 257-69.
D.H.Berry, 'Cicero, De imperio Cn. Pompei 21', Classical Quarterly, 55 (2005), 309-10.
D.H.Berry, 'The publication of Cicero's Pro Roscio Amerino', Mnemosyne, 57 (2004), 80-7.
D.H.Berry, 'Literature and persuasion in Cicero's Pro Archia', in J.G.F.Powell and J.J.Paterson (eds), Cicero the Advocate (Oxford University Press, 2004), 291-311.
D.H.Berry, 'Equester ordo tuus est: Did Cicero win his cases because of his support for the equites?', Classical Quarterly, 53 (2003), 222-34.
D.H.Berry, 'Oratory and declamation' (with Malcolm Heath), in S.E.Porter (ed.), Handbook of Classical Rhetoric in the Hellenistic Period 330 BC-AD 400 (E.J.Brill, 1997), 393-420.
D.H.Berry, 'The value of prose rhythm in questions of authenticity: The case of De optimo genere oratorum attributed to Cicero', Papers of the Leeds International Latin Seminar, 9 (1996), 47-74.
D.H.Berry, 'Pompey's legal knowledge – or lack of it: Cic. Mil. 70 and the date of Pro Milone', Historia, 42 (1993), 502-4.
D.H.Berry, 'The criminals in Virgil's Tartarus: Contemporary allusions in Aeneid 6.621-4', Classical Quarterly, 42 (1992), 416-20.
D.H.Berry, 'Gulielmius and the Erfurtensis of Cicero: New readings for Pro Sulla', Classical Quarterly, 39 (1989), 400-7.
D.H.Berry, Rhetoric at Rome: A Historical Survey by M.L.Clarke, revised and with a new introduction by D.H.Berry (Routledge, 1996).