Dr Dominic Berry

Honorary Fellow; Classics


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.  In 1991 I completed my DPhil thesis, a commentary on Cicero’s Pro Sulla, which was awarded the Conington Prize for the best doctoral thesis in classical literature in the previous three years.  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.  From 2006 to 2021 I held a Senior Lectureship within the School.  In 2021 I retired but I continue to be associated with the School as an Honorary Fellow in Classics.

Anyone wishing to study for a PhD in Classics at Edinburgh should contact the Programme Director.  Although retired, I would potentially be willing to contribute to the supervision of PhD students working on Cicero and the Ciceronian period.

Current PhD students supervised

I am currently supervisor to one PhD student, who is writing a thesis entitled "Cicero as a Roman patronus: relationships of clientela in the Late Roman Republic".

Past PhD students supervised

Viola Periti, on “Dynamics of power and artistry of arrangement in Valerius Maximus’ Facta et dicta memorabilia” (2023)

Gabriel Evangelou, “Philia in Cicero’s correspondence” (2016)

Masayuki Ito, “Informal diplomacy and Rome from the First Macedonian War to the assassination of Ti. Gracchus” (2016)

Lauren Murray, “Elite father and son relationships in republican Rome” (2015)

Katherine Liong, “Cicero de re militari:  a civilian perspective on military matters in the late republic” (2011)

Research summary

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 research and publications.  Cicero is both the leading prose writer of the first century BC and the most important 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 most fully 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 five books on Cicero.  First was an edition and commentary on Pro P. Sulla in the Cambridge “orange” series (1996, reissued 2004).  This was followed by two Oxford World’s Classics translations, Cicero:  Defence Speeches (2000, reissued 2008) and Cicero:  Political Speeches (2006, reissued 2009).  A revised selection from these last two volumes was published by the Folio Society in 2011 under the title Cicero:  Orations. My most recent book, Cicero's Catilinarians (Oxford University Press, 2020), is a study of the Catilinarians and their reception.  It argues that these speeches are not faithful representations of the speeches that Cicero delivered and it considers the implications of this for an appreciation of the speeches as literature.

Current research interests

I am currently completing a paper on Sallust’s sources for his Bellum Catilinae, and I am planning another on Cicero’s Pro Marcello. My next book is likely to be an edition and commentary on what survives of Cicero’s Facete Dicta, a posthumous collection of his jokes. I also have a research interest in early photography and am currently writing two papers on new discoveries I have made in the early photographs of Oxford.

Single-authored books

D.H.Berry, Cicero's Catilinarians (Oxford University Press, 2020).

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.


Edited books

D.H.Berry (ed.), Co-editor with Andrew Erskine, Form and Function in Roman Oratory (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

D.H.Berry (ed.), Rhetoric at Rome: A Historical Survey by M.L.Clarke, revised and with a new introduction (Routledge, 1996).


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.

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, 2022-23).

I am currently President of the Classical Association of Scotland (Edinburgh and South East Centre).