School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Professor Jakob Wisse

Professor of Latin Language & Literature



Jakob Wisse received his doctorate in Classics in 1994 at the University of Amsterdam; he also holds the equivalent of a Research Master's in Mathematics (with Physics) from the same University. He has worked at Newcastle University from 1999. He was appointed to a professorship in 2009, and elected to The Academy of Europe (Academia Europaea) in 2014.

His book publications centre on ancient rhetoric, in particular Cicero and his "magnum opus", De oratore. Further research interests include intellectual life (esp. in the Roman republican period); Greek and Roman historiography; literary theory; and Greek and Latin language.
His next book project is a commentary on Sallust's War with Jugurtha, to be written with his Newcastle colleague Federico Santangelo.



My current research focuses on two areas:

  • Ciceronian, and more generally, Roman republican rhetoric. My latest publications in this area (2013) are an article about “the bad orator”, which examines the ways in which criticisms of oratorical performance functioned in Roman politics and culture; and an examination of the rhetorical strategy of Cicero's speech On the Agrarian Law II.
  • Ancient, and esp. Roman, historiography. A piece on Tacitus’ account of the trial of the historian Cremutius Cordus under Tiberius (Annals 4.34-35), examined in the light of Tacitus' historiographical principles, was published in Histos in December 2013.

Research plans include further work in these two areas. My next book project is a commentary on Sallust's War with Jugurtha, to be written with my Newcastle Ancient History colleague Federico Santangelo.

Postgraduate Supervision

In any area of his research or teaching expertise, especially:

- ancient rhetoric

- Cicero: rhetoric, philosophy, politics

- ancient historiography


Undergraduate Teaching

My teaching interests include Latin poetry, Greek tragedy and Latin & Greek language from beginners' level onwards; and of course also topics covered in my research, in particular ancient rhetoric (esp. Cicero) and Greek and Roman historiography. 

Undergraduate teaching in 2015/2016

First Semester:

  • CAC2050: History, Literature and Truth: The Case of the Ancient Historians
  • CAC2001: Researching the Classics I (with Dr David Creese)
  • CLA2001: Interpretation of Latin Texts (level 2)
  • CLA3001: Interpretation of Latin Texts (level 3)
  • CLA2002/3002: Special Study in Latin (level 2/3)

 Second semester (NB: apart from teaching this module I am on research leave this Semester)

  • CLA1012: Intermediate Latin Language and Literature 2 (with Alan Beale)