Professor Jakob Wisse
Professor of Latin Language & Literature and Head of Classics

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7974
  • Address: School of History, Classics and Archaeology
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU
    United Kingdom

    Office: Armstrong 1.40D
    Office hours 2014/15, Sem. 2 (term time, except 13-17 April):
    Monday 12-1
    Wednesday 10-11
    Friday 2-3 (except on 13 March)


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 was recently (Summer 2014) elected to The Academy of Europe (Academia Europaea).

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 2014/2015

First Semester:

  • CLA1001: Beginners' Latin in Action part 1 (with Jenny Gane) 
  • CLA1011: Intermediate Latin Language and Literature (with Alan Beale)
  • CAC2050: History, Literature and Truth: The Case of the Ancient Historians 
  • Dissertation (CAC3000) and Special Study (CAC3001): module leader and supervisor

 Second semester:

  • CLA1002 Beginners’ Latin in Action part 2 (with Jenny Gane)
  • CAC2002: Researching the Classics II (Dissertation training) (with Dr Susanna Phillippo)
  • CAC2051/3051: The Ancient Art of Spin: Classical Rhetoric in Theory and Practice
  • Dissertation (CAC3000) and Special Study (CAC3001): module leader and supervisor