School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Lauren Emslie

Lauren Emslie

The Gods and the Intellectuals: Theological discussions of the late Roman Republic in Cicero’s De Natura Deorum.

Year started


Project outline

The aim of this project is to examine the position of Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods (De Natura Deorum) in dynamic intellectual setting of the late Roman republic, with special attention to the issues of ‘belief’ and ‘scepticism’. This study will address a gap in the scholarship of Cicero’s philosophical works, by looking at this understudied text, and will bring together three interrelated areas of study: philosophy, rhetoric and religion. Central to the study are the problematic dialogue form of the work and associated rhetorical form and function and Cicero’s own philosophical alignment. Ultimately, this study will lead to a new understanding of Cicero’s scepticism and its role in the handling of religious matters, of his own belief or lack thereof, and more generally of the issues of belief in contemporary Roman society.

Funded by the AHRC Northern Bridge Consortium.

Funding awards

AHRC Full Studentship (Northern Bridge Consortium)
Senior Johnson Prize for the Best Overall Degree Result in all Classics degree programmes (2013)
Runner-Up Prize for Best Paper at Newcastle University Postgraduate Forum Conference (2014)
Eleanor Pinkney Oddie Scholarship for Latin (2013 & 2014)
HaSS Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship (2013)
Classics Prize for the Most Promising First-Year Student (2011)

Other roles

Teaching Assistant on CAC2/3050 and CAH2020 (2016-17)
Teaching Assistant on CAC2050, CAH1013, and CAH1002 (2015-16)
Chair of HCA Postgraduate Forum (2015-16)
Organiser of the Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in Ancient History (March 2016)
Organiser of the Postgraduate Forum Conference (May 2016)

Academic qualifications

BA with First Class Honours in Classical Studies (Newcastle University, 2010-13)
MA with Distinction in Classics (Newcastle University, 2013-14)