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. He is currently collaborating with his Newcastle colleague Federico Santangelo in writing a commentary on Sallust's War with Jugurtha.



My current research focuses on two areas:

  • Ciceronian, and more generally, Roman republican rhetoric, and its cultural and intellectual setting. Recent publications in this area 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.

Research plans include further work in these two areas. My current book project is a commentary on Sallust's War with Jugurtha, 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 2019/2020:

First Semester:

  • CAC2051/3051: The Ancient Art of Spin: Classical Rhetoric in Theory and Practice
  • CLA1011: contribution to Intermediate Latin Language and Literature I

 Second semester:

  • CAC1013: Life and Literature in the Roman Republic
  • CAC2001: contribution to Researching the Classics
  • CLA1012: prose component of Intermediate Latin Language and Literature II
  • CLA2001: Interpretation of Latin Texts
  • CLA2002/3002/8002: Special Study in Latin