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Philosophical Letters: A Conference on Philosophy and Epistolarity - 06-07/09/2018, Manchester (Engl


Some of the most important and influential letters and letter collections of antiquity were written by philosophers (e.g. the letters of Seneca or Epicurus) or attributed to philosophers (such as the letters of Plato, Socrates and the Socratics, Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans, etc.). Letters can be employed as the vehicle for the exploration of philosophical topics or problems (as in Seneca or Epicurus), or for the defence of a philosopher's life or endeavours (as in the Seventh Letter of Plato), while several letter collections engage with philosophical material more or less obliquely (e.g. the letters of Cicero). Philosophers also often appear as characters in epistolary collections (e.g. Plato in the letters of Chion, or Democritus in the exchange of letters between Democritus and Hippocrates), and several letter collections purport to give us a glimpse into some aspect of the 'private lives' of philosophers. This conference seeks to explore the interaction of philosophy and philosophers in antiquity with the letter form and the broader letter collection

FECHA /DATE/DATA: 06-07/09/2018

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Manchester (Manchester, England)




We are fortunate, thanks to the generosity of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies and the Classical Association, to have a number of graduate bursaries (for current MA/PhD students) to cover travel, one night's accommodation, the conference fee and food/refreshments at the conference. If you would like to be considered for one of these, please also email, using the subject line 'Graduate Bursary, Philosophical Letters'.


Confirmed speakers and papers:

Carol Atack (Oxford), 'Housework versus sex work: the construction of gender roles in the letters of the Pythagorean women' Ada Bronowski (NCH), 'Confidence and Confidences in the letters of Epicurus and Seneca' Jenny Bryan (Manchester), 'Philosophical Letters or Epistolary Philosophy?' Federico Giulio Corsi (Sapienza, Rome), 'Epicurean Education in Letters: The Case of Diogenes of Oinoanda' Pamela Gordon (Kansas), 'The Epicurean Writes Back' Malcolm Heath (Leeds), 'Letters and the philosophical community in Porphyry’s Life of Plotinus' Owen Hodkinson (Leeds), 'Σχολή in Greek Philosophical and Other Letters' Claire Jackson (Cambridge), 'Epistolary and Philosophical Narratives in the Letters of Chion of Heraclea' Elizabeth Mattingly Conner (Maryland), 'Stoic Exhortations, Stoic Consolations: Epistolary Parrhēsia and Gazan Sophists' Andrew Morrison (Manchester), 'Love in the Platonic Epistles' Anna Peterson (Penn State), 'Return to Sender: Epistolography, Biography, and the Authorial Voice in Lucian’s Nigrinus and On the Passing of Peregrinus' Elsa Simonetti (Durham), 'The Letters of Apollonius of Tyana: constructing a ‘Neo-Pythagorean’ and his community in the first centuries AD' Simon Smets (UCL), 'Philosophical Didactics in Marsilio Ficino’s letters' Janja Soldo (ICS, London), 'Fronto’s Philosophical Letters'

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