Classics Society Lecture

Classics Society Lecture 2

On Thursday 7th March, the Fettesian Classicists and some who had travelled down from Strathallan gathered to hear an engaging and thought-provoking lecture on Cicero’s political philosophy from Dr Nathan Gilbert of Durham University.

Dr Gilbert argued that key events from Cicero’s life, his philosophical writing, and his correspondence, which demonstrate that Cicero adhered to a ruthless but consistent philosophy in both his public and private life.

He certainly gave all of us who have grown to love the scrupulous statesman pause for thought when he highlighted some of Cicero’s more merciless decisions, and in particular when he compared Cicero’s unfailing observance of his principles to the more fleeting moral justifications of current governments, referencing the Shamima Begum case which is currently in the news.

Students who have been studying Cicero’s life and works were keen to ask Dr Gilbert about his interpretation of other events in Cicero’s life and his perspective has certainly influenced their approach to Cicero; some of the more self-reflective audience members were even compelled to examine how their own moral philosophy governs their lives.

Sixth Form pupils enjoyed the opportunity after the talk to have a more informal conversation, and they were keen to find out a bit more about studying at Durham University.

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