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Charlie, 2nd Year

Dr Christopher Whitton

Photo of Dr Christopher Whitton


Official Fellow; Deputy Praelector; Director of Music
Senior Lecturer in Classical Literature in the Faculty of Classics [on academic leave in the Lent and Easter terms 2018]


I was educated at St John's College, Cambridge (BA 2002, MPhil 2004, PhD 2007), and as a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University (2002-3). I came to Emmanuel as Fellow in Classics and Director of Music in 2007, when I was appointed University Lecturer in Classics. In 2012-14 I was an Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin and Rostock University.

As an organist, singer and choir director I have held posts at Winchester College, Grace Cathedral (San Francisco), Harvard Memorial Church, and St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, and spent five years as chorus master of the Cambridge Philharmonic Society. I was Organ Student at St John’s College, Cambridge, from 1999 to 2002, and played for several of the CDs of English choral music recorded with Naxos. I continue to give occasional recitals and to conduct and direct and accompany choirs in services, concerts and broadcasts, and I spend a week each summer as Organist and Assistant Director on the Eton Choral Courses. At Emmanuel I am the Fellow responsible for (non-academic) music in College, including oversight of Chapel music and the Music Society.

Teaching Interests

Most of my undergraduate teaching is in Latin literature, for which I teach all papers. I also teach some Greek literature, as well as Greek and Latin language. I have supervised Part II dissertations and MPhil work on a wide range of topics and authors from Homer to Wieland, and PhD work on Juvenal, Tacitus and Roman gardens. I welcome enquiries from potential graduate students, especially (but not only) those working on imperial Latin prose and the Trajanic period. I also give frequent talks to school students and teachers, including a course on Tacitus Annals 1 on


My research focuses on Latin literature of the early Roman empire, especially Trajanic prose, with particular interests in prose style, intertextuality and the intersection of literature and history. My commentary on Pliny’s second book of Epistles was published in the Cambridge ‘green and yellow’ series in 2013, a volume of Oxford Readings in the Epistles of Pliny (jointly edited with Roy Gibson) came out in 2016, and an edited volume (with Alice König) on Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian is in press. I am currently completing a monograph on prose intertextuality, provisionally entitled Quintilian in Brief, writing another 'green and yellow' commentary (jointly with Myles Lavan) on Tacitus Annals 14, and co-editing The Cambridge Critical Guide to Latin Literature with Roy Gibson.



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