Professor Christopher Whitton

Photo of Professor Christopher Whitton


Official Fellow; Deputy Praelector; Director of Music
Professor of Latin Literature


I was an undergraduate and graduate student at St John's College, Cambridge, and spent a year as a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard. Since 2007 I have taught in the Faculty of Classics and been a Fellow of Emmanuel College. In 2012-14 I held an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship 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, spent five years as chorus master of the Cambridge Philharmonic Society, and was Organist/Assistant Director on the Eton Choral Courses from 2002 to 2019. 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. 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 talks to school students and teachers, including courses on Tacitus Annals 1 and Histories 1 on


I work on Latin literature of the early Roman Empire, especially Pliny the Younger and Tacitus, 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, and a monograph entitled The Arts of Imitation in Latin Prose: Pliny’s Epistles / Quintilian in Brief (Cambridge) in 2019. I co-edited Oxford Readings in the Epistles of Pliny with Roy Gibson (Oxford, 2016) and Roman Literature under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian: Literary Interactions, AD 96-138 with Alice König (Cambridge, 2018). My main projects at the moment are another Cambridge commentary, on Tacitus Annals 14, and a monograph provisionally entitled Tacitus revoiced: reading the HIstories with Pliny the Younger; I am also co-editing The Cambridge Critical Guide to Latin Literature with Roy Gibson. I am a series editor of the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics ('green and yellows'), and serve on the publications committee of the Institute of Classical Studies.