Aarhus University Seal

Research project

Project description

The project examines epistolary leadership in light of its long tradition from Plato in antiquity to Empress Maria Theresia in modern times and beyond, focusing on three letter writers from the turn of the eras: Cicero, Paul, and Seneca.

The Roman republican statesman Cicero (106-43 BCE) - an ancient “archegete” of letter collections - the early Christian missionary Paul († ca. 62) and the early imperial Roman philosopher and politician Seneca the younger (ca. 4 BCE - 65 CE) all used letters as a means to govern in the public sphere.

The project's idea is to analyse Cicero's, Paul's, and Seneca's letters in order to uncover the authoritative claims as well as the literary, philosophical, and moral patterns by which these three authors became lasting paradigms of political, moral, and religious leadership.