Faculty Notes

Amanda Wilcox: New book, The Gift of Correspondence in Classical Rome

Posted Nov. 13, 2012: The Gift of Correspondence in Classical Rome: Friendship in Cicero’s Ad Familiares and Seneca’s Moral Epistles, a book by Amanda Wilcox, assistant professor of classics, came out August 6, 2012 from the University of Wisconsin Press. This study offers an innovative approach to two major collections of Roman letters that have rarely been considered in tandem. By viewing letters and the practice of correspondence as a species of gift exchange, Wilcox provides a nuanced analysis of Roman epistolary rhetoric, the social dynamics of friendship as carried on through Cicero’s letters, and Seneca’s transformation of this euphemistic rhetoric and practice to serve his own purposes–namely, the transformation of correspondence into an mode of ethical philosophy and self-contemplation.