Peter White

Biography and Interests: 

Peter White 

Title: Herman C. Bernick Family Professor in Classics and the College 
Education: B.A. Boston College 1963, Ph.D. Harvard University 1972
Office: Classics 25A 
Areas of Specialization: Roman oratory, comedy, satire, epistolary collections, Augustine

Peter White has taught a wide range of Greek and Latin authors, from Herodotus to Menander, and from Plautus and Cicero to Augustine and Boethius.  He also regularly teaches in the Humanities Core.  In published work, he has explored the relationship between Roman social life and literary production, including social networks, book dedications, booksellers, and poetry contests. He has also published a study of Cicero’s letters and has just finished a Cambridge commentary on books 5-9 of Augustine’s Confessions.

Recent Publications: 


  • Cicero in Letters: Epistolary Relations of the Late Republic (Oxford and New York, 2010).
  • Promised Verse: Poets in the Society of Augustan Rome (Cambridge, Mass., 1993).


  • "Senatorial Epistolography from Cicero to Sidonius: Coalescence of a Genre," in Epistolary Realities and Fictions: Essays on Roman Letters in Honor of Eleanor Winsor Leach, ed. T. Ramsby and A. Vasaly, BICS 61.2, forthcoming 2018.
  • "Bookshops in the Literary Culture of Rome," in Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome, ed. W. A. Johnson and H. N. Parker (Oxford, 2009), pp. 268-287.
  • "Friendship, Patronage, and Horatian Sociopoetics," in Cambridge Companion to Horace, ed. S. K. Harrison (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 195-206.
  • "Poets in a Changed Regime: Realigning," in Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, ed. G. K. Galinsky (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 321-39.
  • "Tactics in Caesar's Correspondence with Cicero," in Caesar Against Liberty?: Papers of the Langford Latin Seminar 11 (2003), pp. 68-95.
  • "Ovid and the Augustan Milieu," in Brill's Companion to Ovid, ed. B. W. Boyd (Leiden, 2002), pp. 1-25.


  • Intermediate Latin
  • Human Being and Citizen
  • Augustine’s Confessions
  • Cicero’s Orations
  • Latin Literature Survey II
  • Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy
  • Roman Comedy