Date: Wednesday 19 May
Venue: Chislehurst Room, Women’s College, St Lucia Campus
Charge: $30 pp (includes two course lunch; water/juice incl; wines etc extra cost)
Registration deadline: Strictly no later than 12 May
Time: 11.30 am for 11.45 am start. Lunch at 12.30 pm

Literary lunch talk by Professor Tim Parkin, the 2021 R D Milns Classics & Ancient History Perpetual Endowment Fund Visiting Scholar:

“Cicero and Old Age after 2000 Years”
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) wrote his dialogue de Senectute, On Old Age in 44 BC, probably just after the assassination of Julius Caesar; he wrote another short work on friendship at the same time, along with a much longer work on duties (De Officiis). The treatise on old age is in fact more of a monologue than a dialogue, put in the mouth of the venerable Cato the Elder, and it is a fine piece of Latin prose, beautifully crafted and generally informative and interesting, although Cato/Cicero does have a tendency to ramble a bit at points (especially about farming), as he himself admits. It is a work that has stood the test of time well, and it has been translated many times, as well as being cited and quoted by young and old alike. The work is often described as a eulogy of old age, which I would argue it is not, and sometimes as a defence of old age, which I would agree it is. But it is also a lot more. On the whole I think it is an optimistic as well as honest work, and I would also assert that it is a very personal work, one which reveals a great deal not just about Roman old age but also about Cicero himself (he was in his early sixties when it was first published) and about the times in which he is writing, as well as about Roman philosophical – and Cicero’s personal - views on death.

Professor Tim Parkin
Professor Tim Parkin joined the University of Melbourne in 2018 as the inaugural Elizabeth and James Tatoulis Chair in Classics. He is a New Zealander by birth who was awarded a D.Phil. at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and who, since 1989, has worked in universities in New Zealand, Australia (he was professor of Classics at UQ from 2004 to 2006), Germany, and the United Kingdom. Tim’s teaching has covered both ancient history and classical languages. His main research is in Roman social, cultural, legal, and demographic history. Among his publications are Demography and Roman Society (1992), Old Age in the Roman World: A Social and Cultural History (2003), Roman Social History: A Sourcebook (2007), and The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World (2014). He is currently working on, inter al., a book on ancient sexual health. In February 2021, Professor Parkin delivered the annual Adrian Heyworth-Smith Memorial Lecture “Roman emperors in the bedroom” to an enthusiastic audience, both on-line and in person.

Parking at UQ is limited. We encourage all attendees to consider public transport. For more information on getting to UQ please click here.

Mrs Desley Loch
07 3824 5440

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$30 pp (includes two course lunch; water/juice included; wines etc extra cost)


The Women's College, St Lucia campus
Chislehurst Room