The Lyell Lectures 2024

Lecture series

The Lyell Lectures 2024

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Copying the Classics (and Fathers): explorations in the transmission of Latin text

Part of the Lyell Lectures

  23, 25, 30 April and 7 and 9 May 2024

 At the Weston Library

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About this lecture series

In this series of lectures, Professor Stephen Oakley, Kennedy Professor of Latin and Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, examines the transmission of Latin texts. These five lectures will explore how works of different kinds–the military histories written by Julius Caesar, the poetry of Catullus, and the teachings of early Christians–were passed down over time. A special focus is on the media revolution from hand-written to printed books.

Following the series, recordings of the lectures will be available on the Lyell Lectures series page.

Lecture 1: The transmission of Julius Caesar’s Civil War

  Tuesday 23 April 2024, 5.15–6.15pm

Lecture 2: The transmission of the Corpus Cyprianum and Pontius’ Life of Cyprian

  Thursday 25 April 2024, 5.15–6.15pm

Lecture 3: Cross-fertilization and the limits of the genealogical method: the case of Catullus

  Tuesday 30 April 2024, 5.15–6.15pm

Lecture 4: What happens when incunables replace manuscripts?

  Tuesday 7 May 2024, 5.15–6.15pm

Lecture 5: Some generalizations about the shape and geographical spread of Latin textual traditions

  Thursday 9 May 2024, 5.15–6.35pm

Image credit: Bodleian, MS Lat. class. d. 2 fo. 1r.


Stephen Oakley is Kennedy Professor of Latin and Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. His principal publications include The hill-forts of the Samnites (London, 1995), A commentary on Livy, books vi–x (Oxford, 1997–2005, 4 vols), Studies in the transmission of Latin texts, volume 1 (Oxford, 2020) and 2 (Oxford 2023). He is an Editor of Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics and Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries.


This lecture series takes place in person at the Sir Victor Blank Lecture Theatre, Weston Library.

Weston Library, Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG | Find us on Google Maps

  Booking information

You must register in advance to attend. Please book one ticket per person: your ticket will cover all of the lectures in the series, and you can attend as many as you wish.

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Once you have booked your place, the ticketing system will send you an automated confirmation.

  Wheelchair access

The Weston Library is wheelchair-accessible.

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