Leadership through letters: Cicero and Cassius' correspondence in 44-43 BC

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In the ancient world, letters formed the main means of long-distance communication, while most political negotiation and action took place in face-to-face meetings and institutions. The civil wars of Rome in the first century bce challenged the position of the City of Rome as the locus of political action; during the civil wars of the 40s and 30s bce, much political power and leadership was communicated and negotiated through letters rather than in person. Cicero’s correspondence with friends, senatorial colleagues and political connections provides a major corpus of such political communication, negotiation and leadership. This chapter applies modern management theory on leadership, specifically “transformational leadership” theory, to Cicero’s correspondence with C. Cassius Longinus (one of the murderers of Julius Caesar), in order to assess the nature of Cicero’s (attempted) epistolary leadership and to understand the more characteristic features of this leadership through letters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeadership and Initiative in Late Republican and Early Imperial Rome
EditorsRoman M. Frolov, Christopher Burden-Strevens
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9789004511408
ISBN (Print)9789004511392
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2022

Publication series

NameMnemosyne, Supplements, History and Archaeology of Classical Antiquity
ISSN (Print)2352-8656


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