Jed W. Atkins

Jed W. Atkins

Assistant Professor of Classical Studies

External address: 
232 Allen Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90103, Durham, NC 27708-0103
Phone: 
(919) 684-2695
Office Hours: 

MW 3:00-4:00 PM

Cicero; Greek, Roman, and early Christian political and moral philosophy; history of political thought; the modern reception of ancient political thought.

My research focuses on Greek, Roman, and early Christian moral and political thought.  I have a special interest in Roman political philosophy and have published two books in that area.  My book Cicero on Politics and the Limits of Reason explores Cicero's political philosophy in his dialogues The Republic and The Laws.  My second book, Roman Political Thought, provides a thematic guide to Roman political thought and its enduring legacies for modern liberal democracies.  I have also published on topics in Greek ethics and political thought, such as the concepts of politeia, moral conscience, and Stoic cosmopolitanism and natural law theory.  In the area of reception, I've written on the reception of Cicero's teaching on natural right in the 18th century and on the reception of Lucretius by Leo Strauss.  I continue to work on Cicero's philosophy, and I am co-editing (with Thomas Bénatouïl) the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to Cicero's Philosophy.  Additionally, I am working on the concept of toleration in early Christian political thought.

I regularly teach undergraduate courses on Greek and Roman political thought.  I teach all levels of Latin and graduate seminars related to my research interests. I also teach in Duke's Visions of Freedom Focus Cluster.  Past and present PhD students have written on the political theology of Plato's Laws, Cicero's Platonic dialogues, Cicero's role in the development of the later republican tradition, and Tacitus' political thought.

Education & Training:

  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge (UK) 2009

  • M.Phil., University of Cambridge (UK) 2005

  • B.A., Bowdoin College 2004

Atkins, JW. Roman Political Thought. Cambridge University Press, April 12, 2018.

Atkins, JW. Cicero on Politics and the Limits of Reason: The Republic and Laws. Cambridge University Press, October 17, 2013. (Monograph)

Atkins, JW. "Natural Law and Civil Religion: De legibus, Book II"." Ciceros Staatsphilosophie. Ed. O Hoeffe. 2017. 167-186. (Chapter)

Atkins, JW. "Constitution and Empire in Roman Republican Thought (In preparation)." Rome. Peyking University Press, 2015.

Atkins, JW. "Cicero, Marcus Tullius (106–43 BCE)." The Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Ed. M Gibbons. Wiley-Blackwell, 2014. 489-498.

Atkins, JW. "Cicero on the Relationship between Plato’s Republic and Laws." Ancient Approaches to Plato’s Republic. Ed. A Sheppard. 2013. 15-34. Open Access Copy

Atkins, JW. "Zeno’s Republic, Plato’s Laws, and the Early Development of Stoic Natural Law Theory." Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought 32.1 (May 5, 2015): 166-190. Full Text

Atkins, JW. "A revolutionary doctrine? Cicero's natural right teaching in Mably and Burke." Classical Receptions Journal 6.2 (June 1, 2014): 177-197. Full Text

Atkins, JW. "Euripides’s Orestes and the Concept of Conscience in Greek Philosophy." Journal of the History of Ideas 75.1 (2014): 1-22. Full Text

Atkins, JW. "Cicero on the Relationship between Plato’s Republic and Laws." Ed. A Sheppard. (2013): 15-34. (Academic Article) Open Access Copy

Atkins, JW, and Atkins, JW. "L'argument du De Re Publica et le Songe de ScipionL'argument du De Republica et le Songe de Scipion." Les etudes philosophiques 99.4 (December 2011): 455-469. (Academic Article)

Atkins, JW. "The Officia of St. Ambrose's De officiis." JOURNAL OF EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES 19.1 (2011): 49-77. Full Text

Rousselot, P. "A Young Researcher Tackles the De Republica." Gazette Tulliana 2.Spring (2010): 5-7.

Atkins, JW. "Classic Communication." Duke Magazine Special Issue 2016: 14-15. (Essay)