Department of Greek & Latin

The Platonic Letters: Readings and Receptions


2nd-4th September, 2013

Department of Greek and Latin, UCL (in collaboration with Classics Department, Leeds University).

The letters attributed to Plato have had a colourful history. Although now almost universally regarded as spurious, they nevertheless hold an important place in the history of both the Platonic tradition and the wider Greek epistolary tradition. Circulating with the Platonic corpus, they have enjoyed a wide readership and prompted a fascinating variety of responses. The question of authenticity has, perhaps unfortunately, tended to dominate modern scholarship.

This international and interdisciplinary conference aims to move beyond the question of authenticity and to consider the varied roles of the Platonic Letters within the philosophical and literary tradition. It brings together experts in Platonic philosophy and epistolary literature from the UK, the USA and Europe to discuss the impact and reception of the Letters throughout antiquity. Topics to be discussed include the Letters’ philosophical relevance and influence on later philosophical works, literary readings of individual letters, the arrangement of the collection, and the question of their importance for later composers of literary and fictional letters.


The conference will take place in Room 106, Gordon House (Department of Greek and Latin), UCL.


Carol Atack (Cambridge)
Jenny Bryan (UCL)
Mathilde Cambron-Goulet (Paris Diderot)
Fritz-Gregor Herrmann (Swansea)
Owen Hodkinson (Leeds)
Katharina Luchner (Munich)
Antony Makrinos (UCL)
Andrew Morrison (Manchester)
Elizabeth Pender (Leeds)
Harold Tarrant (Newcastle, Aus)
Michael Trapp (KCL)
Thomas Tuozzo (Kansas)

Conference Poster



Conference fee:
£50 (£30 student rate/day rate) excludes conference dinner;
£85 (£65 student rate/day rate) includes conference dinner.

Please note that the fee for the conference dinner does not include wine.

Online registration

Student Bursaries

With the generous support of the Classical Association and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, we are able to offer a small number of graduate bursaries up to the sum of £150 each, to cover conference fee and accommodation expenses. If you wish to apply for a bursary please fill out the following form and return it to Dr Jenny Bryan by 16th August 2013.

Graduate Bursary Application Form

For further information, please contact Dr Jenny Bryan or Dr Owen Hodkinson.

This conference is generously supported by the Institute of Classical Studies, the Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies at UCL and the A. G. Leventis Foundation (UCL Leventis Fund).