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Josiah Osgood on Cicero and the Fall of Rome



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Ryan reads today’s daily meditation and talks to Josiah Osgood about his new book “How to Stop a Conspiracy: An Ancient Guide to Saving a Republic,” the complicated life of Cicero, what we can learn from the decline of the Roman Empire, and more.

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Josiah Osgood is Professor of Classics at Georgetown University. His teaching and research cover many areas of Roman history and Latin literature, with a special focus on the fall of the Roman Republic. Josiah’s interest in the fall of the Roman empire began in high school Latin class, where he read Cicero’s speeches against Catiline. He found Cicero’s rhetoric so powerful that he became enthralled by Roman politics and has been studying the subject compulsively for twenty years since. He is the author of several books, including a translated edition of Suetonius, entitled How To Be A Bad Emperor, which looks at some of the worst Roman Emperors, and his most recent translation of Sallust’s The War with Catiline―a brief, powerful book that has influenced how generations of readers, including America’s founders, have thought about coups and political conspiracies.

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