The Subject of History

Department of History | The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology


b. 1981, PhD in History.

I defended my thesis entitled Making Enemies - The Logic of Immorality in Ciceronian Oratory in the fall of 2013. In my thesis I looked at the interaction between Roman moral and political culture through the speeches of Cicero.

As a postdoc my interests have mainly centered on Classical receptions and the use of antiquity. Together with Ulf Zander I have recently edited the first volume on antiquity on film and television in Swedish.

Recent and forthcoming publications include studies of Roman motifs in comics, the fall of Rome as a political resource and the use of antiquity during the Swedish ecological turn. My current project centers on the debates regarding the value of Classical Education in 19th century Scandinavia and concern the demarcation between the human and natural sciences. I am a member of the swedish think tank for the humanities, Humtank.

I tweet film/history and the humanities @IsakHammar


About the research

My thesis examines the role played by the topic of immorality in the extant speeches of the Roman politician Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) and subsequently its role in the Roman political culture of the late Republic. It traces the portraits of immorality that Cicero made of his political and forensic opponents throughout his political career and his use of immorality as an argument in the Roman Senate, public assembly, and courts.
Inspired by perspectives from New Cultural History as well as New Historicism, the study approaches accusastions of depravity and vice in Cicero’s oratory as both culturally coherent and politically relevant, and by searching for the cultural logic behind the use of immorality in oratory seeks to demonstrate the link between immorality and Roman political culture.

My current research project concerns the debates on Classical education in 19th century Sweden. The main focus of the study is centered on the argument that the study of ancient languages and litterature had a particular moral worth.


Books (1)
Editorships (1)
Articles (4)
Book chapters (6)

Isak Hammar

Faculty Office

Department of History

Contact information

E-mail isak.hammarkansliht.luse

Phone +46 46 222 64 77

Room LUX:B382

Visiting address Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Postal address Box 192, 221 00 Lund

Internal post code 30