Charles (Ben) Watson is a classical philologist, who focuses on Cicero, ancient rhetoric, and Roman law. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Oxford, all in Classical Languages and Literature.
He has recently completed the first scholarly introduction and commentary on Cicero’s Divinatio in Caecilium for the Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries Series (forthcoming 2022). The commentary is accompanied by a new critical edition that takes into account recent discoveries in the medieval manuscript tradition and papyrological evidence not considered by previous editors. Dr. Watson’s recent articles also include ‘Laronia Declamans’ for Rheinisches Museum (2018) and ‘Aurelius Cotta on Trial, Again?’ for Hermes (2019); he is currently writing an articles on strategic ambiguity, temporal perception in forensic narratives, and iconography on Roman coinage. His recent interests have expanded to include Roman numismatics and epigraphy.
Dr. Watson teaches a variety of upper-division courses in Latin literature—mostly recently on Virgil, Catullus, Cicero, Sallust, Suetonius, and Latin Pros(e) from Cato to Augustine. In addition to teaching the department’s survey of Roman history and culture, he has taught classes in translation on Latin love elegy and the epic tradition, and a course for the Honors College on classical rhetoric. In the summers, Dr. Watson enjoys taking students to Italy and exploring Roman history and Latin literature on location and leads courses for the OU Presidential Leadership Class at OU’s campus in Arezzo. In the summer of 2021, he was delighted to conduct research at the American Numismatics Society in New York.
Prior to joining the faculty at OU, he was a lecturer at Oriel College and St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Lawrence University.