In a themed issue on Latin epistolography in honour of Eleanor Leach, Peter White writes on ‘Senatorial Epistolography from Cicero to Sidonius: Emergence of a Genre’, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 61 (2018) 7-21.
Abstract. Although Cicero’s letter collections were known and read throughout antiquity, traces of his influence
on the style of later letter writers and on the organization of their epistolary collections seem to diminish steadily.
What remains constant in the extant collections of Cicero, Pliny, Fronto, Symmachus, and Sidonius is the large
number of correspondents represented, the preponderance of letters from the period of the writer’s highest prestige,
and the subject matter of the letters published, which highlights the familial and wider social connections of the
writers and their political, financial, and literary interests. All five collections project the ethos and values of a