Kierkegaard Research

Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources





Volume 3:
Kierkegaard and the Roman World

Edited by Jon Stewart
Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate 2009. xiii+219pp.

While Kierkegaard’s use of the Greek authors, particularly Plato and Aristotle, has attracted considerable attention over the years, his use of the Roman authors has, by contrast, remained sadly neglected. This neglect is somewhat surprising given the fact that Kierkegaard was extremely well read in Latin from his early youth when he attended the Borgerdyd School in Copenhagen.

Kierkegaard’s interest in the Roman authors is perhaps best evidenced by his book collection. In his private library he had a long list of Latin titles and Danish translations of the standard Roman authors in any number of different genres. His extensive and frequent use of writers such as Cicero, Horace, Terence, Seneca, Suetonius and Ovid clearly warrants placing them in the select group of his major sources.

The articles in the present volume demonstrate that Kierkegaard made use of the Roman sources in a number of different ways. His readings from the school seem to have stuck with him as an adult. He constantly refers to Roman authors, such as Livy, Nepos, and Suetonius for colorful stories and anecdotes. In addition, he avails himself of pregnant sayings or formulations from the Roman authors, when appropriate.

But his use of these authors is not merely as a rhetorical source. He is also profoundly interested in the Roman philosophy of Cicero, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. Similarly, just as he is fascinated by Tacitus’ portrayal of the early Christians, so also he is amused by the humor of Terence and Apuleius. In short, the Roman authors serve to enrich numerous aspects of Kierkegaard’s authorship with respect to both content and form.

Table of Contents

Apuleius: Under Indirect Influence:
Possible Apuleian Contributions to the Thought of Kierkegaard
Stacey E. Ake

: A Handy Roman Companion: Cicero’s Appearance in Kierkegaard’s Works
Thomas Eske Rasmussen

: The Art of Poetry and the Search for Meaning
Thomas Miles

: The History of Rome in Kierkegaard’s Works
Nataliya Vorobyova

Marcus Aurelius
: Kierkegaard’s Use and Abuse of the Stoic Emperor
Rick Anthony Furtak

: Traces of Kierkegaard’s Use of an Edifying Roman Biographer
Jon Stewart

: Of Love and Exile: Kierkegaard’s Appropriation of Ovid
Steven P. Sondrup

Sallust: Kierkegaard’s Scarce Use of a Great Roman Historian
Niels W. Bruun

: Disjecta Membra in Kierkegaard’s Writings
Niels W. Bruun

: Exemplars of Truth and Madness: Kierkegaard’s Proverbial Uses of Suetonius’ Lives
Sebastian Høeg Gulmann

: Christianity as odium generis humani
Jon Stewart

: Traces of Roman Comedy in Kierkegaard’s Writings
Mikkel Larsen

Valerius Maximus
: Moral Exempla in Kierkegaard’s Writings
Nataliya Vorobyova

: From Farms to Empire: Kierkegaard’s Understanding
of a Roman Poet
Steven P. Sondrup




Kierkegaard and the Bible,
Tomes I-II


Volume 2

Kierkegaard and the
Greek World,
Tomes I-II


Volume 3

Kierkegaard and the
Roman World


Volume 4
Kierkegaard and the

Patristic and

Medieval Traditions


Volume 5
Kierkegaard and the
Renaissance and
Modern Traditions,
Tomes I-III


Volume 6

Kierkegaard and his
German Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III


Volume 7

Kierkegaard and his
Danish Contemporaries,
Tomes I-III




































The series Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources is published Routledge Research, Philosophy
Routledge / Taylor & Francis Group, 711 Third Ave., Eighth Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA

Jon Stewart©2007-2020