Tyler Broome

Tyler Broome

Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details


  • BA Hons Classics (University of Otago)
  • MA Classics (University of Otago) 


I graduated from the University of Otago, New Zealand, in 2019 with a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Classics. My dissertation, “Moral Decline in Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae and Bellum Jugurthinum”, examined Sallust’s historical texts as moralising works centred around the lack of virtus among the elite of the Late Roman Republic, which I argued was reflected in the unchecked ambitions of the texts’ eponymous antagonists and the impotence of their Roman protagonists. This project would prove to be the foundation of my continued interest in the tripartite connection between character portrayal, Roman social values, and rhetoric.

In 2021, I completed my Master of Arts, also at the University of Otago, graduating with Distinction. My thesis, “Prosopopoeia in Ciceronian Oratory”, continued to develop ideas of rhetoric, character, and social values by looking at how Cicero imitated characters in judicial speeches to convince his audience to take his point of view on a case. Throughout this study, I also taught seminars on Roman social history, Greek mythology, Imperial Roman coinage, Greco-Roman art and archaeology, and Latin language, and I undertook a research project examining the life and career of Isabel Turnbull, the University of Otago’s first female Humanities lecturer.


2020-2022: Tutor, Department of Classics, University of Otago.

  • 100-level courses, Roman Social History, Greek Mythology, and Classical Art and Archaeology. 300-level course, From Augustus to Nero: Scandal and Intrigue in Imperial Rome.

2022: Tutor, St. Margaret’s College, University of Otago.

  • 100-level course, Roman Social History.

2022: Teaching Fellow, Department of Classics, University of Otago.

  • 200-level course, Intermediate Latin.

Doctoral research

PhD title
Informal Diplomacy in Ancient Rome: An Analysis of Role-Based Persuasion in Cicero's Letters
Dr Henriette van der Blom and Professor Asaf Siniver
Classics and Ancient History PhD/MA by Research (On-Campus or by Distance Learning)


My research applies role theory to the informal political communication of the senatorial elite in Late Republican Rome (1st century BC), using the letter collections of Marcus Tullius Cicero as a case study of elite Roman communicative practices. While Rome’s formal political institutions such as the Senate have historically received the lion’s share of scholarly attention, recent scholarship has begun to emphasise the contribution of “informal” politics – communication and the exercise of various forms of influence outside of the constitutionally established political processes and institutions – to the smooth operation of the formal decision-making bodies. Conversations between senators outside of the Senate, for example, have been identified as playing a fundamental part in lobbying for political support (Rosillo-López 2021). This thesis aims to develop our understanding of the connection between informal political communication and formal political action by analysing how an informal communication act could identify a political goal for a communicant to pursue, and by identifying several means by which the informal communication could influence the communicant to lend their support towards achieving this goal.

The central framework I use to address this question is that of role theory: the idea that people occupy a set of social positions which determined their expected behavioural patterns and how they should be treated by others. This thesis argues that manipulation of an audience’s perception of one’s role was an important method of persuasion in informal communication as it could be used to arouse emotions, or create feelings of indebtedness or obligation. In combination with statements of political intent, this role-based persuasion could be used to encourage political action in a later formal setting. The use of several case studies from Cicero’s letters illustrates this point. The renowned statesman kept correspondence with almost every noteworthy politician from his day, and his extant letter collections include a number of scenarios in which he was absent from Rome or otherwise lacked access to the formal decision-making bodies, making his informal communications the only means of securing political action. As such, my thesis uses these letters to illustrate the relevance of role theory as an interpretive model for ancient political communication, as well as providing insight into the processes through which Cicero attempted to secure favourable political action at critical points throughout his career.

Other activities

  • 2021: Postgraduate Representative (New Zealand), Australasian Society for Classical Studies.2023: Attended workshop at British School at Rome: “Changing Landscapes of the Eternal City.”
  • 2022: Subject Editor, “Diogenes.”
  • 2022-23: Book Reviews Editor; Subject Editor; Copy Editor, “Rosetta.”

Conference papers:

  • 2021: Broome, T. “Cicero, prosopopoeia, and the truth-value of theatre.” Amphorae XV, 23-25 September, 2021.
  • 2022: Broome, T. “Family matters: Cicero’s modelling of the family dynamic in oratorical prosopopoeia.” Australasian Society for Classical Studies Conference 43, 8-11 February, 2022.
  • 2023: Broome, T., Elliott, T., Jerez Bertolín, L., Mantouvalou, P. “Roundtable: Identity and Ancient Historical Research.” Culture, Power and Identity. School of History and Cultures Postgraduate Conference, University of Birmingham, 5 May, 2023.
  • 2023: Broome, T. “Narratio and political role-playing in Cicero’s letters.” Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology Annual Postgraduate Colloquium, University of Birmingham, 10 May, 2023.


  • Broome, T. (Forthcoming) Review of Political Conversations in Late Republican Rome, by Cristina Rosillo-López. Rosetta 28.
  • McIntyre, G. and T. Broome (2022) “Otago’s Trailblazer, Isabel Turnbull: The University of Otago’s first female Humanities lecturer.” Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies. https://www.awaws.org/history-of-women/otagos-trailblazer-isabel-turnbull-the-university-of-otagos-first-female-humanities-lecturer.