School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Franco Luciani

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow


I received my PhD in Ancient History and Archaeology from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in 2011. In my thesis I mainly used Latin inscriptions to examine a particular aspect of the social history of the Roman world: the role played by public slaves and freedmen in a specific area of the Roman empire, namely Cisalpine Gaul. In 2011 I was a Fellow at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland; from 2012 to 2015 I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. During the summer 2015 I moved to Newcastle as a Visiting Fellow at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, then, in the following academic year I came back to Italy as I obtained a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Trento.

Area of expertise

  • Roman history

SCOPUS: Click here.


I am currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

The research project that I am carrying out is entitled ‘Servi Publici: Everybody’s Slaves’ (SPES) and focuses on public slavery in the Roman World. SPES sets out to provide a full-scale reconsideration of the position of public slaves in the Roman society through a multidisciplinary and comparative study. One of its main objectives is to cross-fertilize the historiography of ancient and modern slavery in order to thoroughly understand the predicament and historical significance of the slaves owned by a community, both in antiquity and in the modern age. For an overview of the SPES project see

Using a combination of epigraphic, literary and legal sources, I work primarily on the Social History in the Roman World, with particular attention to public slavery.

My research interests also cover the Roman management of the Italian north-eastern territory, with a focus on the cities of Iulia Concordia, Opitergium, Bellunum, Feltria, Acelum, Tarvisium, as well as the Roman inscribed daily-use objects (instrumentum inscriptum), in particular the bronze weights complying the official standards kept in the temple of the Dioscuri in Rome.

Finally, I also worked on Italian epigraphic collections located in Veneto (Belluno, Treviso, Venezia) and Lombardia (inscriptions owned by the Italian poet Gabriele d’Annunzio).