School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Franco Luciani

Lecturer in Ancient History


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.

Areas of expertise

  • Roman history
  • Latin Epigraphy


Module leader:

CAH3038/8038 - Running a Roman City: Urban Administration and Society in Italy, 89 BC-AD 284 (20 credits - Semester 1)


CAH2061 - Slavery in Greco-Roman Antiquity (20 credits - Semester 1)

CAH1014 : The Roman world from Romulus to Heraclius: history and culture from 753 BC to AD 641 (20 credits - Semester 2)

CAH2020 : Greek and Roman Religions (20 credits - Semester 2)


I am currently a Temporary Lecturer in Ancient History.

During the last two academic year, I have been a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

My research project was entitled ‘Servi Publici: Everybody’s Slaves’ (SPES) and focused on public slavery in the Roman World. SPES set 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 was 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).