Beatrice Bersani

Thesis title: The Colours of God. Polychromatic Imagery for the Divine in Late Antique Latin Poetry


Beatrice Bersani is from Turin (Italy), where she obtained both her Bachelor's Degree in 2016 and her Master's Degree in 2019. She has completed an Erasmus Exchange at the University of Edinburgh during her postgraduate studies, where she is currently enrolled in a PhD programme in Classics. She has been Postgraduate Research Representative for Classics in A.Y. 2021/2022.



M.A. Philology, Literatures and History of Antiquity at the Università degli Studi di Torino

B.A. Classics at the Università degli Studi di Torino


Undergraduate teaching

Tutor for: Latin 1A and 1B, Roman World 1A and 1B, The Transformation of the Roman World, ca. 300-800: Towards Byzantium and the Early Medieval West, Latin 1C

Postgraduate teaching

Later Latin Poetry 2021-2022 (Course Organizer Dr Aaron D Pelttari): Lecture on Claud. Rapt. Pros. 2.1-213

Tutor for: Elementary Latin

Research summary

Late antique poetry; late antique aesthetics; representation of the divine in Christian and non-Christian literature;  Latin chromatic terminology; functions of chromatic imagery in late antique texts.

Current research interests

Beatrice's project examines and compares the chromatic imagery of the divine in the production of the main Western Latin poets of the 4th century: Ausonius, Paulinus of Nola, Prudentius and Claudian. Christian and traditional representations of the god(s) make visible different conceptions of the divine, opening up two questions: to which extent aesthetics is connected with religious and cultural views, and which are the relatioship between Christian and non-Christian divine imagery.

Current project grants

05/2022-06/2022: SFC Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme - Research exchange with the ERC 'Mapping Ancient Polytheisms. Cult epithets as an interface between religious systems and human agency', Université de Toulouse-Jean Jaurès.

Past project grants

02/2020 – 03/2020: Studentship of Research Apprenticeship, Digital Library of Late Antique Latin Texts, Università del Piemonte Orientale - editor of the XML markup of digitized texts;
05/2020 – 06/2020: Studentship of Research Apprenticeship, Digital Library of Late Antique Latin Texts, Università del Piemonte Orientale - see above.


Edinburgh Classics Postgraduate Seminar Series 2021-2022: Organised and moderated as PGR Representative with Yolanda Panou and Richard Kendall.


Papers delivered

- 'Ceres’s Spectrum. The Role of Chromatic Dimensions in Claudian’s Portrayal of a Traditional Deity', in Edinburgh Postgraduate Classics Seminar Series, 26th November 2021;

- 'Disturbing Flowers. The Three-dimensional Colours of Claud. Rapt. Pros. 2.90-132', Presentation at the Late Antique Lunches, Edinburgh, 27th October 2021;

- 'Between Fragmentation and Coherence: Accepting Ambivalence through Conjunctive Logic', in Ambiguity and Ambivalence in Late Antiquity. Postgraduate and Early Career Late Antiquity Network 2021 Conference, 9th,10th,16th,17th September 2021.

Bersani, B. (2022). 'Disturbing Flowers. The Three-dimensional Colours of Claud. Rapt. Pros. 2.90-132', Classica et Mediaevalia, 1-21. (

Bersani, B. (2021). Review of K. Ierodiakonou, Psychologie de la couleur dans le mond gréco-romain, Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Online), 2021.05.16. (

Bersani, B. (2020). ‘Luciano professore e studioso: il Nuovissimo vocabolario fraseologico italiano-latino, tra la prima pubblicazione del 1924 e la seconda edizione del 1962’, in A. Balbo (ed.), Luigi Luciano. Poesia ed erudizione latina tra Ottocento e Novecento, Alessandria, 7-12.

Ballerini, L. and Bersani, B. (2019), ‘Giuseppe Giacoletti e le opere tecniche’, in A. Balbo (ed.), Auctores Latini Pedemontani. Un’antologia degli scrittori in lingua latina in Piemonte fra Ottocento e Novecento, Alessandria, 46-62.


05/2022-06/2022:   Scottish Funding Council Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme, Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities (

2020 – present:  School of History, Classics and Archaeology Doctoral Scholarship, University of Edinburgh

2019:  Best Thesis of the Year Award, Classics section, Università degli Studi di Torino