Dr Laura Donati

Teaching and Research Fellow in Roman History and Latin

Contact details



Room 00M.14, William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place

Post code


When I first started Latin and Greek in High School, I came home crying – and they were not tears of joy! Little did I know that later I would have tried to build my career on the study of the ancient world.

I hold a BA in Classics from the University of Siena and I gained an MA in Classical Philology from the same university, after spending a semester at University College London. I then moved to the University of Edinburgh for my PhD in Ancient History, which I completed in 2022.

Before (re-)joining the University of Edinburgh, I was a Lecturer in Roman History at the University of Manchester.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Cohort Lead for Classics Year 1 Students

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Steering Commitee Member of the Women's Classical Committee UK

Undergraduate teaching

Roman Slavery

Latin 1C (Tacitus' Agricola)

Latin Language

The Transformation of the Roman World

Postgraduate teaching

Elementary Latin

Research summary

I am a Roman social historian, with particular interests in ancient slavery and socio-legal history. My doctoral research focused on servile delinquency and punishment in the Roman World,  investigating: 1) the role taken up by the enslaved in Roman thought; 2) the place of the law in Roman slavery more broadly; 3) the cultural dimension of law,with particular regard to the embeddedness of legal thinking in the Romans’ literary output concerned with slavery.

Journal articles

Donati, L. (2022), ‘Purple wool: the imperial fabric of Trimalchio’s domestic jurisdiction’, Classical Quarterly 72, 739-54. (DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009838822000714)

Book reviews  

Donati, L. (2022), Review of William M. Owens, The Representation of Slavery in the Greek Novel, London & New York: Routledge 2020, Ancient Narrative 19.

Donati, L. (2021), Review of Stelios Panayotakis, Michael Paschalis, Costas Panayotakis (edd.) Slaves and Masters in the Ancient Novel. Ancient Narrative Supplementum, 23. Eelde: Barkhuis, 2019, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2021.02.30.