Laurie Venters is an historian of the classical Roman world. He received his Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of Bonn, M.A. from the University of Leiden, and B.A. from Royal Holloway University of London. His research primarily focuses on issues of enslavement, sexuality, and race/ethnicity in the context of the late Republic and Principate. His doctoral dissertation explored the sexual agency of female slaves in ancient Rome, drawing tentative comparisons with Han China.

During his time at the Fondazione 1563, Dr. Venters will be investigating the racially and ethnically motivated fetishisation of slaves by the master class. This not only pertains to the erotic preferences some domini (masters) harboured for racially variant servi (slaves), but the erroneous belief that dependents of particular ethnic or cultural filiation were optimally suited to certain types of work.

Research cycle

Slavery, ethnicity and race in the Mediterranean. Ideas and attitudes from Homer to Columbus.

Laurie Venters, THP Research Project, Fondazione 1563