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Nicole Julia Giannella

Postdoctoral Associate

Goldwin Smith Hall, Room G25
101 Ferris Place


Nicole Giannella received her PhD in Classics at the University of Southern California in December of 2014, where she focused on Roman legal and intellectual history and slavery studies. Her current research focuses on understandings of slavery, ownership, and status in Roman legal, literary, and philosophical texts.

Her book project, The Mind of a Slave: The Limits of Ownership in Roman Law and Society in the 1st c. CE - 3rd C. CE, shifts scholarly attention on the master-slave relationship away from the body in order to consider how far ownership extended into and over the mind of the slave. 

She is also presently working on an article, “The Cost of Ingratitude: Freedmen, Patrons, and Re-enslavement,” which focuses on the prosecution of freedmen for the perceived immorality of being ungrateful to their former masters and whether that immorality can be tied back to their former status as slaves.


  • Classics



  • "The Freedom to Give: the Legal Basis of Seneca's Treatment of Slaves in De Beneficiis," Classical Philology, forthcoming.
  • "Free in Fact? Legal Status and State in the Suits for Freedom," Discovery of the Fact, C. Ando (ed.), accepted.