Claudia Paparella

PhD Candidate


I started my studies at Sapienza, University of Rome, where I received my BA in Classics in 2018 and my MA in Philology, Literatures, and History of the Ancient World in 2020, with a thesis titled “Alphabets and abecedaria: Literacy in Ancient Italy.” In the fall of the same year, I started my Phd at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Prof. Seth Bernard. In 2023, I spent the Winter and Spring terms at UCL Institute of Archaeology, supervised by Prof. Corinna Riva in the context of an international doctoral cluster.  

My area of expertise ranges from pre-Roman to Republican Roman history, with a focus on Latin and Italic epigraphy. My research questions widely engage with the entanglement between language, writing, and identity construction. In my PhD project titled “Indigenous Languages and Identities in the Making of Roman Italy,” I use epigraphic evidence to trace the social history of indigenous Italian languages and their entanglement with the Roman imperial expansion in Italy (7th-1st century BCE). Broadly speaking, I aim to shed light on how a systematic study of changing writing practices can contribute to our understanding of historical trends. For this reason, I have been studying modifications in writing practices in ancient Italy to explore a diverse array of themes, including the perception of environmental phenomena and the development of economic trends and new technologies of production.  

An ongoing archaeological formation complements my interest in ancient history. I have been involved in several international archaeological excavations, such as Vada Volaterrana Harbour Project and the Falerii Novi Project, and I am currently a member of the Mediterranean Archaeology Collaborative Specialization Program. 

Research Interests: pre-Roman/Roman history and archaeology, Italic languages, epigraphy, literacy, writing