Anna Bonnell Freidin


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Professional Title

Assistant Professor of History


College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA)


I am a historian of the Roman empire. My research and teaching focus on the history of gender, childbearing, domesticity, science and medicine, and more recently, food cultures in ancient Rome. My first book, Birthing Romans: Childbearing and its Risks in Imperial Rome (2024), examines how pregnancy and childbirth were understood, experienced, and managed in ancient Rome during the first three centuries of the Common Era. My second book project, Empire of Bread: Food and Community in Ancient Rome (under advance contract with Princeton University Press), is a social and cultural history of Roman foodways, especially how bread shaped Romans’ daily lives and concepts of material and metaphysical transformation. I am also working on a side project about experimental archeology and synaesthesia, as ways to connect with ancient pasts. With Colin Webster, I currently co-edit the The Rootcutter for the Society for Ancient Medicine.

At U-M, I am a core faculty member in the Interdepartmental Program in Ancient History, as well as an affiliate of Classical Studies, the Science, Technology, and Society Program, and the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

Recent Publications


  • Roman Foodways (graduate)
  • The Roman Family
  • Rome: The Roman Empire and the Transformation of the Mediterranean World
  • Women in the Ancient Mediterranean
  • Growing up in the Roman World 

Fields of study

  • Ancient Rome and the Mediterranean
  • Gender and society in Greco-Roman antiquity
  • Medicine and magic 
  • Roman imperialism

Research Interests

quantitative research
violence (sexual/gender/other)