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Ludovico Runco

Mr Ludovico Runco

Research student

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


I am a PhD student researching on the issues regarding ethnicity and mobility in Bruttium, Southern Italy, during the late Iron Age.


Research interests

  • Pre-Roman Italy
  • Magna Graecia
  • Roman Republic
  • Ethnicity
  • Migration and mobility
  • Myth and origin stories


The ethnogenesis of the Brettians: a product of the Ver Sacrum?

With this research I aim to shed light on the dynamics of the Brettians, an Oscan group of South Italy, and to provide a better understanding of the ritual of the Ver Sacrum (‘The Sacred Spring’). I aim to construct an up-to-date and more refined interpretation of the embellished and mythicized stories found in the literary sources engaging with migration and ethnogenesis.

More specifically, I aim to develop a clearer picture of the culture of the Brettians within Magna Graecia – and the ancient world – paying special attention to the varying degrees of mutual influence that they had with the Lucanians and the Italiote Greeks at various points in time. More broadly, the objective of this research is to develop a more precise picture of migratory movements and integration processes within the Italian peninsula through the course of the first millennium BCE.

I also aim to find clearer evidence regarding the political organisation of the Brettians, without having to rely on assumed analogies with other better-known polities of Italic populations. One of the main goals of this project is to identify – through the analysis of epigraphic material – political entities and offices that belonged to the Brettians specifically, and to verify whether their closeness to the Italiote Greeks generated “hybrid” customs within the Brettian political institutions.


I was born in Cosenza, Italy. I started my classical formation already at a high school level through Liceo Classico, moving then to the United Kingdom in 2017 to begin my university career. I graduated in Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Leicester before completing a MA in Ancient History and Classical Culture at Swansea University. Currently, I am undertaking a PhD at Cardiff University under the supervision of Professor Guy Bradley and Dr. Maria Fragoulaki.

Honours and awards

  • PhD, Ancient History - Cardiff University (2022-present).
  • MA, Ancient History & Classical Culture - Swansea University (2020-2021).
  • BA, Ancient History & Archaeology - University of Leicester (2017-2020).

Professional memberships

  • Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies (2022-present)
  • Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies (2022-present)


Guy Bradley

Professor Guy Bradley

Professor of Roman and Early Italian History (Study Leave 2022/3)

Maria Fragoulaki

Dr Maria Fragoulaki

Senior Lecturer in Ancient Greek History, FHEA

Research themes


  • Classical Greek and Roman history
  • Ethnicity in antiquity
  • Latin and classical Greek languages
  • Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant
  • cultural change

External profiles