Constantine the Great and Christianity in Roman Britain

Friday 23 March 2018,
BP Lecture Theatre
Tickets £5
Members/Concessions £3

Phone +44 (0)20 7323 8181
Ticket Desk in Great Court

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In AD 306, Constantine was acclaimed Roman emperor at York. This was an illegal action, but it did not deter him from becoming one of the most important and influential of all Roman emperors.

In this lecture, Sam Moorhead, British Museum, will outline Constantine’s rise to power and his adoption of the Christian faith, culminating in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in AD 312. After the Edict of Milan in 313, which ended the persecution of Christians, Christianity grew in the Roman Empire and in Britain. Although written sources are sparse, the British Museum has the best collection of 4th-century Christian objects north of the Alps, including the Hinton St Mary mosaic, the Water Newton treasure and the Lullingstone wall paintings. Using such objects and a range of other archaeological evidence, this lecture will outline the rich Christian heritage of late Roman Britain.

Voted ‘Archaeologist of the Year 2011’ by readers of Current Archaeology, Sam Moorhead is the National Finds Adviser for Iron Age and Roman Coins in the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum. His recent publications include A History of Roman coinage in Britain (2013) and The Romans Who Shaped Britain (2017, co-written with David Stuttard).

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