Politics and Religion: Constantine in Rome, 312-326

Dear Colleagues,

Please join us this Friday, December 4th at 3:00 in the Hatfield Room for our tenth and final Faculty Colloquium of this semester. Treats will be provided.
Robert Chenault, Associate Professor of History and Classics

Title: Politics and Religion: Constantine in Rome, 312-326


The nature of Constantine’s personal conversion to Christianity has been endlessly discussed, doubted, and defended, and probably always will. Instead of inquiring into the unknowable, scholars would do better to focus on the ways in which Constantine presented his religious affiliations publicly and how they were represented by others. In this talk, I apply this method to a single, especially significant case: Constantine’s relationship with the city of Rome and its various constituencies. By exploiting both the textual evidence and the symbolic meanings of certain buildings and monuments linked to Constantine’s three visits to Rome between 312 and 326, it is possible to arrive at fresh insights into Constantine’s skillful balancing of political messages and religious expressions, the ways in which Constantine and the Senate were able to find common ground, and the flavor of public discourse at Rome in the early fourth century.

Please feel free to invite students to attend this talk.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Doreen Simonsen and Bobby Brewer-Wallin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators