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CLU44511/CLU44512 Constantine

Constantine (ruled 306-37) is among the most mythologised figures in world history. This course explores the emperor: the world he emerged from, the world his created, and his long-term impact, including political, religious, cultural, and social topics. His reception in medieval and modern contexts will also be considered. The course draws upon and examines the widest range of primary sources available, placing a strong emphasis on the combination of literary and material evidence (including epigraphy, coinage, sculpture, and archaeology). Over the course of the year we build fluency and confidence in using this material, whilst tackling fundamental questions of historiographical agency and perspective.
  • Module Organiser:
    • Dr Rebecca Usherwood
  • Duration:
    • All year
  • Contact Hours:
    • 44 hours, 1 x 2 hr class p.w.
  • Weighting:
    • 20 ECTS
  • Assessment:
    • 65% continuous assessment (four written assignments), 25% final examination

Introductory Reading

  • Lenski, R., ed. (2011) The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine (Cambridge)
  • Van Dam, R. (2009) The Roman Revolution of Constantine (Cambridge)
  • Barnes, T. (2013) Constantine. Dynasty, Religion and Power in the Later Roman Empire (Abingdon)
  • Potter, D. (2015) Constantine the Emperor (Oxford)

Learning Outcomes

On successful conclusion of this module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate sound knowledge of the main features of Constantine’s reign and legacy
  • analyse the key primary sources, both textual and material, within their socio-historical contexts
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the major theoretical approaches, debates and scholarship relevant to the module topics
  • discuss, critically and independently, the significance of developments in Constantine’s reign within a broad perspective of western civilisation
  • express the above both orally and in written form in a clear and scholarly manner