Night in Italy

View of the St. Angelo Bridge over the Tiber with the St. Peter’s in the background, 2013. From Wikimedia Commons (Jebulon). Used here under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

View of the St. Angelo Bridge over the Tiber River with the St. Peter’s Basilica in the background from the Umberto I Bridge, Rome, Italy, 2013. From Wikimedia Commons. Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

It’s unavoidable. The end of October always has me thinking of the Roman Emperor Constantine. On October 28, 312 CE, he fought the famous Battle of the Milvian Bridge, north of Rome. The rest, as they say, is history.

I’ve been thinking about Constantine for a while. He was a central figure in my last book. (You can read an excerpt from the chapter on Constantine over at Medium). But the broader issue of how, when, and ultimately why the Roman world became a Christian state is not a topic I’ve moved on from. Next month, I’ll be returning to the city of Rome to talk about the thorny issue of “Christianization” at a conference outside the capital, co-sponsored by the British School at Rome. I’ll have more to say about that meeting in November.

For now, I just wanted an excuse to look through pictures of “night in Italy” and to share some of my own perspective on what makes Constantine such a fascinating figure–both to me and to the Romans of his own day. More from Rome soon.

Conferences, Italy, Rome

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