The 4th century BCE was a time of upheaval and change. Christianity became established as the state religion of the Roman empire, the split between the eastern and western empire was cemented, and the first large group of Goths crossed the Roman border. In this century the image of the emperor moved from that of an earthly ruler to an almost mystical being, the representative of God on earth.
In this module, we focus particularly on relations between Christians and pagans, and on the changing role of the emperor in a new Christian context. We investigate how the status of the city of Rome as the centre of the Roman world was challenged by new capitals and new centres of government. We discuss the role of the army and the church in propping up, exercising, or resisting power. We look at some of the main players: Constantine the Great, Arius, Julian the Apostate, Ambrose of Milan, Symmachus, Theodosius I.