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Constantine the Great

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor who made Constantinople his capital rather than Rome and who legalised Christianity across the Empire.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life, reputation and impact of Constantine I, known as Constantine the Great (c280s -337AD). Born in modern day Serbia and proclaimed Emperor by his army in York in 306AD, Constantine became the first Roman Emperor to profess Christianity. He legalised Christianity and its followers achieved privileges that became lost to traditional religions, leading to the steady Christianisation of the Empire. He built a new palace in Byzantium, renaming it Constantinople, as part of the decentralisation of the Empire, an Eastern shift that saw Roman power endure another thousand years there, long after the collapse of the empire in the West.


Christopher Kelly
Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Cambridge
and President of Corpus Christi College

Lucy Grig
Senior Lecturer in Roman History at the University of Edinburgh


Greg Woolf
Director of the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

48 minutes

Last on

Thu 5 Oct 2017 21:30


Christopher Kelly at the University of Cambridge

Lucy Grig at the University of Edinburgh

Greg Woolf at the University of London

Constantine the Great - Wikipedia



T. D. Barnes, Constantine and Eusebius (Harvard University Press, 1981)

Averil Cameron and Stuart G. Hall, Eusebius: Life of Constantine (Clarendon Press, 1999)

H. A. Drake, Constantine and the Bishops: The Politics of Intolerance (John Hopkins University Press, 2002)

Noel Lenski (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

David Potter, Constantine the Emperor (Oxford University Press, 2013)

Raymond van Dam, The Roman Revolution of Constantine (Cambridge University Press, 2007)


Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Christopher Kelly
Interviewed Guest Lucy Grig
Interviewed Guest Greg Woolf
Producer Simon Tillotson


  • Thu 5 Oct 2017 09:00
  • Thu 5 Oct 2017 21:30

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