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Christianity in Roman Britain

Petts, David

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M. Millett

L. Revell

A. Moore


Although there is limited evidence for pre-Constantinian Christianity in Roman Britain, it is clear that in the fourth century ad the early church became increasingly widespread, partly owing to the influence of the Roman state. The archaeological evidence for this includes personal items bearing potential Christian imagery, possible liturgical fonts or basins, church structures and putative Christian burial traditions. The wider relationship between Christianity and contemporary pagan religious traditions are explored, and this chapter reviews this surviving material evidence and draws out evidence for regional variation in the adoption of Christianity. More generally, some of the wider practical and methodological issues involved in understanding the archaeology of Roman Christianity in Britain are examined, considering how easy it is to unproblematically identify evidence for Christian practice within late Roman Britain.


Petts, D. (2016). Christianity in Roman Britain. In M. Millett, L. Revell, & A. Moore (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of Roman Britain (660-81). Oxford University Press.

Online Publication Date Oct 5, 2015
Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 1, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 18, 2017
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 660-81
Series Title Oxford handbooks
Book Title The Oxford handbook of Roman Britain.


Accepted Book Chapter (483 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is a draft of a chapter that was accepted for publication by Oxford University Press in the book 'The Oxford Handbook of Roman Britain' edited by Martin Millett, Louise Revell, and Alison Moore and published in 2016.

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