Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Department of Archaeology

Staff

Publication details for Dr David Petts

David Petts (2016). Christianity in Roman Britain. In Oxford Handbook of Roman Britain. Millett, M., Revell, L. & Moore, A. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 660-81.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

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.