Simon Esmonde-Cleary, Professor of Roman Archaeology, delivered his inaugural lecture on Monday 23 February 2015.

In the year 357 the Roman emperor Constantius II paid his only state visit to the ancient capital of the empire, accompanied by a retinue of officials and soldiers drawn from across the empire and beyond. There he and they encountered embodiments of Rome’s lasting political and cultural greatness such as the Senate or the Roman Forum.

In this lecture Professor Esmonde-Cleary argued that archaeology shows emperors, aristocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers and others drawing upon that past and also on their own experiences in a changing world that was more dynamic and mobile than is often credited, and how they refashioned the Roman West, including Britain.