Roman history has always interested me and on a recent visit to York I found myself looking at a statue of the first Christian Roman Emperor, who lived in York or Eboracum as it was known for about a year in around AD306. His father was Emperor Constantius and York had been the imperial capital of the Roman empire. When he died Constantine assumed the role of Emperor despite the role having been promised to Severus but things were complicated because Maxentius also wanted the same title.
In AD312 Constantine moved against Maxentius and their armies met just outside the gates of Rome, after Severus had taken his own life. Constantine won the battle and then went on to rule from Constantinople, or Constantine’s City (Istanbul). This was where his support for Christianity led to it becoming the religion of Western Europe.
York can say that it played a part in the development of Christianity throughout western Europe!
It was King Edwin, who had also converted to Christianity, that decided to build, in AD627, a church dedicated to Rome on the ruins of the Roman principia that was later to become the York Minster that we see today.
If you are interested in Roman history I can recommend that you visit The Yorkshire Museum in York where you can see what life in Roman York was like. You can also see what life in York was like before the Romans arrived in York in AD71. Entrance to The Yorkshire Museum costs £7.50 and you can find out more information about the museum here.
This is a photo that I took of the Roman Emperor Constantine, which is located just outside York Minster.