The 'end of the gods' in late Roman Britain

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The 3rd and 4th c. did not mark a period of abandonment or discontinuity for temples of the 'fanum' type in Roman Britain, rather it was a period of continued use with sites being created and some existing sites substantially expanded or modified. This particularly true of the region either side of the Bristol Channel in south-western Britain, but holds good for other regions also. The temples and the ancillary buildings at a number of these sites are considered, along with the evidence for the deposition of classes of material: coins,; bracelets; curse-tablets/defixiones; animal bones. It is argued that the real 'end of the gods' supervened not in the 3rd or the 4th c. but rather in the 5th as part of the complex of changes consequent upon the ending of Roman rule in the island, and that Romano-British temple sites did not influence either 'Anglo-Saxon' pagan ritual sites or the location of Christian churches of the Augustinian mission from A.D.597.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGallia
Subtitle of host publicationarcheologie de la France antique
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2015


  • Roman, Britain, Religion, Temples, Gods