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Emperors, Usurpers, Tyrants

22 October 2010

A major conference bringing together the latest archaeological and historical research is being held at Cardiff University to commemorate the anniversary of the End of Roman Britain in AD 410.

Emperors, Usurpers, Tyrants: the history and archaeology of Western Britain from AD350 to 500 takes place on 30th and 31st October and is hosted by the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. The conference marks the 1600th anniversary of the formal separation of Britain from the Roman Empire, and will explore the evidence for life in western Britain in the 5th century, at the beginning of the so-called ‘Dark Ages’.

How much of Roman culture and traditions survived into the 5th century in Wales and the West? Did people continue to think of themselves as Romans or Roman Britons after 400 AD? How did events in England affect how the population of Western Britain saw themselves and the world around them?

These are just some of the questions about the end of the ancient world and the making of Wales that will be dealt with by experts at the cutting-edge of historical and archaeological research.

Dr Peter Guest of the School of History, Archaeology and Religion will be presenting his latest work at the conference. "The results of new archaeological research have an important contribution to make to the study of the emergence of an early Welsh identity from the legacy of Roman Britain," said Dr Guest, "and 2010 is a timely opportunity to bring this work together and attempt a synthesis."

Alongside the presentations and lectures, members of the audience will also be able to put questions to the experts during a 'Question Time' style panel discussion.

The two-day conference is one of a number of events celebrating the merger of the Schools of History and Archaeology and Religious and Theological Studies. It takes place at the Julian Hodge Lecture Theatre, Cardiff University and is open to staff, students and members of the public. For more information or to buy tickets (costing £20 for both days, £10 for one day) please visit


Notes to editors

1. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.

2. For further information
Victoria Dando
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 879074