In the declining year of the Roman Empire, an invitation to dine with the Emperor might have seemed like a career-enhancing opportunity for an ambitious and politically active young man; but with a whiff of scandal in the air and an opponent at the same table, all was not so straightforward.
Colm O’Brien teaches in the Universities of Newcastle and Sunderland on matters concerning states which emerged in western Europe out of the relics of the Roman Empire. He has written on the origins of the Kingdom of Northumbria and on the Age of Bede. He directs the Bernician Studies Group along with Max Adams, who has also spoken in this B&D series, in researches on Northumbrian connections with Scotland and Ireland. This theme takes the group into the field in search of early monasteries and present-day hospitality and sociability in County Donegal.