This sumptuously illustrated lecture traces the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West, through both its art and one of its most intriguing heroines. At the centre of a perfect storm of Goths, Vandals, Huns and contesting Romans, stood an orphan girl of ‘nobility, beauty and chaste purity’ called Galla Placidia, half-sister of Roman Emperors, the hostage wife of a Gothic King, who became one of the world’s most powerful women. Not only did she leave her mark on the history of Rome, but she was also the driving force behind some of its most impressive art and architecture.

Dr Stephen Kershaw is a Classics Tutor for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, a lecturer for the V&A, and a Guest Speaker for cultural travel companies. He has spent much of the last 30 years travelling extensively in the world of the Ancient Romans, both physically and intellectually. Stephen was an expert contributor to the History Channel’s Barbarians Rising series and has produced publications on Roman history. His children’s book on Greek Mythology was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Award and was’s Best Children’s Non-Fiction Book of 2019.