Queens of a Fallen World | A Talk by Kate Cooper

Talk Heritage
  • Venue


  • Time

    6:30 PM

  • Price

    £3 (plus booking fee)

  • Book Tickets

Join historian Kate Cooper for a talk on a fascinating and remarkable story of the four women who shaped Augustine and early Christianity.

While many know of St Augustine and the Confessions, few know of the women whose hopes and dreams shaped his early life: his mother, Monnica of Thagaste; his lover; his fiancée; and Justina, the troubled empress of ancient Rome. Drawing upon their depictions in the Confessions, Historian Kate Cooper skilfully reconstructs their lives against the backdrop of the late Roman Empire to paint a vivid portrait of the turbulent society they and Augustine moved through. She shows how despite their often precarious position, these women tried in their different ways to influence the world around them and argues that Augustine did not end his engagement because he was called by God, but because he considered the potential marriage to be an unforgiveable betrayal of his lover.


Vividly written and drawing on extensive new research, Queens of a Fallen World is essential reading for those looking for a new understanding not only of Augustine, but also of the women who shaped his life with consequences that were to change Christianity for centuries to come.

This event is in-person only and will not be streamed or recorded.

Doors open to the Cathedral Library at 6.15pm. Copies of Queens of a Fallen World -The Lost Women of Augustine's Confessions will be available to purchase on the evening.

Prof Kate Cooper is a Professor of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her work explores the world of the Roman period, with a special interest in the family, religion, and social identity, along with martyrdom, resistance movements and religious violence. Her previous books include Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women, The Virgin and the Bride and The Fall of the Roman Household.