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Canterbury is a relatively small city (approximately 44,000 inhabitants) in the southeast of England. Canterbury Cathedral—officially the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury—is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. This entry addresses each of these topics in turn: the city, the cathedral, and the role of the archbishop.

The City

The geographic area of Canterbury has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the first century CE, the Romans captured the existing settlement and named it Durovernum Cantiacorum; they rebuilt the city on Roman lines. The Romans left Britain in 410, after which the city languished for nearly two centuries. In 597 CE, however, Pope Gregory the Great sent ...

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