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History of Decline of Roman Empire - Vol 2

Edward Gibbon

Book Overview: 

The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a major literary achievement of the 18th century published in six volumes, was written by the celebrated English historian Edward Gibbon.

The books cover the period of the Roman Empire after Marcus Aurelius, from just before 180 to 1453 and beyond, concluding in 1590. They take as their material the behavior and decisions that led to the decay and eventual fall of the Roman Empire in the East and West, offering an explanation for why the Roman Empire fell.

Gibbon is sometimes called the first “modern historian of ancient Rome.” By virtue of its mostly objective approach and highly accurate use of reference material, Gibbon’s work was adopted as a model for the methodologies of 19th and 20th century historians.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .fice, declaring, with a spirit worthy of the friend of Brutus, that he found himself incapable of exercising a power incompatible with public freedom. 105 As the sense of liberty became less exquisite, the advantages of order were more clearly understood; and the praefect, who seemed to have been designed as a terror only to slaves and vagrants, was permitted to extend his civil and criminal jurisdiction over the equestrian and noble families of Rome. The praetors, annually created as the judges of law and equity, could not long dispute the possession of the Forum with a vigorous and permanent magistrate, who was usually admitted into the confidence of the prince. Their courts were deserted, their number, which had once fluctuated between twelve and eighteen, 106 was gradually reduced to two or three, and their important functions were confined to the expensive obligation 107 of exhibiting games for the amusement of the people. After the office of the Roman consuls had be. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Let's be very clear about one thing: if you write English prose, and if you read a lot and care about English prose, you should read Gibbon. His sentences are perfect. Each is carefully weighted, pulling the reader through like a kind of perpetual motion machine; the syntax and the content are pe...more

I have been reading this for the last five months and I feel exhausted. Definitely not for people who prefer light reading. The explanation is sometimes frivolous and redundant. The footnotes are not really helpful; they just confused me even more.

The first chapters are the best. The last ones.....more

It speaks to the genius of Gibbon, and the grandeur of this work, that there are no historians or social scientists who call themselves ‘Gibbonians’. There are Marxists, Freudians, Foucaultians; there are postcolonial theorists, gender theorists, post-structuralist theorists; there are positivist...more

I love this book because:
it's great value for money - there is so much reading
Gibbon is not just a sublime historian, he is also an prototype psychologist, sociologist, and anthropologist.
His history is of the human condition and not just of Romans
Once you get used to the peculiar writing style y...more

This is a book that has grown on me. The first time I picked it up, I probably didn't make it past the tenth page. Now I'm halfway through volume 1 and totally hooked. I've found the section that I'm currently reading (about the early history of Christianity) a bit dull, but interesting: many of...more

You hear people refer to Gibbon's magisterial style for a reason--it is. The sentences just roll on and on. He had read everything about the period and for the most part selects and organizes the material very well (by which I mean that the history flows and makes sense; I don't know enough to kn...more

Tackling this massive classic has been on my bucket list for some time, and after finishing Volume One, the first of Six (I know, I can hardly believe it either) volumes, here are some summary thoughts so far:

1. Took me a while to decide whether to read it, or listen on Audible. I've listened to...more

اضمحلال الإمبراطورية الرومانية وسقوطها

بحثت عن هذا الكتاب طويلاً، وقنعت أخيراً أن اقرأ الكترونياً هذه النسخة المختصرة منه، تقع النسخة التي كتبها إدوارد جيبون في ستة مجلدات، قام المؤرخ (دي. إم لو) باختصارها في ثلاثة مجلدات، حاذفاً الكثير من الفصول مشيراً في ملخص سريع إلى أهم ما تضمنته الفصول المحذ...more

Every Empire eventually falls. Given the largest modern Empire is the United States, it might behoove Americans to read this.

The epic series is a must read for historical buffs. The premise that Christianity played a large role in the collapse of the Roman Empire might not go over well, but the l...more

I've just finished Volume I, and II is up next. I would recommend against getting the version edited by H.H. Milman if at all possible, unless you like books that are edited by someone who thinks it's okay to mutilate someone else's work by adding a LOT more Christian nonsense to it. He even crit...more

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