Ë The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ✓ Download by × Edward Gibbon Best narrative history ever written Gibbon had so many fewer sources and tools than we have today, but his basic conclusions from the late 18th century information he had are still largely correct today.
A weakened military and political state that relied heavily on barbarian mercenary soldiers for defense was doomed The different internal barbarian factions just served to divide the military and political and religious structures to a point to where they were easy pickin s from both inside and outside the empire The western empire falling first while the eastern Greek Byzantine empire, under less external pressure, survives much longer Until their Roman Christian Crusader brothers came to sack them Gibbons details the whole ugly mess down to minute detail and doesn t leave anything out, from incest to slaughter His narrative is lively and opinionated, full of both shock and humor.
Read the whole damned thing, footnotes and all, not some abridged abomination This is a literary work as much as a historical work.
Anyone who needs an abject lesson on how the modern western world is going to go, should read these books We re already in the age of bread and circuses.
I have a question that I think you might be able to help me with should we send this book into space You know, download it into a golden thumb drive or perhaps seal a nice leather bound set in a container strap it to a rocket, and let it float like the Voyager space probe for all of time There are weighty reasons for answering in either the positive or the negative Let us examine them.
On the one hand, we have every abominable act, every imaginable vice, every imprudent lunacy able to be committed by man here recorded After all, this was written by a man who considered history littlethan the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind Imagine an alien race picking up the capsule and deciphering our language Imagine the looks on their faces if they have faces when they hear of the grotesque bunch of bipeds on the other side of the galaxy who do nothing but rape, pillage, and kill each other Imagine this happens after our sun explodes or we blow ourselves up this is the last utterance of an extinguished species Would we want it to be this Why not Don Quixote or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn On the other hand, intimately connected with this narrative of wickedness and stupidity, inextricably intertwined in the fabric of this book, is the genius of its author Who could read a single page of this great book and not be humbled by the quality of his thought, the care of his method, the power of his prose If ever there was a document that singlehandedly redeems all of the idiocy our race insistently indulges in, it s this book At least the aliens would know that one of us had a good head on our shoulders.
It is impossible to discuss this work without its author In perusing The Decline and Fall we find innumerable facets of Gibbon the philosopher, the poet, the politician, the theologian, the strategist, the humanist, the public servant, the lawyer, the yellow journalist, the sage, and the historian But what we find, most of all, is Gibbon the lover of life No man has ever lovedthe variegated tapestry of human affairs from the daily ritual of a serf to the greatest battles ever waged, from the planning of a palace to the marital squabbles of a prince He will cast a glance at events large and small, weigh the facts with a disinterested hand, and with a knowing nod and amiable wink he will describe them in his inimitable prose Gibbon views life like well aged wine he will take it in sips and draughts, savoring every strain in the flavor from the musky, rotten odor to the sweet, honeyed tinge and then discuss it with you at length He is a connoisseur of life Won t you join him for a drink LengthHrs AndMins The History Of The Decline Fall Of The Roman Empire Was Written By English Historian Edward Gibbon originally Published In Six Quarto Volumes VolumeWas Published In , Going Thru Six Printings InIn It Was A Major Literary Achievement Of The Th Century, Adopted As A Model For The Methodologies Of HistoriansThe books Cover The Roman Empire After Marcus Aurelius, FromToThey Take As Their Material The Behavior Decisions That Led To The Eventual Fall Of The Empire In East West, Offering ExplanationsGibbon Is Called The St Modern Historian Of Ancient Rome By Virtue Of Its Mostly Objective Approach Accurate Use Of Reference Material, His Work Was Adopted As A Model For The Methodologies OfTh Century Historians His Pessimism Detached Irony Was Common To The Historical Genre Of His Era Although He Published Other books, Gibbon Devoted Much Of His Life To This One Work His Memoirs Of My Life Writings Is Devoted Largely To His Reflections On How The Book Virtually Became His Life He Compared The Publication Of Each Succeeding Volume To A NewbornGibbon Offers An Explanation For Why The Roman Empire Fell, A Task Difficult Because Of Few Comprehensive Written Sources, Tho He Wasn T The Only Historian To Tackle The Subject Most Of His Ideas Are Taken From What Few Relevant Records Were Available Those Of Roman Moralists Of TheTh Centuries According To Gibbon, The Empire Succumbed To Barbarian Invasions Because Of Lost Of Civic Virtue They D Become Weak, Outsourcing Defence To Barbarian Mercenaries, Who Became So Numerous Ingrained That They Took Over Romans Had Become Effeminate, Incapable Of Tough Military Lifestyles In Addition, Christianity Created Belief That A Better Life Existed After Death, Fostering Indifference To The Present, Sapping Patriotism Its Comparative Pacifism Tended To Hamper Martial Spirit Lastly, Like Other Enlightenment Thinkers, He Held In Contempt The Middle Ages As A Priest Ridden, Superstitious, Dark Age It Wasn T Until His Age Of Reason That History Could Progress The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward GibbonThe History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a six volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon It traces Western civilization from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium Volume I was published in 1776 and went through six printings Volumes II and III were published in 1781 Volumes IV, V, and VI in 1788 1789 The six volumes cover the history, from 98 to 1590, of the Roman Empire, the history of early Christianity and then of the Roman State Church, and the history of Europe, and discusses the decline of the Roman Empire among other things 1975 1370 623 1347 1351 1353 1776 1781 1788 178998 1590 The obvious issue to address in reviewing the 3,500 page unabridged edition of Gibbon s masterpiece, is whether the maniacal effort to attack such a work could ever justify preferring it over a single volume abridged edition That is an easy call This work is occasionally tough, often exciting, but in every sense a necessity over any attempts to edit down Gibbon I tried the 1200 page Modern Library edition and found it fragmented and hard to follow, simply because Gibbon is telling a story that defies attempts to hone it down.
Is the language stilted and occasionally hard to follow Sure The first three volumes were released in 1776, and the last three in 1787 Not only are the sentences convoluted and overextended in a manner far greater than 19th century writers like Dickens, but Gibbon is inclined to use quaint, silly, and occasionally racist terms that were common in his era Notions that racial characteristics could be determined by the latitudinal source of an indigenous people s homeland, or that a national culture could be described as effeminate, have to be taken with an understanding of the limited intelligence of Western philosophers 250 years ago.
But let s remind ourselves of what Gibbon really accomplished Without the benefits of online inquiries or Wikipedia, without the easy ability to travel that some historians take for granted, Gibbon did farthan compile a history of the Western Roman empire from the time of Commodius to the collapse of Rome in the 470s, as well as the companion history of the Eastern Roman Byzantine empire from 325 AD to 1453 AD On the way, he compiles histories of Christianity heresies as well as Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxies , Islam Sunni and Shia , and a host of barbarian and tribal cultures such as Franks, Goths, Suevi, Huns, Vandals, Persian Sassanid and beyond , khanates, Timurid, and every imaginable iteration thereof Gibbon tells history as it should be told as a flow of peoples across a landscape, not as a collection of static dates and personages to be memorized in history class though, truth be told, it would be useful for him to include a fewdates than the years placed in the margins of each page.
It deserves mention that the Catholic Church proscribed this book forthan 200 years, and not only or primarily because of how cruel Gibbon was to the Catholic Church I for one would call him cruel but fair, and he often bent over backward to make the case for orthodox interpretations of Christianity Instead, the main reason the Catholic Church attacked Gibbon is because he described events that really happened At several points in the last 1700 years, the Catholic Church has tried to claim that certain events in its attacks on heresy, and certain fights between popes and anti popes, never happened Gibbon will have none of that, nor will be accept the events in the lives of the saints as being wholly truthful When he demanded fact checking on claims of the Catholic Church, it is no wonder the church hierarchy wanted him banned.
Many suggest that Gibbon worked withcare on the first three volumes covering the Western Empire than he did on the final three volumes It s true that after the attempt by Emperor Justinian to re take the Mediterranean, the narrative falters a bit Some critics say that this is because Gibbon found the Greek Orthodox Byzantines to be less palatable than the traditional Romans It s understandable he would have these feelings, because the Byzantine government and culture did not give rise to any great philosophers and historians, only treacherous rulers who would torture each other in odd lines of succession After the ridiculous wars of iconoclasm in the eighth and ninth centuries, the rest of Byzantine history was just a slow ride down to the day in the mid 15th century when Constantinople was finally conquered by Ottoman Muslims.
But Gibbon s problems in the final three volumes were really ones of organization Perhaps because he didn t want to confuse the readers with the strange succession of emperors, Gibbon groups capsule histories of the emperors early on, then goes back to talk about Islam s spread, the schisms between Orthodox and Catholic churches, the meaning of the steppe warrior invasions both Zingis Khan and Timur , and even some odd chapters on Roman civil uprisings There are times in the last two volumes of the history that the reader has to focus to keep the narrative train on the tracks And the modern reader always must keep access to Wikipedia handy, because Gibbon rattles off some names tangentially that must be looked up and appraised merely to understand the point he is trying to make.
But as challenging as Gibbon s own idiosyncracies are, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire deserves its reputation as the most significant work of history ever accomplished by a single author in the last 500 years The personality that comes through in the writing shows us that this multi volume study was not written by committee Yet the scope of what Gibbon did, writing in 1776, seems far beyond what most modern historians could accomplish with the aid of electronic tools Maybe Will and Ariel Durant s Civilization series deserves to be placed ahead of Gibbon s for that series massive size and the equally exquisite writing Yet the Durants were trying to describe global cultures and their histories in an open and free flowing way Gibbon was on a mission to tell a story that had no happy ending, and the reader morbidly follows as though this was the real world Game of Thrones the story inevitably will end badly for all concerned, yet we can t put the book s down.
I borrowed the first two volumes amongst my Dad s all time favourites from his study when I was around fourteen and my enduring fascination with the Roman Empire, and ancient history in general, most likely stems from a combination of the heady brews of Gibbon s and Tolkien s masterworks, which ignited within me a terrific thirst for mythology, legend, and history that has yet to be slaked As far as The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is concerned, I believe that Gibbon is the greatest prose stylist in the English language after Shakespeare even today, decades after that always so important first read, I still bear the scars and leave lingering traces of my hapless efforts to simulate the effortless erudition, sinuous sublimity, poetic polish, and mellifluous majesty of the supremely gifted Gibbon in my own comparatively shabby scribbling.
If you read no other history of the Roman Empire besides this, you would still be impressively knowledgeable, especially about its frequently deposed and or murdered ruler s fortunes, favorites, forays, fratricides, and follies, as well as the general impact on it of Christianity, both in its embryonic, defiant stages and after imperial mass conversion though it should be kept in mind that modern scholarship see, for instance, Peter Heather s recent effort of propinquitous theme and rubric challenges Gibbon s assignation of primacy to it in undermining the imperial structure I always recommend reading the unabridged version how dare they slice up Gibbon s beautiful prose painting as the Englishman s musings on the empire s Byzantine stepchild and its melancholy, lingering efforts to clutch and hold the eastern provinces in seesaw struggle against Slav, Arab, Crusader, and Turk is well worth the extra pound or two of paper and potential ligament damage.
Reading parts of this again for work, and realised I never reviewed this absolutely massive book.
One of the most fascinating and distorted works of history ever written, created by one of the most famous and biased and opinionated historians of all time.
Full review to come.

Description Edward Gibbon s masterpiece, which narrates the history of the Roman Empire from the second century A.
D to its collapse in the west in the fifth century and in the east in the fifteenth century, is widely considered the greatest work of history ever written This abridgment retains the full scope of the original, but in a breadth comparable to a novel Casual readers now have access to the full sweep of Gibbon s narrative, while instructors and students have a volume that can be read in a single term This unique edition emphasizes elements ignored in all other abridgments in particular the role of religion in the empire and the rise of Islam.
audio 6 volumes g driveWill I ever get around to this In the meantime I have found a film which beats the faeces out of Gladiator to entertain whilst I paint a yellow streak down my back.
https www.
com watch v CWEzp 03 04 20 This film is called The Fall of the Roman Empire deals with Marcus Aurelius 26 April 121 17 March 180 AD from wiki He was the last of the Five Good Emperors, and is also considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers.
ETA there is a TV documentary series, not as classy by any means but beggars and choosers and all that The history of human civilization and society is basically a continuum of idiots, sociopaths, murderers and bores, punctuated by the occasional rational individual whose life is cut short by those very sociopaths that succeed him Gibbon s classic documents a tiny cross section of some of the most lamentably pathetic mistakes and awful personalities this doomed species has ever suffered Oh, how times have changed.
Well, it s not actually the last word on the Empire Gibbon hated the Byzantines, thought they were appallingly religious and ineluctably corrupt So he didn t have a good word to say on the Eastern Empire which lasted 1000 years after the fall of the Western Empire Modern historians have rehabilitated the Byzantines to a great extent.
You have to give it up for Mr Gibbon and his grossly distended testicles he smuggled into the universities and libraries of the west a most refreshingly undermined version of Christianity I hold him partially responsible for the inside out version of religion you see in the modern Church of England aka Anglicans, aka Episcopalians All the supernatural has been bled right out of the thing They are not Byzantines anyI only read vols 1 3 but intend to finish the whole thing one day Hey, half of Gibbon is still twice as long as anyone else