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The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empirevol-Ii

by Edward Gibbon

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British parliamentarian and soldier Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) conceived of his plan for Decline and Fall while "musing amid the ruins of the Capitol" on a visit to Rome. For the next 10 years he worked away at his great history, which traces the decadence of the late empire from the time of the Antonines and the rise of Western Christianity. "The confusion of the times, and the scarcity of authentic memorials, pose equal difficulties to the historian, who attempts to preserve a clear and unbroken thread of narration," he writes. Despite these obstacles, Decline and Fall remains a model of historical exposition, and required reading for students of European history.

From AudioFile
With sweeping grandeur, Gibbon's masterpiece is enhanced by Naxos' production, which includes dramatic, classical music and two British narrators whose voices ooze with intellectual authority. The music--often somber--soars into majestic crescendos as the fate of the great Empire is sealed. Between straight readings of the text, one of the narrators announces a summary of the next chapter or two, an abridging technique particularly effective here. Little, if any, of the effect of Gibbon's accessible and profound prose is lost, even when detail must perforce vanish. A gripping history, this is superbly presented by Naxos. D.W. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

?[Gibbon] stood on the summit of the Renaissance achievement and looked back over the waste of history to ancient Rome, as from one mountain top to another.??Christopher Dawson

Book Description
Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Bury Text, in a boxed set. Introduction by Hugh Trevor-Roper

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"It was Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amid the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind," recorded Edward Gibbon with characteristic exactitude. Over a period of some twenty years, the luminous eighteenth-century historian--a precise, dapper, idiosyncratic little gentleman famous for rapping his snuff-box--devoted his considerable genius to writing an epic chronicle of the entire Roman Empire's decline. His single flash of inspiration produced what is arguably the greatest historical work in any language--and surely the most magnificent narrative history ever written in English. "Gibbon is one of those few who hold as high a place in the history of literature as in the roll of great historians," noted Professor J.B. Bury, his most celebrated editor.

The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
(in full The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) Historical work by Edward Gibbon, published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. A continuous narrative from the 2nd century AD to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, it is distinguished by its rigorous scholarship, its historical perspective, and its incomparable literary style. The Decline and Fall is divided into two parts, equal in bulk but different in treatment. The first half covers about 300 years to the end of the empire in the West, about 480 AD; in the second half nearly 1,000 years are compressed. Gibbon viewed the Roman Empire as a single entity in undeviating decline from the ideals of political and intellectual freedom that had characterized the classical literature he had read. For him, the material decay of Rome was the effect and symbol of moral decadence.

From the Inside Flap
Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of the Bury Text, in a boxed set. Introduction by Hugh Trevor-Roper

From the Back Cover
"Gibbon is a great navigator of the sea of history--the greatest whom this country, or perhaps any has produced--and his work has the majesty, the precision and the reliability of a well-built ship....Although the Decline and Fall came out [some] two hundred years ago, it is still the leading authority on its period. Macaulay and Carlyle need correcting and supplementing, but the history of Gibbon stands firm." --E.M. Forster

About the Author
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.



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