The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Volume 1

William Y. Birth & Abraham Small, Printed by Robert Carr

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William Y. Birth & Abraham Small, Printed by Robert Carr
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Published on
Dec 31, 1804
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472
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English
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Book 15
Edward Gibbon’s monumental ‘History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ charts the course of Western civilisation from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium. Published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788, Gibbon’s magnum opus is celebrated for its ironic prose, use of primary sources and its bold open criticism of organised religion. For the first time in digital publishing, this comprehensive eBook presents Gibbon’s complete works, with numerous illustrations, rare texts appearing in digital print for the first time, informative introductions and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 2)

* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Gibbon’s life and works
* Detailed introductions to the history works and other texts
* ‘The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ is presented with the original footnotes and a detailed table of contents – ideal for students
* Images of how the books were first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts
* Excellent formatting of the texts
* Features ‘Miscellaneous Essays’, appearing here for the first time in digital print
* Rare works often missed out of collections
* Includes Gibbon’s letters - spend hours exploring the historian’s personal correspondence
* Gibbon’s autobiography
* Features a bonus biography - discover Gibbon’s literary life
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres

Please note: there are no known translations of Gibbon’s obscure early work ‘Memoires litteraires de la Grande Bretagne’ in the public domain. When a translation becomes available, it will be added to the eBook as a free update.

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CONTENTS:

The History
THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Essays
ESSAI SUR L’ÉTUDE DE LA LITTÉRATURE
CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE SIXTH BOOK OF THE ÆNEID
MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS

The Letters
PRIVATE LETTERS OF EDWARD GIBBON, 1753-1794

The Autobiography
MEMOIRS OF MY LIFE AND WRITINGS

The Biography
GIBBON by James Cotter Morison

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Book 10
 The great work of Gibbon is indispensable to the student of history. The literature of Europe offers no substitute for "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." It has obtained undisputed possession, as rightful occupant, of the vast period which it comprehends. However some subjects, which it embraces, may have undergone more complete investigation, on the general view of the whole period, this history is the sole undisputed authority to which all defer, and from which few appeal to the original writers, or to more modern compilers. The inherent interest of the subject, the inexhaustible labor employed upon it; the immense condensation of matter; the luminous arrangement; the general accuracy; the style, which, however monotonous from its uniform stateliness, and sometimes wearisome from its elaborate art., is throughout vigorous, animated, often picturesque always commands attention, always conveys its meaning with emphatic energy, describes with singular breadth and fidelity, and generalizes with unrivalled felicity of expression; all these high qualifications have secured, and seem likely to secure, its permanent place in historic literature.

This vast design of Gibbon, the magnificent whole into which he has cast the decay and ruin of the ancient civilization, the formation and birth of the new order of things, will of itself, independent of the laborious execution of his immense plan, render "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" an unapproachable subject to the future historian:* in the eloquent language of his recent French editor, M. Guizot:—

"The gradual decline of the most extraordinary dominion which has ever invaded and oppressed the world; the fall of that immense empire, erected on the ruins of so many kingdoms, republics, and states both barbarous and civilized; and forming in its turn, by its dismemberment, a multitude of states, republics, and kingdoms; the annihilation of the religion of Greece and Rome; the birth and the progress of the two new religions which have shared the most beautiful regions of the earth; the decrepitude of the ancient world, the spectacle of its expiring glory and degenerate manners; the infancy of the modern world, the picture of its first progress, of the new direction given to the mind and character of man—such a subject must necessarily fix the attention and excite the interest of men, who cannot behold with indifference those memorable epochs, during which, in the fine language of Corneille—
Book 15
 The great work of Gibbon is indispensable to the student of history. The literature of Europe offers no substitute for "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." It has obtained undisputed possession, as rightful occupant, of the vast period which it comprehends. However some subjects, which it embraces, may have undergone more complete investigation, on the general view of the whole period, this history is the sole undisputed authority to which all defer, and from which few appeal to the original writers, or to more modern compilers. The inherent interest of the subject, the inexhaustible labor employed upon it; the immense condensation of matter; the luminous arrangement; the general accuracy; the style, which, however monotonous from its uniform stateliness, and sometimes wearisome from its elaborate art., is throughout vigorous, animated, often picturesque always commands attention, always conveys its meaning with emphatic energy, describes with singular breadth and fidelity, and generalizes with unrivalled felicity of expression; all these high qualifications have secured, and seem likely to secure, its permanent place in historic literature.

This vast design of Gibbon, the magnificent whole into which he has cast the decay and ruin of the ancient civilization, the formation and birth of the new order of things, will of itself, independent of the laborious execution of his immense plan, render "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" an unapproachable subject to the future historian:* in the eloquent language of his recent French editor, M. Guizot:—

"The gradual decline of the most extraordinary dominion which has ever invaded and oppressed the world; the fall of that immense empire, erected on the ruins of so many kingdoms, republics, and states both barbarous and civilized; and forming in its turn, by its dismemberment, a multitude of states, republics, and kingdoms; the annihilation of the religion of Greece and Rome; the birth and the progress of the two new religions which have shared the most beautiful regions of the earth; the decrepitude of the ancient world, the spectacle of its expiring glory and degenerate manners; the infancy of the modern world, the picture of its first progress, of the new direction given to the mind and character of man—such a subject must necessarily fix the attention and excite the interest of men, who cannot behold with indifference those memorable epochs, during which, in the fine language of Corneille—
Edward Gibbon
This edition also includes an illustrated history of BOTH the RISE AND FALL of the Roman Empire from its very beginning. HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE COMPLETE VOLUMES 1 - 6 (sometimes shortened to "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire") is a book of history written by the English historian Edward Gibbon, which traces the trajectory of the Roman Empire—and Western civilization as a whole—from the late first century AD to the fall of the Eastern or Byzantine Empire. Published in six volumes, volume I was published in 1776 and went through six printings. Volumes II and III were published in 1781; volumes IV, V, VI in 1788-89. The original volumes were published in quarto sections, a common publishing practice of the time. The work covers the history of the Roman Empire, Europe, and the Catholic Church from 98 to 1590 and discusses the decline of the Roman Empire in the East and West. Because of its relative objectivity and heavy use of primary sources, at the time its methodology became a model for later historians. This led to Gibbon being called the first "modern historian of ancient Rome". Gibbon offers an explanation for why the Roman Empire fell, a task made difficult by a lack of comprehensive written sources, though he was not the only historian to tackle the subject. According to Gibbon, the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions in large part due to the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizens. They had become weak, outsourcing their duties to defend their Empire to barbarian mercenaries, who then became so numerous and ingrained that they were able to take over the Empire. Romans, he believed, had become effeminate, unwilling to live a tougher, "manly" military lifestyle. In addition, Gibbon argued that Christianity created a belief that a better life existed after death, which fostered an indifference to the present among Roman citizens, thus sapping their desire to sacrifice for the Empire. He also believed its comparative pacifism tended to hamper the traditional Roman martial spirit. Finally, like other Enlightenment thinkers, Gibbon held in contempt the Middle Ages as a priest-ridden, superstitious, dark age. It was not until his own age of reason and rational thought, it was believed, that human history could resume its progress. Gibbon sees the Praetorian Guard as the primary catalyst of the empire's initial decay and eventual collapse, a seed planted by Augustus at the establishment of the empire. He cites repeated examples of the Praetorian Guard abusing their power with calamitous results, including numerous instances of imperial assassination and incessant demands for increased pay.
Edward Gibbon
"I devoured Gibbon," wrote Winston Churchill. "I rode triumphantly through it from end to end and enjoyed it all." Gibbon's magnum opus -- which encompasses thirteen hundred years of history, swinging across Europe, North Africa, and Asia -- remains one of the greatest works of history ever written.


"Gibbon is a kind of bridge that connects the ancient with the modern ages," noted Thomas Carlyle. "And how gorgeously does it swing across the gloomy and tumultuous chasm of these barbarous centuries." Indeed, Gibbon, the supreme historian of the Enlightenment--the illustrious scholar who envisioned history as a branch of literature--seemed almost predestined to write his monumental account of the Roman Empire's terrible self-destruction. "I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion," wrote the author in the famous epigram that summed up his towering achievement in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

"Gibbon is not merely a master of the pageant and the story; he is also the critic and the historian of the mind," said Virginia Woolf. "Without his satire, his irreverence, his mixture of sedateness and slyness, of majesty and mobility, and above all that belief in reason which pervades the whole book and gives it unity, an implicit if unspoken message, the Decline and Fall would be the work of another man....We seem as we read him raised above the tumult and the chaos into a clear and rational air."


The second volume contains chapters twenty-seven through forty-eight of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
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