Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
The History of the Empire from A.D. 395 to Ad 1185

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"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.


About Edward Gibbon

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Edward Gibbon was born in 1737. At the age of thirty-nine, he published the first volume of his great work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Since it was first released in several volumes between 1776 and 1788, few books of history have been so widely or so indiscriminately praised. Gibbon died in 1794.  Francis Parkman was born in Boston in 1823 and is best known for his masterly seven-volume series, France and England in North America, and for the annual prize awarded by the Society of American Historians in his honor. He died in 1893. William H. Prescott, the renowned American historian who chronicled the rise and fall of the Spanish empire, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1796. His greatest work, History of the Conquest of Mexico, was published in 1843. He died of a stroke at his home in Boston in 1859. Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858 (a date celebrated each year by the U.S. Navy as Navy Day), and became the twenty-sixth president of the United States. He was a naturalist, writer, historian, and soldier. He died in 1919.
Published October 1, 2000 by Modern Library.
Genres: History. Non-fiction

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