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Encyclopedia > The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire


Edward Gibbon (1737–1794)
Edward Gibbon (1737–1794)

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. Volume I was published in 1776, and went through six printings (a remarkable feat for its time). Volumes II and III were published in 1781; volumes IV, V, VI in 1788-89. The original volumes were published as quartos, a common publishing practice of the time. This article is about the historiography of the decline of the Roman Empire. ... Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... Public domain image from http://www. ... Public domain image from http://www. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... This article is about the occupation of studying history. ... Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... For other uses, see 1776 (disambiguation). ... 1781 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1788 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Old book binding and cover Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book from a number of folded or unfolded sheets of paper or other material. ...


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 behaviour 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. For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (Rome, April 26, 121[2] – Vindobona or Sirmium, March 17, 180) was Roman Emperor from 161 to his death in 180. ... For other uses, see number 180. ... April 2 - Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (İstanbul). ... Bold text{| align=right cellpadding=3 id=toc style=margin-left: 15px; |- | align=center colspan=2 | Years: 1587 1588 1589 - 1590 - 1591 1592 1593 |-vdsf gno[gldw[pvkijxaiamknn csogfhbvdowkhbfkqhjkhrjkhwgfhbjkpnkfokfgok3pkpk9pjhkt9erktyujkip9kijker9thhrkg9hkitr9gtkih9t0ykltk[u0jo0iey9uhyit90ertyhige9rity9riyh9ujirtyuhjnh-4e9tyigh9thiuy0h8tyh34tu8uy8u8u8u8rtu5y8ru8thu0tru0ut0rhutuh0trhu0hseogtrhr8uyhju8t89er9te9r8fy8shit ass dick bitch fuck | align=center colspan=2 | Decades: 1560s 1570s 1580s - 1590s - 1600s 1610s 1620s |- | align=center | Centuries... This article is about the historiography of the decline of the Roman Empire. ... Byzantine redirects here. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus The Western Roman Empire in 395. ...

Gibbon is sometimes called the first "modern historian of ancient Rome."[1] 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. His pessimism and detached use of irony was common to the historical genre of his era. In science, the ideal of objectivity is an essential aspect of the scientific method, and is generally considered by the scientific community to come about as a result of strict observance of the scientific method, including the scientists willingness to submit their methods and results to an open debate by... For referencing in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Citing sources. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Pessimists see the world as uninviting and cruel. ... Ironic redirects here. ...

Although he published other books, Gibbon devoted much of his life (1772-1789) to this one work. His autobiography Memoirs of My Life and 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 newborn child.[2] Cover of the first English edition of 1793 of Benjamin Franklins autobiography. ... Shortly following Edward Gibbons death, his good friend and literary executor, John Lord Sheffield undertook to edit and in 1796 published the first (of three) edition(s) of the Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon. ...

Gibbon's theory

The book is famous not only because it is extraordinarily well written, but also because Gibbon offers an explanation for why the Roman Empire fell. This is one of the great historical questions, and, because of the relative lack of written records from the time, one of the most difficult to undertake. Gibbon was not the first to theorise about this. In fact most of his ideas are directly taken from Roman moralists of the 4th and 5th centuries who wrote about it at the time; nor would he be the last; see for example Henri Pirenne's Thesis of the early 20th century. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... The Roman Empire is not the Holy Roman Empire (843-1806). ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... Europe in 450 The 5th century is the period from 401 to 500 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... Henri Pirenne (December 23, 1862, Verviers - October 25, 1935, Uccle) was a leading Belgian historian. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999...

According to Gibbon, the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions because of a loss of civic virtue among its citizens.[3] They had become lazy and soft, 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. Outsourcing became part of the business lexicon during the 1980s and refers to the delegation of non-core operations from internal production to an external entity specializing in the management of that operation. ... Effeminacy is character trait of a male showing femininity, unmanliness, womanliness, weakness, softness and/or a delicacy, which contradicts traditional masculine, male gender roles. ...

In addition Gibbon pointed to Christianity. Christianity, he says, created a belief that a better life existed after death. This fostered indifference to the present among Roman citizens, thus sapping their desire to sacrifice for the Empire. He also believed its comparative pacifism tended to sap the traditional Roman martial spirit. Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes or gaining advantage. ...

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. The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason. ... Murder of Przemysław II in Rogoźno by Wojciech Gerson: a 19th century painting of a medieval subject The Middle Ages in history is an overview of how previous periods have both romanticised and disparaged the Middle Ages. ... Petrarch, who conceived the idea of a European Dark Age. From Cycle of Famous Men and Women, Andrea di Bartolo di Bargillac, c. ...

Gibbon's use of citations

Gibbon provides the reader with a glimpse of his thought process with extensive notes along the body of the text, a precursor to the modern use of footnotes. Gibbon's footnotes are famous for their idiosyncrasies. They provide an entertaining moral commentary on both ancient Rome and 18th-century Great Britain. This technique enabled Gibbon to compare ancient Rome to modern times. Gibbon's work advocates a rationalist and progressive view of history. For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... This article is not about continental rationalism. ...

Gibbon's citations provide in-depth detail regarding his use of sources for his work on ancient Rome, documents dating back to ancient Rome. The detail within his asides and his care in noting the importance of each document is a precursor to modern-day historical footnoting methodology.

The work is notable for its erratic but exhaustively documented notes and research. John Bury, following him 113 years later with his own "History of the Later Roman Empire," utilized much of the same research, and commented admiringly of the incredible depth and accuracy of Gibbon's work. It is notable that Bury, over a century after Gibbon, and Heather, over a century after Bury, both based much of their own work on Gibbon's factual research. Both found little to argue with his facts, though both disagreed with his theories, primarily on Christianity as a prime factor in the Empire's decline and fall. Unusual for the 18th century, Gibbon was notably not content with secondhand accounts when the primary sources were accessible, and used them so well that even today historians still cite his work as the definitive factual history of the western empire. "I have always endeavoured," Gibbon wrote, "to draw from the fountain-head; that my curiosity, as well as a sense of duty, has always urged me to study the originals; and that, if they have sometimes eluded my search, I have carefully marked the secondary evidence, on whose faith a passage or a fact were reduced to depend." [4] The Decline and Fall is a literary monument and a massive step forward in historical method.[5]

Controversy: chapters XV, XVI

When Volume I was first published, it was introduced in quartos. The first two were well received and widely praised. The last quarto in Volume I, especially Chapters XV and XVI, were highly controversial, and Gibbon was attacked as a "paganist". Pagan and heathen redirect here. ...

Gibbon attacked Christian martyrdom as a myth by deconstructing official Church history that had been perpetuated for centuries. Because the Roman Catholic Church had a virtual monopoly on its own history, its own Latin interpretations were considered sacrosanct, and as a result the Church's writings had rarely been questioned before. For Gibbon, however, the Church writings were secondary sources, and he shunned them in favour of primary sources contemporary to the period he was chronicling. This is why Gibbon is referred to as the "first modern historian". Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... Historically, a martyr is a person who dies for his or her religious faith. ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... In historical scholarship, a Secondary source is a work of history written as a synthetic account, usually based on primary sources and other secondary sources. ... In historical scholarship, a primary source is a document, or other source of information that was created at or near the time being studied, by an authoritative source, usually one with direct personal knowledge of the events being described. ...

According to Gibbon, Romans were far more tolerant of Christians than Christians were of one another, especially once Christianity gained the upper hand. Christians inflicted far greater casualties on other Christians than were ever inflicted by the Roman Empire. Gibbon extrapolated that the number of Christians executed by other Christian factions far exceeded all the Christian martyrs who died during the three centuries of Christianity under Roman rule. This was in stark contrast to orthodox Church history, which insisted that Christianity won the hearts and minds of people largely because of the inspirational example set by its martyrs. Gibbon demonstrated that the early Church's custom of bestowing the title of martyr on all confessors of faith grossly inflated the actual numbers.

Gibbon compares how insubstantial that number was, by comparing it to more modern terms. He compared both the reigns of Diocletian (284-305), and Charles V (1519-1556) and the electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, making the argument that both were remarkably similar. Both emperors were plagued by continuous war and compelled to excessive taxation; both chose to abdicate as Emperors at roughly the same age; and both chose to lead a quiet life upon their retirement. Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. ... For the Carlist claimant King Carlos V, see Infante Carlos, Count of Molina. ... This article is about the medieval empire. ...

Gibbon's critics were scathing in their attack on this particular line of argument. Numerous tracts were published criticizing his work, and Gibbon was forced to defend his work in reply. He left London to finish the following volumes in Lausanne, where he could work in solitude. This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Lausanne (pronounced ) is a city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, situated on the shores of Lake Geneva (French: Lac Léman), and facing Évian-les-Bains (France) and with the Jura mountains to its north. ...


Gibbon's remarks on Christianity have aroused vigorous attack.[6] However, by the nineteenth century, "church historians allow the substantial justness of (Gibbon's) main positions" [7]


"The learned Origen, who, from his experience as well as readings, was intimately acquainted with the history of the Christians, declares, in the most express terms, that the number of martyrs was very inconsiderable. His authority would alone be sufficient to annihilate that formidable army of martyrs, whose relics, drawn for the most part from the catacombs of Rome, have replenished so many churches, and whose marvellous achievements have been the subject of so many volumes of holy romance... We shall conclude this chapter by a melancholy truth which obtrudes itself on the reluctant mind; that, even admitting, without hesitation or inquiry, all that history has recorded, or devotion has feigned, on the subject of martyrdoms, it must still be acknowledged that the Christians, in the course of their intestine dissensions, have inflicted far greater severities on each other than they had experienced from the zeal of infidels." (chapter 16).


"As the happiness of a future life is the great object of religion, we may hear without surprise or scandal that the introduction, or at least the abuse of Christianity, had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister: a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion; and the soldiers' pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity. Faith, zeal, curiosity, and more earthly passions of malice and ambition, kindled the flame of theological discord; the church, and even the state, were distracted by religious factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody and always implacable; the attention of the emperors was diverted from camps to synods; the Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny; and the persecuted sects became the secret enemies of their country. Yet party-spirit, however pernicious or absurd, is a principle of union as well as of dissension. The bishops, from eighteen hundred pulpits, inculcated the duty of passive obedience to a lawful and orthodox sovereign; their frequent assemblies and perpetual correspondence maintained the communion of distant churches; and the benevolent temper of the Gospel was strengthened, though confirmed, by the spiritual alliance of the Catholics. The sacred indolence of the monks was devoutly embraced by a servile and effeminate age; but if superstition had not afforded a decent retreat, the same vices would have tempted the unworthy Romans to desert, from baser motives, the standard of the republic. Religious precepts are easily obeyed which indulge and sanctify the natural inclinations of their votaries; but the pure and genuine influence of Christianity may be traced in its beneficial, though imperfect, effects on the barbarian proselytes of the North. If the decline of the Roman empire was hastened by the conversion of Constantine, his victorious religion broke the violence of the fall, and mollified the ferocious temper of the conquerors." (chapter 39).

Historians such as David S. Potter and Fergus Millar dispute claims that the Empire fell as a result of a kind of lethargy towards current affairs brought on by Constantine's adoption of Christianity as the official state religion. They claim that such a view is "vague" and has little real evidence to support it. Others such as J.B. Bury, who wrote a history of the later Empire, claimed there is "no" evidence to support Gibbon's claims of Christian apathy towards the Empire:

"It has often been alleged that Christianity in its political effects was a disintegrating force and tended to weaken the power of Rome to resist her enemies. It is difficult to see that it had any such tendency, so long as the Church itself was united. Theological heresies were indeed to prove a disintegrating force in the East in the seventh century, when differences in doctrine which had alienated the Christians in Egypt and Syria from the government of Constantinople facilitated the conquests of the Saracens. But after the defeat of Arianism, there was no such vital or deep-reaching division in the West, and the effect of Christianity was to unite, not to sever, to check, rather than to emphasise, national or sectional feeling. In the political calculations of Constantine it was probably this ideal of unity, as a counterpoise to the centrifugal tendencies which had been clearly revealed in the third century, that was the great recommendation of the religion which he raised to power. Nor is there the least reason to suppose that Christian teaching had the practical effect of making men less loyal to the Empire or less ready to defend it. The Christians were as pugnacious as the pagans. Some might read Augustine's City of God with edification, but probably very few interpreted its theory with such strict practical logic as to be indifferent to the safety of the Empire. Hardly the author himself, though this has been disputed."[8]

Today, historians tend to analyze economic and military factors in the decline of Rome, although generally allowing the spread of Christianity an underlying causative role.[9] [10]

Neglect of Byzantium

Others such as John Julius Norwich, despite their admiration for his admittedly brilliant work on furthering historical methodology, consider Gibbon's views on the Byzantine Empire flawed and blame him somewhat for the lack of interest shown in the subject throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries.[11] This view might well be admitted by Gibbon himself: "But it is not my intention to expatiate with the same minuteness on the whole series of the Byzantine history." [12]

Gibbon's legacy

Gibbon’s methodology was so accurate that, to this day, little can be found to controvert his use of primary sources for evidence. While modern historical methodology has changed, his skill in translation of his sources was impeccable. Contemporary historians still rely on Gibbon as a secondary source to substantiate references. His literary tone is old-fashioned, skeptical, and pessimistic; it mirrors both the man and the topic: the gradual decay of a mighty empire. Variations on the series title (including using "Rise and Fall" in place of "Decline and Fall") have been used by other writers:

and the music albums: Bold textthe rise & fall of the confederate goverment was wrote by jeff davis when he was 70 years of age, it was not a big hit then for the south at the time was poor & the north was rich but didnt like the book for he & the south had a... For other uses, see Jefferson Davis (disambiguation). ... The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by journalist William L. Shirer was the first definitive history of Nazi Germany in English. ... William Lawrence Shirer (1904 - 1993), U.S. historian & journalist. ... General Rubén Fulgencio Batista (IPA: , ) y Zaldívar (January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was a Cuban military officer and politician. ... Paul Kennedy can refer to: Paul Kennedy a professor of history at Yale University who is known for his study of the history of international relations. ... The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic change and military conflict from 1500 to 2000 is the fifth and best-known book by historian Paul Kennedy. ... Lawrence James Lawrence James is a British writer and historian. ... David Cannadine (born 1950) is a British historian, known for a number of books including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy and Ornamentalism; and as a commentator and broadcaster on British public life, especially the British monarchy. ... The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin is a novel and British sitcom starring Leonard Rossiter in the title role. ... David Gordon Nobbs (born March 13, 1935) is a British comedy writer. ... Malachi Martin The Reverend Dr. Father Malachi Brendan Martin (July 23, 1921 – July 27, 1999) was a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest who became a popular author and speaker upon various fringe topics such as exorcisms, Satanism, Liberation Theology, the Tridentine liturgy, obscure points of Catholic dogma and the geopolitical importance... Neil Faulkner Dr Neil Faulkner is a professional archaeologist and is the editor of the magazine Current Archaeology. ... Hans Eysenck Hans Jürgen Eysenck (March 4, 1916 - September 4, 1997) was an eminent psychologist, most remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, though he worked in a wide range of areas. ... John Toland (November 30, 1670 - March 11, 1722) Very little is known about his true origins other than the fact that he was born in Ardagh on the Inishowen Peninsula, a predominantly Catholic and Irish speaking region, in north west Ulster. ...

and the films: </gallery> </gallery> </gallery> </gallery> </gallery> </gallery> </gallery> </gallery>neygoround, Part One]] (1970) Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) is a concept album by English rock band The Kinks, released in late 1969. ... The Kinks were an English rock group formed in 1963 by lead singer-songwriter Ray Davies, his brother, lead guitarist and vocalist Dave Davies, and bassist Pete Quaife. ... “Ziggy Stardust” redirects here. ... David Bowie (IPA: []) (born David Robert Jones on 1947 January 8) is an English singer, songwriter, actor, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger and audio engineer. ...

The title and author are also cited in Noel Coward's comedic poem, "I went to a marvellous party."[13] In addition, Isaac Asimov's Foundation series, an epic tale of the fall and rebuilding of a galactic empire, was inspired by Gibbon's book. As Asimov quipped, "I did some cribbin' from Gibbon". The Decline of Western Civilization is a rockumentary film directed by Penelope Spheeris about the Los Angeles punk rock scene in 1979 and 1980. ... Penelope Spheeris (born December 2, 1945) is an American director, producer, and screenwriter. ... Le Déclin de lempire américain (The Decline of the American Empire) is a Canadian comedy/drama film directed by Denys Arcand and released in 1986. ... Georges-Henri Denys Arcand, C.C., C.Q. born June 25, 1941 in Deschambault, Quebec, Canada is an Academy Award winning film director, screenwriter and producer. ... Noël Peirce Coward (December 16, 1899 – March 26, 1973) was an Academy Award winning English actor, playwright, and composer of popular music. ... Isaac Asimov (January 2?, 1920?[1] – April 6, 1992), IPA: , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов) was a Russian-born American Jewish author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful and exceptionally prolific writer best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Note: Gibbon continued to revise and change his work even after publication. The complexities of the problem are addressed in Womersley's introduction and appendices to his complete edition.

  • In-print complete editions
    • J.B. Bury, ed., 7 volumes (London: Methuen, 1909-1914), currently reprinted (New York: AMS Press, 1974). Until Womersley, this was the essential edition, but now nearing age 100, the historical analysis/commentary is dated. [ISBN 0-404-02820-9].
    • Hugh Trevor-Roper, ed., 6 volumes (New York: Everyman's Library, 1993-1994). from the Bury text and with Gibbon's own notes, but without Bury's, many of which are superseded by more recent research. [ISBN 0-679-42308-7 (vols. 1–3); ISBN 0-679-43593-X (vols. 4–6)].
    • David Womersley, ed., 3 volumes. hardback-(London: Allen Lane, 1994); paperback-(New York: Penguin Books, 2005;1994). The current essential edition, the most faithful to Gibbon's original text. The ancient Greek quotations are not as accurate as in Bury, but an otherwise excellent work with complete footnotes and bibliographical information for Gibbon's cryptic footnote notations. Includes the original index, and the Vindication (1779) which Gibbon wrote in response to attacks on his caustic portrayal of Christianity. The 2005 print includes minor revisions and a new chronology. [ISBN 0-7139-9124-0 (3360 p.); ISBN 0-14-043393-7 (v.1, 1232 p.); ISBN 0-14-043394-5 (v.2, 1024 p.); ISBN 0-14-043395-3 (v.3, 1360 p.)]
  • In-print abridgements
    • David Womersley, ed., 1 volume (New York: Penguin Books, 2000). Includes all footnotes and eleven of the original seventy-one chapters. [ISBN 0-14-043764-9, 848 p.]
    • Hans-Friedrich Mueller, ed., one volume abridgment (New York: Random House, 2003). Includes excerpts from all seventy-one chapters. It eliminates footnotes, geographic surveys, details of battle formations, long narratives of military campaigns, ethnographies, and genealogies, but retains the narrative from start to finish. Based on the Rev. H.H. [Dean] Milman edition of 1845 (see also Gutenberg etext edition). [ISBN 0-375-75811-9, (trade paper, 1312 p.); ISBN 0-345-47884-3 (mass market paper, 1536 p.)]

John Bagnell Bury (16 October 1861 – 1 June 1927) was an eminent British historian, classical scholar, and philologist. ... Hugh Redwald Trevor-Roper, Baron Dacre of Glanton (January 15, 1914 – January 26, 2003) was a notable historian of Early Modern Britain and Nazi Germany. ...


  1. ^ David Potter, A Companion To The Roman Empire. (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Pub., 2006), p. 100.
  2. ^ Patricia B. Craddock, Edward Gibbon, Luminous Historian. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1989), 249-266.
  3. ^ J.G.A. Pocock, "Between Machiavelli and Hume: Gibbon as Civic Humanist and Philosophical Historian," Daedulus 105,3(1976), 153-169; and in Further reading: Pocock, Barbarism and Religion vol. 1, 303-304; vol. 3, 304-306.
  4. ^ Preface to Gibbon's Volume the Fourth in David Womersley ed., Edward Gibbon - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 2 (New York: Penguin Books, 1994), p. 520.
  5. ^ In the early 20th century, biographer Sir Leslie Stephen ["Gibbon, Edward (1737-1794)," Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 7, (Oxford, 1921), 1134] summarized The History's reputation as a work of unmatched erudition, a degree of professional esteem which remains as strong today as it was then:

    The criticisms upon his book...are nearly unanimous. In accuracy, thoroughness, lucidity, and comprehensive grasp of a vast subject, the History is unsurpassable. It is the one English history which may be regarded as definitive. ...Whatever its shortcomings, the book is artistically imposing as well as historically unimpeachable as a vast panorama of a great period. Sir Leslie Stephen (November 28, 1832 &#8211; February 22, 1904) was an English author and critic, the father of two famous daughters, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. ...

  6. ^ A Vindication of Some Passages in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth chapters of the History Of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon E. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/gibbon/decline/files/vndctn/chelsum.htm
  7. ^ The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. IV: Draeseke - Goa. Schaff, Philip (1819-1893) Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1952 http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc04/Page_484.html
  8. ^ J.B. Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, from Arcadius to Irene (395 A. D. to 800 A. D.). (London and New York: Macmillan and Co., 1889), pp. 319-320.
  9. ^ Ramsay MacMullen, Corruption and the Decline of Rome. (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1988)
  10. ^ Thomas S. Burns, Barbarians Within the Gates of Rome: Study of Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, ca. 375-425 AD. (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1995).
  11. ^ John Julius Norwich, Byzantium (New York: Knopf, 1989); Byzantium: the apogee (London and New York: Viking Press, 1991).
  12. ^ http://www.ccel.org/ccel/gibbon/decline/files/preface.htm Preface, 1782
  13. ^ Link to notes on the poem here [1]. Link to poem here: [2]. Excerpt: "If you have any mind at all, Gibbon's divine Decline and Fall, Seems pretty flimsy, No more than a whimsy... ."

Further reading

  • Brownley, Martine W. "Appearance and Reality in Gibbon's History," Journal of the History of Ideas 38,4(1977), 651-666.
    • Brownley. "Gibbon's Artistic and Historical Scope in the Decline and Fall," Journal of the History of Ideas 42,4(1981), 629-642.
  • Cosgrove, Peter. Impartial Stranger: History and Intertextuality in Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Newark: Associated University Presses, 1999); [ISBN 0-87413-658-X].
  • Craddock, Patricia. "Historical Discovery and Literary Invention in Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall'," Modern Philology 85,4(May 1988), 569-587.
  • Furet, Francois. "Civilization and Barbarism in Gibbon's History," Daedalus 105,3(1976), 209-216.
  • Gay, Peter. Style in History (New York: Basic Books, 1974); [ISBN 0-465-08304-8].
  • Ghosh, Peter R. "Gibbon's Dark Ages: Some Remarks on the Genesis of the Decline and Fall," Journal of Roman Studies 73(1983), 1–23.
  • Kelly, Christopher. "A Grand Tour: Reading Gibbon's 'Decline and Fall'," Greece & Rome 2nd ser., 44,1 (Apr. 1997), 39–58.
  • Momigliano, Arnaldo. "Eighteenth-Century Prelude to Mr. Gibbon," in Pierre Ducrey et al., eds., Gibbon et Rome à la lumière de l'historiographie moderne (Geneva: Librairie Droz, 1977).
    • Momigliano, "Gibbon from an Italian Point of View," in G.W. Bowersock et al., eds., Edward Gibbon and the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1977).
    • Momigliano, "Declines and Falls," American Scholar 49(Winter 1979), 37-51.
    • Momigliano, "After Gibbon's Decline and Fall," in Kurt Weitzmann, ed. Age of Spirituality : a symposium (Princeton: 1980); [ISBN 0-891-42039-8].
  • Pocock, J.G.A. Barbarism and Religion. 4 vols.: vol. 1, The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737–1764, 1999 [hb: ISBN 0-521-63345-1]; vol. 2, Narratives of Civil Government, 1999 [hb: ISBN 0-521-64002-4]; vol. 3, The First Decline and Fall, 2003 [pb: ISBN 0-521-82445-1]; vol. 4, Barbarians, Savages and Empires, 2005 [hb: ISBN 0-521-85625-6]. all New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Trevor-Roper, H.R. "Gibbon and the Publication of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1776-1976," Journal of Law and Economics 19,3 (Oct. 1976), 489–505.
  • Womersley, David. The Transformation of 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' (Cambridge: 1988).
    • Womersley, ed. Religious Scepticism: Contemporary Responses to Gibbon (Bristol, England: Thoemmes Press, 1997).
  • Wootton, David. "Narrative, Irony, and Faith in Gibbon's Decline and Fall," History and Theory 33,4 (Dec., 1994), 77–105.

// A world-renowned scholar of the history of British political discourse, J.G.A. (John) Pocock, Harry C. Black Chair of History Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University, has enjoyed nearly 60 years of publication. ...

See also


Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... Shortly following Edward Gibbons death, his good friend and literary executor, John Lord Sheffield undertook to edit and in 1796 published the first (of three) edition(s) of the Miscellaneous Works of Edward Gibbon. ... Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... Alexander Severus Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexandrus (October 1, 208- March 18?, 235), commonly called Alexander Severus, Roman emperor from 222 to 235, was born at Arca Caesarea in Palestine. ... Anatolia (Greek: &#945;&#957;&#945;&#964;&#959;&#955;&#951; anatole, rising of the sun or East; compare Orient and Levant, by popular etymology Turkish Anadolu to ana mother and dolu filled), also called by the Latin name of Asia Minor, is a region of Southwest Asia which corresponds today to... Lucius Domitius Aurelianus[1] (September 9, 214–September 275), known in English as Aurelian, Roman Emperor (270–275), was the second of several highly successful soldier-emperors who helped the Roman Empire regain its power during the latter part of the third century and the beginning of the fourth. ... Sextus Aurelius Victor (ca. ... Gaius Avidius Cassius (c. ... Dio Cassius Cocceianus (155&#8211;after 229), known in English as Dio Cassius or Cassius Dio, was a noted Roman historian and public servant. ... Publius Herennius Dexippus (c. ... Galerius Maximianus (c. ... Gallienus depicted on a lead seal Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus (218-268) ruled the Roman Empire as co-emperor with his father Valerian from 253 to 260, and then as the sole Roman Emperor from 260 to 268. ... The Augustan History (Lat. ... Murex brandaris, also known as the Spiny dye-murex The chemical structure of 6,6′-dibromoindigo, the main component of Tyrian Purple A space-filling model of 6,6′-dibromoindigo Tyrian purple (Greek: , porphyra, Latin: purpura), also known as royal purple or imperial purple, is a purple-red dye used... Maximian Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius (c. ... Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius ( 278-28 October 312) was Western Roman Emperor from 306 to 312. ... After Islamic Conquest  Modern SSR = Soviet Socialist Republic Afghanistan  Azerbaijan  Bahrain  Iran  Iraq  Tajikistan  Uzbekistan  This box:      The following is a comprehensive list of kings of Persia (Iran), which includes all of the Persian (Iranian) Empires and their rulers. ... For the military of the East Roman Empire after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, see Byzantine military. ... Faenius Rufus, Roman senator, praefectus annonae, 55-62AD. Tacitus reports that (unlike most holders of that office) he did not profit from it. ... The Thracians were an Indo-European people, inhabitants of Thrace and adjacent lands (present-day Bulgaria, Romania, northeastern Greece, European Turkey and northwestern asiatic Turkey, eastern Serbia and parts of Republic of Macedonia). ... Bosphorus - photo taken from International Space Station. ... Louis-Sébastien Le Nain de Tillemont (b. ... Marcus Velleius Paterculus (c. ... For the pope of this name see Pope Zosimus Zosimus, Greek historical writer, nourished at Constantinople during the second half of the 5th century A.D. According to Photius, he was a count, and held the office of advocate of the imperial treasury. ...

External links

  • Timelines of the Roman Empire
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