Item description for The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Classic Non-fiction), Vol. 2 by Edward Gibbon...
Outline ReviewBritish 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.
Product Description This is an abridged edition of Gibbon's classic. Concentrating on the centuries from the age of the Antonines to the fall of the empire in the West, this volume chronicles "the triumph of barbarism and religion" in the disruption of the unified empire, the rise of Christianity, the progress of the Huns from China and the revolt of the Goths.
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.7" Width: 4.9" Height: 1" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Publisher Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN 962634122X ISBN13 9789626341223
Availability 0 units.
More About Edward Gibbon
Hans-Friedrich Mueller is the William D. Williams Professor of Classics at Union College in Schenectady, New York, and the author of Roman Religion in Valerius Maximus. Daniel J. Boorstin, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Librarian of Congress emeritus, is the author of many books, including The Creators and The Discoverers.
Edward Gibbon was born in 1737 and died in 1794.
Edward Gibbon has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Classic Non-fiction), Vol. 2?
A Classic Work of History Jul 5, 2008
This widely acknowledged classic work of English literature should be required reading for any class on Ancient History. The story of the Roman Republic and the early years of the Empire are widely known. However, the slow death spiral beginning after the reign of Augustus is not nearly as well known as it should be.
I confess to knowing only part of the story prior to hearing Gibbon's narrator recite the repeated murders and intrigues visited upon Emperor after Emperor. To have been Roman Emperor from the years 100 A.D. to 400 A.D. was to enjoy the life span of a mayfly.
To read a roll call of Emperors during the period is to go through dozens of short lived leaders (some of mere weeks and months), mostly murdered and replaced by the Praetorian guard, with a smattering of competent longer lived leaders such as Clodius, Marcus Aurelius, Domitian and Constantine.
Such a disfunctional method of leadership selection, coupled with repeated incursions by Goths, Vandals and Huns ultimately spelled an end to the Western Roman Empire.
The audio version of this work is very well presented in its abridged form through the use of two narrators, one to read the actual words of Gibbon, while the other summarizes the abridged text. Despite the slightly dated form of English used by writers of Gibbons' age, the work was quite easy to follow with the possible exception of the chapter dealing with the rise and spread of Christianity throughout the Empire.
While I cannot pass upon the readability of the unabridged text, I can highly recommend the abridged audio version which I enjoyed.
The Book Jun 20, 2008
First one thing: do not, on any account, get the abridged version. If I could take one book to a desert island, it would be this one. That's because it is extremely long, and every word of it is worth it.
Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire remains as relevant as ever. And this is in spite of its hugely ambitious scope, treating of the history of the Roman and Byzantine empires (both considered Roman by Gibbon) from the end of the 1st century AD to the 15th. Gibbon is a modern historian. He is shrewdly selective of his sources, judiciously reserved, and coldly analytical. He differentiates between proximate and ultimate causes. He has a humanistic but impartial point of view. At the same time, he is an 18th century Englishman. While this is reflected in some of his opinions, such as that the extinction of republican freedom was what determined Rome's decline, it makes them no less valid and often the more interesting; it is hard to imagine anyone today being able to treat the early Christian controversies with the same tact and humour, for example.
And Edward Gibbon wrote like an enchanter. I read somewhere that his style was an inspiration to Churchill. No wonder. Every line of this tome of perhaps a million words is a delight to read. You will laugh out loud. His thought is clear and convincing. And there are simply magical moments, such as when he produces that mythical animal that appeared in the Roman circus, an animal no one in Europe has seen since then... a giraffe. Or the dissertation on whether Europe remains at threat of invasion from the Mongols.
The Decline and Fall is full of telling anecdotes, and yet it always holds to a general picture. It is filled with detail and colour but never loses the reader. It is packed with events, and it offers discussion of longer trends - notably those that participated in Rome's decline and led to its eventual fall - political, religious, military, economic. And it is even more impressive when one thinks of the modern tools its author did not have at his disposal, in particular archaeological and numismatic. Approximately half of the book is dedicated to the Roman Empire proper, up to the late 5th century. This is where Gibbon is at his strongest, his research the most thorough. The rest deals with Byzantium, touching heavily on European history up to the fall of Constantinople, and has a broader sweep. His work ends with a description of Rome as it looks today (i.e. in the late 18th century).
I finished reading my copy (after several happy months) in Rome itself, in a little place with a view of the Pantheon. If you have the luck of being able to do that, you will never forget it.
History of Rome May 15, 2008
I have not yet read the books ( they were bought as reference material). They came well packaged, clean, pristine and look very good in my library. Delivery was promt and hassle free. I would definitely purchase from this vendor again.
Excellent Audio Book for History Buffs May 4, 2008
What a classic. This is an excellent listen for history buffs and those that want to learn what precipitated the fall of the great empire.
the decline and fall of the roman empire Aug 26, 2007
very good detail on the history , most Caesars were killed and the army rulled.