The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II Edward Gibbon s six volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is among the most magnificent and ambitious narratives in European literature Its subject is the fate of one of t

Edward Gibbon s six volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1776 88 is among the most magnificent and ambitious narratives in European literature Its subject is the fate of one of the world s greatest civilizations over thirteen centuries its rulers, wars and society, and the events that led to its disastrous collapse Here, in volumes three and fouEdward Gibbon s six volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1776 88 is among the most magnificent and ambitious narratives in European literature Its subject is the fate of one of the world s greatest civilizations over thirteen centuries its rulers, wars and society, and the events that led to its disastrous collapse Here, in volumes three and four, Gibbon vividly recounts the waves of barbarian invaders under commanders such as Alaric and Attila, who overran and eventually destroyed the West He then turns his gaze to events in the East, where even the achievements of the Byzantine emperor Justinian and the campaigns of the brilliant military leader Belisarius could not conceal the fundamental weaknesses of their empire.

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The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II

  1. Edward Gibbon 8 May 1737 16 January 1794 was an English historian and Member of Parliament His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788 The Decline and Fall is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open criticism of organised religion.Gibbon returned to England in June 1765 His father died in 1770, and after tending to the estate, which was by no means in good condition, there remained quite enough for Gibbon to settle fashionably in London at 7 Bentinck Street, independent of financial concerns By February 1773, he was writing in earnest, but not without the occasional self imposed distraction He took to London society quite easily, joined the better social clubs, including Dr Johnson s Literary Club, and looked in from time to time on his friend Holroyd in Sussex He succeeded Oliver Goldsmith at the Royal Academy as professor in ancient history honorary but prestigious In late 1774, he was initiated a freemason of the Premier Grand Lodge of England And, perhaps least productively in that same year, he was returned to the House of Commons for Liskeard, Cornwall through the intervention of his relative and patron, Edward Eliot He became the archetypal back bencher, benignly mute and indifferent, his support of the Whig ministry invariably automatic Gibbon s indolence in that position, perhaps fully intentional, subtracted little from the progress of his writing.After several rewrites, with Gibbon often tempted to throw away the labours of seven years, the first volume of what would become his life s major achievement, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published on 17 February 1776 Through 1777, the reading public eagerly consumed three editions for which Gibbon was rewarded handsomely two thirds of the profits amounting to approximately 1,000 Biographer Leslie Stephen wrote that thereafter, His fame was as rapid as it has been lasting And as regards this first volume, Some warm praise from David Hume overpaid the labour of ten years Volumes II and III appeared on 1 March 1781, eventually rising to a level with the previous volume in general esteem Volume IV was finished in June 1784 the final two were completed during a second Lausanne sojourn September 1783 to August 1787 where Gibbon reunited with his friend Deyverdun in leisurely comfort By early 1787, he was straining for the goal and with great relief the project was finished in June Gibbon later wrote It was on the day, or rather the night, of 27 June 1787, between the hours of eleven and twelve, that I wrote the last lines of the last page in a summer house in my garden I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and perhaps the establishment of my fame But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind by the idea that I had taken my everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that, whatsoever might be the future date of my history, the life of the historian must be short and precarious.Volumes IV, V, and VI finally reached the press in May 1788, their publication having been delayed since March so it could coincide with a dinner party celebrating Gibbon s 51st birthday the 8th Mounting a bandwagon of praise for the later volumes were such contemporary luminaries as Adam Smith, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson, Lord Camden, and Horace Walpole Smith remarked that Gibbon s triumph had positioned him at the very head of Europe s literary tribe.

298 Reply to “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II”

  1. As I ve already written two panegyric reviews of Gibbon, I ll keep this one short In fact, I only want to say something briefly about prose style.Anyone who peruses a few books on writing will notice some similarities We are advised to write short sentences, to use simple words, and generally to be direct and terse In On Writing, Stephen King urges the potential writer to entirely eschew adverbs In On Writing Well, William Zinsser has this to say Among good writers it is the short sentences that [...]


  2. Ah, the paradoxes of contemporary publishing Gibbon is generally divided into three books, with two volumes per book here we have volumes three and four That makes perfectly good sense, on the one hand, since six books would be very expensive and two books would each be unwieldy However, due to that publishing decision, this book is broken backed it combines the last volume of the first series Volume three ends with Gibbon s General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West, volum [...]


  3. In this volume we find what, I assume, most people expect out of a book called The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire waves of invasions by Goths, Huns, and Vandals, the city of Rome plundered, and the Western empire disintegrated It s action packed, although not always when or how you expect.The beginning of the volume is dominated by Gibbon s favorite, the heroic Julian the Apostate, whose pointless but exciting campaign in Persia is related with uncharacteristic detail and thrills the endin [...]


  4. Works of undisputed genius want personal reflection than analysis This is especially true with a work so capacious as The Decline and Fall, even limiting oneself to the third and fourth volumes I can reflect on what aspects of the work mean to me I can focus on which of Gibbon s rhetorical devices I like most But Decline is a work that beggars criticism on the whole It is no exaggeration to compare Gibbon s work to other monuments of literature, The Divine Comedy or Shakespeare s corpus One can [...]


  5. The second volume of Modern Library s three volume reprint of Edward Gibbon s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire covers chapters 27 through 48 of the author s vast magnum opus Beginning with the reign of Gratian and ending with the reconquests of Heraclius in 628 A.D Gibbons relates in detail the political, martial, social, and theological developments that saw the ultimate split of the Roman Empire, the fall of the West, and the continuance of Roman tradition in the East centered in Const [...]


  6. Al terminar de leer este libro surge la sensaci n de haber pasado por una excitante aventura, que finalmente Gibbon termina de escribir en 1787, luego de casi 20 a os de trabajo como l modestamente indica en su ep logo, donde pr cticamente da una extensa vista panor mica a la cultura de occidente y la de oriente, con la perspectiva de los mogoles, un Islam en sus etapas tempranas y la formaci n de la cultura europea a partir de los restos de la conocida ciudad de Constantino, Constantinopla No e [...]


  7. Having now completed Volume 2 of my 6 Volume sojourn through Gibbon s masterpiece, I still marvel at the beauty and precision of his prose, and the depth of his erudition and research And, oh yes, he is quite opinionated and, on occasion, witty and dryly humorous.This volume covered much of the 4th Century, approximately the period 324 375 AD Though he dealt with a relatively short span of years, Gibbon went into considerable depths in a number of areas, some of which were 1 The conduct of the R [...]


  8. El mismo estilo que el volumen I, un lenguaje magnifico que te mantiene pasando hojas y hojas.Los capitulos que me parecieron pesados son los relacionados con la cristiandad Creo que lo podria haber resumido bastante.Y en cierta forma la guerra en Italia de Belisarious Muy interesante pero creo que se alargo demasiado.Por lo demas, maravilloso.En este libro finalmente Roma cae, pero ah Es solo el imperio del Oeste, aun queda el imperio del Este El ultimo capitulo que realmente deberia ser el pri [...]


  9. Be warned the writing style and rhythm is tedious This is after all, a 200 plus year old book.Further, the author assumes you already know the history of the roman republic or empire As the title suggests, the series deals with the fall and decline of the Roman Empire.In other words this should not probably be your intro book into the RomansThere is a marvelous index that will come to your aid whenever you are falling asleep on the current page topic.I highly recommend the chapters that speak ab [...]




  10. Reading history often pays off because it tells us as much about the time in which the work was written as it does about the period it is describing Gibbon s Decline and Fall is a great example of this historiographical value The first two chapters of volume 2 are regarded as the ones in which he expresses a personal disdain for Christianity Reading the chapters, I found it hard to discern anything that was insulting toward that faith in fact, the case seemed much to the contrary I decided to do [...]


  11. I continue to be impressed with Gibbon s ability to relate what is quoted as the most numbing part of western history with a grace and grandeur that is not only engaging but intoxicating for the reader Throughout this second volume, Gibbon is able to once again tell both sides of the story that which the Christian posterity emphasizes and that which takes into account the Empire as a whole Throughout Gibbon s description of the reign and posterity of Constantine, he is able to show not just Cons [...]


  12. Not as sweeping or prosaic as the first volume, the second book focuses on the role of Christianity and Constantine as the first Christian emperor Still, however, moments of beautiful prose and odd timeliness, given the state of religion in 2016 If we are deeply affected by the ruin of a palace than by the conflagration of a cottage, our humanity must have formed a very erroneous estimate of the miseries of human life After he became master of the world, he unfortunately forgot, that where no r [...]


  13. I wish I could have something profound to say about this book But it s really long and there are so many details that just pass me by without really understanding it I quite enjoy the way that Gibbon goes over many different aspects of Roman History Particularly the role of Christianity, trade, military engagements and of course, Roman Britain My classics teacher who looked and dressed like Indiana Jones once quoted someone who taught him saying that Roman Britain is the arsehole end of an an ar [...]


  14. Okay, I have a few chapters left I had to return the book, and I don t need the research for a while yet Rather than pretend I m currently reading, I am marking this as read.The sections on the Christian and pagan persecutions which seemed to alternate from before the time of Constantine through the short reign of Julian were most helpful to me The historical context of the Donatist and Arian heresies, so called, also helps frame the subject of my historical fiction, a novel concerning 4th Centu [...]


  15. The most controversial aspect of Gibbon s account is his treatment of Christianity He notes that the Romans were generally tolerant of different religions, but the Christians were not Christian condemnation of Roman paganism led to persecution of Christians, which was inconsistently applied in different places at different times In any case, factionalism among Christians and accusations of heresy led to much greater violence and suffering Gibbon s account of early Christianity highlighted how li [...]


  16. Still a strong narrative, although not quite of the same calibre as the first volume Gibbon s exploration of early Christianity manages to maintain a veneer of an impartial recording of facts in the first volume, but it unnecessarily continues and descends here into an incoherent, almost whiny series of criticisms of every perceived internal inconsistency and compromise of the early religion, and also at the cost of narrative flow This is also a level of mocking scrutiny that he fails to apply t [...]


  17. Although the author is one of the first which focuses on the history of the Late Roman Empire and does so with great insight, his approach on the history of the Byzantine Empire is deeply biased and therefore not suited for the specialist or the history buff who would like to learn about this period and this state He regards the Byzantine Empire as a creation of the malevolent, cowardly and effeminate Greeks who perverted the values promoted by the Roman Empire He misses completely to acknowled [...]


  18. My goal is to read 100 books this year I thought about calling it halfway through this book and getting a new hobby But I stopped, took stock and a deep breath, and finished it I m glad I did This book is dense yet rewarding The subject is interesting and Gibbon is a master story teller All my heroes have read The Decline and Fall Truman, Churchill, Richard Russell notwithstanding his civil rights stance and I m going to read it too I can t give it anything less than 5 stars because it s Gibbon [...]


  19. He spent far too much time on the development of the Arian Heresy and what happened to Athanasius for my taste Yeah, it s important for the empire, but not as important as he thinks And before starting these, I never realized how much Gibbon associated the history of Christianity with the Roman Empire They are intertwined, but we spent half the book on the Arian Heresy and Athanasius More time was spent on them than any of the barbarian wars at the edge of the empire, than on the wars with Persi [...]


  20. Never thought I would ever be interested in the late Roman Empire The usual absolute brilliance of language sustained over thousands of pages now I am totally hooked and already well into volume III after finishing volume II earlier today Interesting character that Julian the Apostate Gibbon seems to be single mindedly focused on saving his reputation after centuries of defamation at the hands of Christians How times change Only a couple of generations or so earlier these Christians were hunted [...]


  21. In this second volume of Gibbon s classic, we see the fracturing of Rome beginning with the clash of Christian and Pagan factions and their influence on the sheer lunacy of Constantine and his even unstable progeny Taking us right to the beginnings of border skirmishes with factions in Africa as well as with the Goths in the north, Gibbon illuminates in great detail the personal and professional successes and shortcomings of Rome s leaders This Everyman edition is beautiful and very reasonably [...]


  22. A long and arduous read, but I still think its interesting In this book, the Roman Empire makes a transition to not being the true Western Roman Empire, and focused mainly on the eastern half, because the western half was no longer I think that the end of western half of the empire was technically the end of the Roman Empire Make your arguments and cast your bids on the Eastern half, but the Eastern half became the Byzantines after a while I do not believe that Justinian could be considered a tr [...]


  23. Another thousand pages from the end of the 4th century to the early 7th The comparisons between Roman decline with its Patrician classes willing to let the country go to the dogs whilst taking every opportunity to enrich themselves and secure placement, as the edifice crumbles around them and our own era are too delicious to ignore I particularly enjoy Gibbon s scorn he s an 18th century man through and through.


  24. Another 800 years of human greatness and human folly, reason and superstition There is no doubt that this is one of the true classics both of Western History and Literature I should have read it 40 years ago, but I probably would not have appreciated or understood Gibbon at that point in my life Now it is at the top of my list.


  25. The obscure millions of a great empire have much less to dread from the cruelty than from the avarice of their masters, and their humble happiness is principally affected by the grievance of excessive taxes, which, gently pressing on the wealthy, descend with accelerated weight on the meaner and indigent classes of society.


  26. 2016 Book 25 35 More great info In this volume, he used notwithstanding a lot less, and decided to go to town on the word specious I wouldn t call it fun, but the book is kind of fun I just like reading listening to it, even if the info is again randomly organized It hasn t gotten completely dull yet, so it s on to volume number three.


  27. WOW finished it at last It was a chore to get through but there is one to go and I have to wait awhile to tackle it In the meantime I will read another book , one with a bit less killing in it Thanks



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