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

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume III Edward Gibbon s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire compresses thirteen turbulent centuries into an epic narrative shot through with insight irony and incisive character analysis Sceptical about Chr

Edward Gibbon s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire compresses thirteen turbulent centuries into an epic narrative shot through with insight, irony and incisive character analysis Sceptical about Christianity, sympathetic to the barbarian invaders and the Byzantine Empire, constantly aware of how political leaders often achieve the exact opposite of what they intend, GibEdward Gibbon s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire compresses thirteen turbulent centuries into an epic narrative shot through with insight, irony and incisive character analysis Sceptical about Christianity, sympathetic to the barbarian invaders and the Byzantine Empire, constantly aware of how political leaders often achieve the exact opposite of what they intend, Gibbon was both alert to the broad pattern of events and significant revealing details.

  • ✓ The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume III À Edward Gibbon
    236 Edward Gibbon
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume III

  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.

198 Reply to “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume III”

  1. Volumes V and VI include probably the most interesting period for my taste, while also including the worst individual chapter and even unnecessary Byzantine bashing Constantinople s decline is almost coeval with her foundation and even clearer bias on Gibbon s side It s fascinating to read someone so blithely unaware of the inconsistencies in his own beliefs, and so happily accepting of the superiority of his own class You know who should control everything, Gibbon asks The most wealthy merchan [...]

  2. As this is my fourth review of Gibbon, and as I am not as inexhaustible as that great man, this review will be somewhat scatterbrained just a few casual observations and some final reflections.First, it occurred to me, after reading Gibbon s memoirs, that one of the largest influences on his writing must have been Homer Notice that Gibbon systematically reuses and repeats certain key phrases and words in the same situations, just as Homer reused the same formulas through his poems For example, G [...]

  3. Ok I m onto volume III and starting to shake because it s coming to the end By now I am a complete addict, just a few thousand pages in What can I do when I get to the last page Is there a centre that treats people for Edward Gibbon withdrawal It is a great shame that the Roman empire collapsed so quickly after a mere 1500 years of analysis because Gibbon could have just kept going.If you find yourself in prison, on a slow train or on a desert island take all three with you The only downside is [...]

  4. The finale volume of Modern Library s three volume reprint of Edward Gibbon s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire covers chapters 49 through 71 of the author s vast magnum opus Beginning with the Iconoclast controversy in correlation with rise of the Vatican and Holy Roman Empire in the 8th century and ending with a description of the causes and progression of the decay of the city of Roman in the 15th century, Gibbon relates in detail the political, martial, social, and theological develop [...]

  5. Upon completing this 3rd Volume, I now stand at the halfway point of Gibbon s 6 Volume masterpiece From this vantage point, it s the late 5th Century, Attila the Hun has invaded, pillaged and conquered the Eastern Empire, and the last Emperor of the crumbling Western Empire, Romulus Augustulus, has made way for Odoacer, the first Barbarian King of Italy.I grow fascinated, as I continue this long and detailed history, with just how much material Gibbon imbibed in order to organize and write this [...]

  6. In my Victorian edition, this third volume stretches from the fall of Rome itself to the conquests of the Islamic empire under the first caliphs and the early Umayyads In other words, the original Book IV and first few chapters of Book V I don t know if it s just me getting used to his style, or maybe reflects a difference in his sources, but it seems to me that in this volume Gibbon is looser, vivid, willing to tell stories there is plenty of excitement and fun here.The first 2 3rds or so is [...]

  7. Quite the masterpiece but very, very long and the language is both archaic and complicated, so a fair effort is required This is, however, repaid as this complete Historian covers all the angles So, his account of the end of the Roman Empire includes the fate of the Eastern Empire based at Constantinople and this, in turn, includes the rise of Islam, the Crusades, the Mongols and the viccissitudes within the Islamic states A pleasant surprise is his modern mind Gibbon s critiques of religion are [...]

  8. Chapter XLVIII Plan of last two volumes, and later Byzantine emperorsChapter XLIX Iconoclasm, Charlemagne and the Holy Roman EmpireChapter L MahometChapter LI the successors of Mahomet Chapter LII The limits of the early caliphateChapter LIII The Byzantine Empire in the Tenth CenturyChapter LIV The Paulicians and the ReformationChapter LV The Bulgarians, the Hungarians and the RussiansChapter LVI Italy and the NormansChapter LVII The TurksChapter LVIII The First CrusadeChapter LIX The Later Crus [...]

  9. The so called Age of Reason, is long over, but the ruling class never fully lost the mindset of this time Then again, the Age of Reason ushered in the philosophy of the ruling class Christianity had already destroyed the notion that strength alone should determine who should rule But the Enlightenment idea that man was the maker and organizer of society rather than God created the intellectual justification for meritocracy, and basis for every bourgeois state, from liberal democracies to communi [...]

  10. Magnificent, majestic, and monumental I m actually pretty sad that I m now done with the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire because I m certain that few books will remotely compare Seriously, don t go through life without reading these books, there s so many salient lessons to be learned and applied to our day and age I think my favorite parts in Volumes Five and Six were the sections covering Genghis Khan the Golden Horde the Muslim conquests of North Africa and Western Asia an [...]

  11. If you were taught by your school histories that Rome fell, a dark age descended on Europe, and then the Renaissance happened, you may appreciate this book It s an awesome tour of an era full of drama, and populated by some of history s greatest figures A lot of life happened in those dark ages.Despite its title, this book contains the concluding two volumes of Gibbon s six volume work, and has some of the historian s best chapters Volume 5 starts with the rise of Islam, the conquests of the Ara [...]

  12. Reading this baby, even if you just go to what you are interested using the index, it is a real challenge Or maybe XVIII century writers are not my thing.Anyway the chapter on Christian mythology is still interesting.

  13. Still enjoying the prose and the odd relevance to current events Gibbon is enlightened, even, and optimistic and it makes for wonderful narration A long period of calamity or decay must have checked the industry, and diminished the wealth, of the people and their profuse luxury must have been the result of that indolent despair, which enjoys the present hour, and declines the thoughts of futurity The uncertain condition of their property discouraged the subjects of Theodosius from engaging in th [...]

  14. 1776 50 denarius 3 6000 Augustus 1 95% 3 0.5% 300 5 300 40 30 100 300 200 Trajan Caracalla 50% Claudius 1 3 5 denarii 2 Commodus 5.7 denarii denarii 2 0.3

  15. Gibbon summarizes briefly near the end of Volume III the period covered in the first three volumes of his history the five centuries from the fortunate age of Trajan to the total extinction of the Roman Empire in the West We are left with Vandals and Moors in North Africa, Saxons struggling with natives in Britain, mercenaries in Italy as far as the Danube The German nations replaced the Roman government while the Eastern Constantinople s feeble princes continued to reign in the East faintly rep [...]

  16. Despite being the third volume in Gibbon s epic history of the Roman Empire, he is still able to bring the same freshness and engagement from his first two volumes Keeping his honest analysis of the impact of each emperor in the overall health of the empire, he is able to convey the impacts of the division of the Empire into its western and eastern branch By focusing on the increasingly important role of the Gothic, Vandal and Gallic tribes in the last decades of the Empire, he is able to give a [...]

  17. While I was reading the book, my main interest was the fall of the western half of the roman empire, which declined around the 5th and 6th centuries, which ended about half way through the second volume The last half of the second volume and third volume was concerned with the Eastern roman empire until the fall of the Constantinople to Mohammed the Second After the Western Roman Empire fell the first time, there was no true roman empire, although you can say that Charlemagne reincarnated the we [...]

  18. Gibbon continues to impress me with his very manifest use and criticism of his sources The writing is relatively easy, though at times discursive and, in keeping with the time in which it was written, assumes in the reader a certain immersion in neo classical knowledge and thought His history contains a degree of drama, but one must be patient enough to wait for it On a technical note, the maps in all these books are almost useless I m not sure if they are the ones from the original run of the b [...]

  19. I read the abridged Vols 1 and 2 but decided to switch over to the unabridged for Vol 3 Not having read 4 6 yet, I would suppose that this volume is the most important as a stand alone book, in that it addresses arguably the most crucial aspects of the Decline and Fall the final triumph of Christianity the conflict with the Arians the loss of Africa both sacks of Rome, and finally the loss of the Rome and the Western Roman Empire entirely Gibbon s language is elqouent, imaginative and at times q [...]

  20. Oh yes, the first half is done and the sun has set on the Western Roman Empire It became a bit tiresome with bucket loads of minor emperors in quick succession, the usual way in which most empires end general disorganisation and uncertainty and, of course, the barbarians doing what barbarians do best, chipping at the foundations Senators and the elite busy sorting their own problems out instead doing their duties, personal vendettas, dishonored wives etc At the end you just feel relieved that it [...]

  21. 2016 Book 26 35 Continuing with the fascinating information, this book, because of the time period covered, brought in lots of interesting stuff on the world outside of the empire I m interested in this stuff because it s about the fall I continue to see many parallels to the world today Kind of scary.

  22. Christians, mostly persecution of them by pagans and of each other A bit of a slog at times, I guess I m not that interested in the details of the Nicene creed c.f Arianism But some good turns of phrase.

  23. Volume 3 of Gibbon s series is jam packed At times, the flow of characters and timeframes becomes somewhat disorienting It is however a comprehensive, although historically slanted, account of this period Somewhat challenging as a sustained read.

  24. Good, though dated, analysis of the Roman Empire that addresses all aspects over the centuries A somewhat dry read.

  25. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is one of the greatest works of history and literature in the Westrn canon.

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