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

  • Title: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II
  • Author: Edward Gibbon
  • ISBN: 9780140433944
  • Page: 153
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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.

    One thought on “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 se [...]

    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 We [...]

    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 [...]

    4. Works of undisputed genius want personal reflection more 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 [...]

    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 i [...]

    6. Al terminar de leer este libro surge la sensación de haber pasado por una excitante aventura, que finalmente Gibbon termina de escribir en 1787, luego de casi 20 años de trabajo como él modestamente indica en su epílogo, donde prácticamente da una extensa vista panorámica a la cultura de occidente y la de oriente, con la perspectiva de los mogoles, un Islam en sus etapas tempranas y la formación de la cultura europea a partir de los restos de la conocida ciudad de Constantino, Constantino [...]

    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 [...]

    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 [...]

    9. Be warned: the writing style and rhythm is tedious. This is after all, a 200 plus year old book.Furthermore, 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 [...]

    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 decid [...]

    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 ju [...]

    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 more 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, [...]

    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 [...]

    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 Ce [...]

    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 ho [...]

    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 [...]

    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 more 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 ack [...]

    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 i [...]

    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 P [...]

    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 h [...]

    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 more 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 reaso [...]

    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 [...]

    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 more 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 more 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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