Paul's Reviews > The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
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May 26, 13

bookshelves: history-will-teach-us-nothing, to_reread
Recommended for: fans of perfect English prose

Well, it's not actually the last word on the Empire. Gibbon hated the Byzantines, thought they were appallingly religious and ineluctably corrupt. So he didn't have a good word to say on the Eastern Empire which lasted 1000 years after the fall of the Western Empire. Modern historians have rehabilitated the Byzantines to a great extent.

You have to give it up for Mr Gibbon and his grossly distended testicles - he smuggled into the universities and libraries of the west a most refreshingly undermined version of Christianity. I hold him partially responsible for the inside-out version of religion you see in the modern Church of England (aka Anglicans, aka Episcopalians). All the supernatural has been bled right out of the thing. They are not Byzantines any more.

I only read vols 1-3 but intend to finish the whole thing one day. Hey, half of Gibbon is still twice as long as anyone else!
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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midnightfaerie lol! love ur imagry! this got added to my to-read list this year, and i've finally picked up a copy...i want to finish most of shakespeare, dickens, austen, and ayn rand before i dive into this and also another i want to read, in search of lost time by proust. this book/set is a lifetime achievement for anyone to read. congrats on getting thru the first 3 volumes.


Paul if you get through even half of your reading list in the next 5 years you should get a medal!


midnightfaerie lol! *grin* maybe i'll make myself one...i was already ambitious and said i'd read thru dickens and shakespeare this year, not having a clue as to how much they both wrote! holy cow! i'll get there tho...they're all sitting on my shelf, lovingly arranged and rearranged calling to me...


message 4: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Schirmer A great PB economical review. I've held off on Gibbon for too long. My Russian prof--a Brit--kept this in his bathroom. I love Byzantium, but am tired of Christians. But the examples of Gibbon's prose I've seen are enticing...


Paul His prose is the uttermost of exquisite. Persons who have zero interest in Rome have read Gibbon with delight.


message 6: by Jan (new)

Jan Rice Food for thought!


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