The History Book Club discussion

138 views
ROMAN EMPIRE -THE HISTORY... > THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE VOLUME I ~ SYLLABUS

Comments (showing 1-33 of 33) (33 new)    post a comment »
dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 11, 2009 10:21PM) (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments Everyone,

When we complete The First World War by Keegan:

The First World WarJohn Keegan

we will be moving on to our next spotlighted book which is The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume I - Penguin Classics Edition - Unabridged.

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1 Edward Gibbon

However, we are only doing the first volume of the six volume work. We will be doing what Gibbon called Volume the First - 1776. We will be doing the volume that was published first in 1776.

This volume contains sixteen chapters:

The Antonines

1. The Age
2. Prosperity
3. Constitution
4. AD 180-193
5. AD 193-197
6. AD 208-235
7. AD 235-248
8. Persia
9. Germany
10.AD 248-260
11.AD 268-275
12.AD 275-285
13.AD 285-313
14.AD 305-324

Christianity
15. Progress
16. Official Reaction

WHY AM I PUTTING THIS NOTICE UP SO EARLY?

a) There appears to be a lot of confusion regarding the various abridgements, unabridgements and the like that are floating around. Some of these are frankly very expensive. If you are fortunate enough to have an old six volume set that you have inherited from your family or you acquired in a second hand book store you are mighty fortunate.

b) We are not going to use any abridged version. That defeats the purpose of what we are trying to accomplish. We are completing only Volume the First out of Six - the first sixteen chapters which make up Volume the First. Even by simply only covering this Volume the First published in 1776 - that amounts to approximately 582 pages including the Preface, Introduction and the like.

c) Do not become confused and obtain an abridged version. Therefore, I am posting early the edition that we will be using here.

It is published by Penguin Classics - On the front cover is a detail of a battle scene from a Roman sarcophagus, called the Ludovisi sarcophagus (3rd century AD), in the Museo Nazionale Palazza Altemps, Rome

It states also on the front cover - Penguin Classics on a white banner background with the battle scene in the foreground. The title is at the bottom with the author's name in orange type - Edward Gibbon and below that the title as follows: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume 1 - This is deceiving because this is really an unabridged volume which contains actually Volume the First published in 1776 and Volume the Second published in 1781.

The spine reads Gibbon in orange type followed by the title The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume I - Penguin Classics

It is edited by David Womersley.

I got my copy "finally" at Borders for $24.95. Do not be confused and buy the cheaper version which is abridged and costs $16.00. Believe me it is easy to get confused because if you view these on line...many of them are deceptive and do not readily tell you that they are abridged (you do not want these).

The ISBN number of the volume you want is the following:

ISBN 9780140433937

Here is the write-up:

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/Bo...



message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments ABOUT VOLUME I - THE FIRST:

VOLUME I

It was at Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amid the ruins of the capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind,' recorded Edward Gibbon with characteristic exactitude. Over a period of some twenty years, the luminous eighteenth-century historian--a precise, dapper, idiosyncratic little gentleman famous for rapping his snuff-box--devoted his considerable genius to writing an epic chronicle of the entire Roman Empire's decline. His single flash of inspiration produced what is arguably the greatest historical work in any language--and surely the most magnificent narrative history ever written in English. 'Gibbon is one of those few who hold as high a place in the history of literature as in the roll of great historians,' noted Professor J.B. Bury, his most celebrated editor.

http://infao5501.ag5.mpi-sb.mpg.de:80...


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 11, 2009 10:51PM) (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments In the Penguin Classics editions; it appears in their Volume I, they have Volume the First (1776) and Volume the Second (1781).

This Edition is called Volume I and the ISBN number is ISBN 9780140433937

Here is the edition:

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1 Edward Gibbon

The next two volumes Volume the Third and Volume the Fourth are in the Volume 2 Penguin Classic Editon: (we will not be reading this segment as a book club discussion this time); but here is the link -

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire  Vol. 2 Edward Gibbon

The last two volumes Volume the Fifth and Volume the Sixth are in the Volume 3 Penguin Classic Edition (we will not be reading this segment as a book club discussion this time); but here is the link -

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire  Vol 3 Edward Gibbon

The cover on the one I saw is not the above but the ISBN number is the same: here is the link from Penguin (it has the same cover as the other two but it has Volume 3 on its spine, it is the same price $24.95):

http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/Bo...


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 11, 2009 11:02PM) (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments You can also acquire the text free (and audio), here are some of the links:

PROJECT GUTENBERG:

http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/autho...

THE ONLINE LIBRARY OF LIBERTY (THE ONE EDITED BY John Bagnell Bury - very well respected)

http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?...

CHRISTIAN CLASSICS:

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/gibbon/decli...

LIBRIVOX - AUDIO:

http://librivox.org/newcatalog/search...


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 11, 2009 11:49PM) (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments This Volume (Volume the First only) will take us sixteen weeks. The chapters are dense. I would rather cover less, cover it well and not lose anybody along the way. We will only cover one chapter per week.

If you ever wanted to begin reading Gibbon, this is your chance.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Dec 12, 2009 12:05AM) (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments The start date for this book discussion will be May 10th, 2010.

Start:
May 10th

End:
August 29th


We will have two weeks off before we begin the next book on September 13th.


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Thanks, Bentley, for the heads up and warnings about getting the right book. It is nice to know far enough ahead of time that I can get the book without a rush. I'm excited to read Gibbon.


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments It should be good..as a group for this stint we are only reading Volume the First (1776)


'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I've considered buying "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" for sometime now, this may be the stimulus I need to do so.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments Well we hope you do.


Andrea | 129 comments I'm looking forward to the read, as I'm taking some time off to deal with teaching right now, so I appreciate the information about the edition. It did seem rather confusing at first, but ISBN is very helpful.


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments You are very welcome Andrea and we look forward to having you. I am glad the ISBN helped because I could myself see that there would be confusion with how the current editions are edited and published.


Lori I'm really excited about finally tackling this book. I can't tell you how many times I've carried it around Borders with me, but ultimately decided to not buy it. I even had a debate about whether the abridged version would be just as worthwhile as the unabridged. At any rate, thank you everyone who chose this book.


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments Yes, it was chosen quite awhile ago and it took a long time to get to it; but we are finally here. We are reading Volume I only right now and we are of course not reading the abridged. You are welcome..Gibbon is going to be quite the undertaking.


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "I've considered buying "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" for sometime now, this may be the stimulus I need to do so. "

Well if you do I can send you another invitation because you declined the other one for this offering. You will not get a reminder otherwise..so let me know.


'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I haven't decided yet Bentley, as soon as I do I will let you know ASAP.


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments No problem..just wanted to let you know that I saw your note here.


'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Soooo many books Bentley and so little time in the day!


Angie (anrich02) | 31 comments I am going to have to look up my copy of Gibbon's work. No, its not a Penguin copy, but it will have to do.


message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments That is great Angie. I am sure it will work fine.


message 21: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Master of Rome Series (new)

Vicki Cline | 1400 comments The copy I have is an abridged version, but I printed out the missing chapters (from Gutenberg) when I read it the first time. I am very interested in rereading the first volume and seeing what you all have to say.


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments That should work Vicki.

We are glad to have you.


message 23: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Master of Rome Series (new)

Vicki Cline | 1400 comments How do these discussions work? Do we all get into this thread and post comments?


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments Hi Vicki..the best thing to do is to read the guidelines, the orientation, etc. And then just make sure that your post has something to do with the thread itself.

When you post if you cite a book or author, you must provide the book cover, the author's link and photo if available so that the goodreads software is able to populate the site.


Elizabeth S (esorenson) | 2063 comments Vicki wrote: "How do these discussions work? Do we all get into this thread and post comments?"

Vicki,
If you were asking specifically about discussing Gibbon's book, the official group read and discussion won't start until May 10. Usually the syllabus thread is where Bentley posts information about what edition most people will be using, the table of contents, and, as the time gets closer, the schedule for what chapters/pages will be discussed each week. Once May 10th comes around, there will be threads each week in the "Spotlighted Topics" folder covering discussions about each week's reading in the Gibbons book. (Similar to how things are organized for the current spotlighted read, The First World War.)

Since Gibbon's book covers such a broad topic (Rome), Bentley also has a folder of threads dedicated to "Roman Empire -- The History" here:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_...

The first message in the "GETTING ACQUAINTED -THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE" thread (here) will explain the purpose of that folder. Those threads would be a good place to discuss and share your knowledge of the Roman Empire while waiting for May 10.


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to give a fuller and I must say better explanation than I had the time and the technology to do while out of the country. Well done.


message 27: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Master of Rome Series (new)

Vicki Cline | 1400 comments Bentley wrote: "Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to give a fuller and I must say better explanation than I had the time and the technology to do while out of the country. Well done."

Yes, thanks from me too, Elizabeth. As a newbie I appreciate all the help I can get. I'm checking out the threads you mentioned. Can't wait for May 10.


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments We will be glad to have you with us Vicki.


Robert | 29 comments Bentley wrote: "Everyone,

When we complete The First World War by Keegan:

The First World WarJohn Keegan

we will be moving on to our next spotlighted book which is The History of ..."



Robert | 29 comments Bentley,

I've gone to Borders and found the Penguin Books copy (Volume I) with the right ISBN number @ $24.95; however, the book cover is different and the book is 1232 pages. Am I doing something wrong or is this copy the one I should order?

Robert


message 31: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments You should be alright...the page numbering is the same (we are only doing the first volume). Not sure why you have a different cover:

In the Penguin Classics editions; it appears in their Volume I, they have Volume the First (1776) and Volume the Second (1781).

This Edition is called Volume I and the ISBN number is ISBN 9780140433937 - It should be unabridged. The price is the same.


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments All,

For those of you trying to plan out your reading for Volume I - The reading takes place over 16 weeks - there are 16 chapters - a chapter a week.

Plus a segment of the introduction which is lengthy. I will divide up the introduction in terms of the 16 weeks so we do not lose momentum at the beginning.

My advice is to begin reading Chapter One for the first week's reading which in my edition begins on page 31 and ends on page 55. (24 pages)

For the introduction - read at least pages xi to xxii (11 pages).

That should put you in great shape and you should be ahead of the game by planning to read a chapter a week and 10 - 15 pages of the introduction a week.

I have the Penguin Classics Edition as noted above. We will only be doing Volume I.

Bentley


message 33: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited May 06, 2010 11:40PM) (new)

Bentley | 22981 comments This is the syllabus for The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire which will be kicked off on May 10th.

Bentley has kindly put this together for the group.

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Volume I

Note: We are only doing Volume The First

SYLLABUS:

Table of Contents

Introduction xi - cvi
A Note on the Text – cvii – cviii
Acknowledgements – cix
Selected Further Readings – cx – cxi
Chronology – cxii –cxiii
Preface – 1 – 4
Advertisement 5

TOC – First Volume

ONE: The Extent and Military Force of the Empire, in the Age of the Antonines p. 31

TWO: Of the Union and Internal Prosperity of the Roman Empire in the Age of the Antonines p. 56

THREE: Of the Constitution of the Roman Empire in the Age of the Antonines p. 85

FOUR: The Cruelty, Follies, and Murder of Commodus – Election of Pertinax – His Attempts to reform the State. – His Assassination by the Pretorian Guards. p. 108

FIVE: Public Sale of the Empire to Didius Julianus by the Praetorian Guards. – Clodius Albinus in Britain, Pescennius Niger in Syria, and Septimius Severus in Pannonia, declare against the Murderers of Pertinax. – Civil Wars and Victory of Severus over his three Rivals. – Relaxation of Discipline, - New Maxims of Government. p. 127

SIX: The Death of Severus. – Tyranny of Caracellaa. – Usurpation of Macrinus. – Follies of Elagabulus. – Virtues of Alexander Severus. – Licentiousness of the Army. – General State of the Roman Finances. – p. 149

SEVEN: The Elevation and Tyranny of Maximin. – Rebellion in Africa and Italy, under the Authority of the Senate. – Civil Wars and Seditions. – Violent Deaths of Maximin and his Son, of Maximus and Balbinus, and of the three Gordians. – surpation and secular Games of Philip. p. 187

EIGHT: Of the State of Persia after the Restoration of the Monarchy of Artaxerxes p. 213

NINE: The State of Germany till the Invasion of the Barbarians, in the Time of the Emperor Decius. p. 230

TEN: The Emperor Decius, Gallus, Aemilianus, Valerian, and Gallienus. – The general Irruption of the Barbarians, - The thirty Tyrants. p. 253

ELEVEN: Reign of Claudius. – Defeat of the Goths. – Victories, Triumph, and Death of Aurelian. p. 295

TWELVE: Conduct of the Army and Senate after the Death of Aurelian. – Reigns of Tacitus, Probus, Carus, and his Sons. P. 327

THIRTEEN: The Reign of Diocletian and his three Associates, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius, - General Re-establishment of Order and Tranquility. – The Persian War, Victory and Triumph. – The New Form of Administration. – Abdication and Retirement of Diocletian and Maximian. p. 358

FOURTEEN: Troubles after the Abdication of Diocletian. – Death of Constantius. – Elevation of Constantine and Maxentius. – Six Emperors at the Same Time. – Death of Maximian and Galerius. – Victories of Constantine over Maxentius and Licinius. – Re-union of the Empire under the Authority of Constantine. p. 400

FIFTEEN: The Progress of the Christian Religion, and the Sentiments, Manners, Numbers, and Condition of the primitive Christians. p. 446

SIXTEEN: The Conduct of the Roman Government towards the Christians, from the Reign of Nero to that of Constantine. p. 514


Appendix I – 1084 - 1105

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1 Edward GibbonEdward Gibbon


back to top