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ROMAN EMPIRE -THE HISTORY... > 15. THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE ~ CHAPTER 15 (446 - 513) (08/16/10 - 08/22/10) ~ No spoilers, please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

This begins the fifteenth week's reading in our new Spotlighted group discussion.

The complete table of contents is as follows:


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

Edward Gibbon

Note: This is a group membership selected book.

The assignment for this FIFTEENTH week includes the following segments/pages:

WEEK FIFTEEN: The Progress of the Christian Religion, and the Sentiments, Manners, Numbers, and Condition of the primitive Christians. p. 446 - 513

We look forward to your participation; but remember this is a non spoiler thread.

We will open up threads for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers.

This book was kicked off on May 10th. This will be the FIFTEENTH week's assignment for this book.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library.

A special welcome to those who will be newcomers to this discussion and thank you to those who have actively contributed on the previous Spotlighted book selection. We are glad to have you all.




message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 19, 2010 09:50PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Folks, this is the thread for the current week. Since I have been on vacation since July 28th and this was not a book where I could easily get a back-up, I have waited until I returned to add these last two weeks of threads.

Remember this is a non spoiler thread; however in this thread you can discuss pages 1 through 513 if you like.

However, the pages that specifically refer to this thread are pages 446 to 513 and Chapter 15.

It is nice if you are reading along to place your comments for the specific chapters in their respective threads because folks as they are catching up can benefit from reading them. I am sure that this will be a group of threads which will be referred to by future readers of this volume. We encourage folks to read some of our previous selections and get caught up when they can. Gibbon probably is not for everyone; but this is one of those books which is a "classic" read for many and I would recommend it for anyone studying the Romans. It is however, not a book which can be rushed. A chapter a week is what most folks can handle in a book of this type. And catching up is OK and can be done at your leisure. We look forward to your comments whenever they are posted.

However, at this point for those of you who are caught up, the threads are open and current.

In addition to the non spoiler threads opened for this book which are the weekly threads, there are 13 additional spoiler threads where any comment related to any part of the book which relates to the thread's topic can be discussed. Additionally we have a glossary thread where any topic or url or reference related to the book as a whole can be placed and spoiler discussions can take place.

We keep the non spoiler weekly threads for folks who want to read leisurely and do not want the story line and/or what comes ahead to be spoiled for them.

Here is a link to the glossary thread for those folks who have completed the book (just in case you were not aware of the glossary's purpose and use as a spoiler thread):


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 19, 2010 09:59PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Just think, there are six volumes to this work and we are only doing Volume I at this time. For those of you who are interested in continuing this study through the next Volumes - II through VI. Project Gutenberg has all of them available free on line:

Here is the link:

message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) A little bit off topic but not much. One interesting and unplanned side effect of reading Gibbon for me has been my delving into collecting Roman coins of many of the Emperors we have read about in this volume. To date I have Roman coins from the periods of; Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Septimius Severus (my favourite so far), Aurelian and Diociletian. It has been interesting to read and learn about these men whilst reading Gibbon and then holding a piece of history in your hand from that period.

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
That is interesting Aussie Rick. Where have you been able to acquire such coins?

What makes the Septimius Severus one your favorite coin so far?

I think by doing this side collecting it gives you a connection that you might not have had by just reading Gibbon's prose (which by the way I think he is a master of) whether you agree with his religious opinions or not.

I never thought of doing what you are doing. What a great idea.


message 6: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Hi Bentley, I have located some decent dealers in the US, UK and Australia but I have promised my wife that I won't go crazy collecting coins, I have enough problems with books!

My Septimius Severus silver denarius is a very nice, clean and well defined coin with his bust/profile on one side and a presentation of him on horseback armed to go on campaign, very nice.

I agree with you that these coins give you such a feeling of being connected to history, its great to look at and touch these items knowing the background and history of the period.

message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
You are making me laugh about your poor wife. Books and now coins - smile.

That Septimius Severus coin sounds very nice with the different sides.

Yes, and to know when they originated actually connects you to that specific period of history. Remarkable.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 21, 2010 03:25PM) (new)

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Folks, we will be adding all of these threads to a new folder that will be developed regarding the Roman Empire. So all of you can catch up as you can.

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