History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III cover

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III

Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

1. The Decline and Fall [Section 01]
2. The Decline and Fall [Section 02]
3. The Decline and Fall [Section 03]
4. The Decline and Fall [Section 04]
5. The Decline and Fall [Section 05]
6. The Decline and Fall [Section 06]
7. The Decline and Fall [Section 07]
8. The Decline and Fall [Section 08]
9. The Decline and Fall [Section 09]
10. The Decline and Fall [Section 10]
11. The Decline and Fall [Section 11]
12. The Decline and Fall [Section 12]
13. The Decline and Fall [Section 13]
14. The Decline and Fall [Section 14]
15. The Decline and Fall [Section 15]
16. The Decline and Fall [Section 16]
17. The Decline and Fall [Section 17]
18. The Decline and Fall [Section 18]
19. The Decline and Fall [Section 19]
20. The Decline and Fall [Section 20]
21. The Decline and Fall [Section 21]
22. The Decline and Fall [Section 22]
23. The Decline and Fall [Section 23]
24. The Decline and Fall [Section 24]
25. The Decline and Fall [Section 25]
26. The Decline and Fall [Section 26]
27. The Decline and Fall [Section 27]
28. The Decline and Fall [Section 28]
29. The Decline and Fall [Section 29]
30. The Decline and Fall [Section 30]
31. The Decline and Fall [Section 31]
32. The Decline and Fall [Section 32]
33. The Decline and Fall [Section 33]
34. The Decline and Fall [Section 34]
35. The Decline and Fall [Section 35]
36. The Decline and Fall [Section 36]
37. The Decline and Fall [Section 37]
38. The Decline and Fall [Section 38]
39. The Decline and Fall [Section 39]
40. The Decline and Fall [Section 40]
41. The Decline and Fall [Section 41]
42. The Decline and Fall [Section 42]
43. The Decline and Fall [Section 43]
44. The Decline and Fall [Section 44]
45. The Decline and Fall [Section 45]
46. The Decline and Fall [Section 46]
47. The Decline and Fall [Section 47]
48. The Decline and Fall [Section 48]

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Summary

Spanning a period of nearly 1500 years, this monumental work of history tracks the orbit of one of the greatest Empires of all time. The sheer scale and sweep of the narrative is breathtaking in its ambitious scope and brings to vivid life the collapse of a magnificent military, political and administrative structure. Proceeding at a brisk pace, the original fourteen volumes describe debauched emperors, corrupt practices, usurpers and murderers, bloody battles, plunder and loot, barbarian hordes, tumultuous events like the Crusades and invaders like Genghis Khan and many more. Later, it was condensed by various editors to make it available to more readers. Much of it seems like a modern battle epic or a gory scary movie with endless passages depicting power struggles, blood-drenched paths to the throne, ruthless killing of innocent women and children and the final disappearance of a mighty empire. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was written by an English historian who was inspired to write it when he undertook the Grand Tour and visited Rome as a young man in 1762. The book eventually took more than 20 years to complete and was received with both bouquets and brickbats. The Church banned it quite a few times as it was considered to have blasphemous passages about the Church. Gibbon was attacked by many devout Christians as a “paganist.” Setting the starting point with the Emperor Augustus in 27 BC, Gibbon pursues the Romans relentlessly on to their final defeat in Constantinople in the 15th Century AD with the rise of the Turkish Ottomans. Stretching across North Africa, Europe and the Middle East as well as some parts of modern-day Asia, the Roman Empire was a tremendous human enterprise. Successively added to by emperor after emperor, it finally disintegrated and ceased being the “empire without end.” Gibbon initially planned to write a history of the city of Rome but found himself so immersed in the subject that it gradually grew into a work about the empire itself. He provides interesting theories for the collapse of the Empire. The rise of Christianity, Islam and the attacks of various wild and brutal hordes contributed to the fall of this mighty Colossus. Far from being dry and scholarly, Gibbon's style is detached yet lyrical. Full of ironic statements and opinions, the book appeals to historians and modern-day readers. There are interesting parallels to be drawn from present day world affairs and many lessons to be learned from this magnum opus.