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Decline and fall of the Roman Empire (3 vol set) Paperback – September 15, 1972


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Pocket (September 15, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671487523
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671487522
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 4.2 x 3.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,355,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Gibbon] stood on the summit of the Renaissance achievement and looked back over the waste of history to ancient Rome, as from one mountain top to another.”—Christopher Dawson


From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

15 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Customer Reviews

The full unabridged version is worth the money.
Larry B
If you can handle the antiquated style, the book will be a pleasure to read.
Jeff W Traylor
Not that there's anything wrong with this approach.
Agent Cooper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jeff W Traylor on June 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While the text is exhaustive and interesting, the language and phraseology can be difficult for the modern reader. This work was written over 230 years ago and can be challenging at times. The vocabulary can leave you lost and wondering if you are missing something. But Gibbon is a gifted story teller which keeps the book interesting and brings to life numerous ancient characters. This is not a book for the faint of heart, but it is a MUST for anyone seriously interested in Roman history. If you can handle the antiquated style, the book will be a pleasure to read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John P on April 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A classic book that shows how US is going down same path. Gibbons did not plan it when wrote 240 yrs ago. it was history of Rome
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on October 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gibbon must be taken in the context of his time - his writing style, his prejudices, and his occasional lapse into sermonizing. His style is to say in 30-words what others would say in less than 10. His prejudices are many but one that seems to permeate most is the over-emphasis on the western empire at the expense of the east. It is as if the eastern empire did not survive another millennia after the fall of the west. But given difficult reading and language constructs and the slanted views, a greater work on the subject of the western empire probably does not exist. It is an essential though somewhat distasteful standard for anyone interested in Roman history. As yet, there is nothing comparable in scope for the western empire. For a balanced and more readable coverage of the east, I would highly recommend supplementing with the works of John Julius Norwich such as the three part history beginning with Byzantium: The Early Centuries. In addition, it would be good to supplement your study with Caesar and Christ: A History of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from Their Beginnings to A.D. 325 (Story of Civilization, No 3).
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47 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on July 23, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This essential read's only drawback is the introduction and perhaps the aim of the abridgement. Gibbon wrote his masterpiece in the 18th century at the time of the American revolution. Clearly influenced by the ideals of the time, by the experiment of mass democracy in republican form, not tried since Rome and by new ideas of economics set out by Adam Smith as well as the ideals of the enlightenment, Gibbon penned his classic volumes on the fall of the Roman Empire. Previous abridgements focused on the destruction of the western empire, this one follows the volumes through to the rise of the Church and the fall of the eastern empire. Amazing sketches are given not only of the barbarian tribes of Europe but also of the Parthians, Ehtiopians, the old churches of Nestorians, diophysites and Monophsysites the Copts and of course the religion of Islam. What is most fascinating here is the level of enlightenment of the author and exposes the lies that many in the west were taught, namely that t he west is intolerant and racist. In fact Gibbon shows us through his beautiful language that perhaps not only were people more intelligent and insightful in 1776 but in his treatise on the rise of Islam and the life of Mohommed we get perhaps a more insightful and tolerant but critical view then most will get today in an entire program of Islamic studies. This illuminates two lies, first the lie that the west was narrow minded and self centered and ignorant until just recently when we embraced `diversity' and secondly that the modern view of Islam is not only not revolutionary, but that it is not modern.Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Newton Ooi on April 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
For the history buff, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is probably one of the greatest written work. Published as an anthology during the late 1700's, the sum total comes to several thousand pages. Alas, this is too long for the modern reader so numerous editors & publishers have generated abridged versions that cater to different readers. This version was published in the 1960's, and focuses on the Western Roman Empire in the period from Augustus Caeser to the mid 1st millenium.

The book's text unfolds in chronological order, and tells the history in a top-down fashion; events unfold as the consequences of actions by men in important positions, such as generals, emperors and senators. Hence, this book is a great example of the Big-Men version of history. There is little mention of economics, migration patterns, demographic changes, resource consumption, and anything else that can be measured using statistics.

Being published in the 1960s, the text of the book is somewhat awkward, though it is still highly readable. The vocabulary is simple enough, and the author/editor has left out all mention of Latin, and kept quotes to a minimum. Therefore, the book should be readable by any US high school graduate. The chapters themselves are short, about 10 - 15 pages each, making them digestible in 30-minute chunks. All told, a great book and great history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert L Caruthers on May 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After looking at many publishings of this work, this version was most affordable. Also came in orignal 3 volume format.
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