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HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE COMPLETE VOLUMES 1 - 6 [Deluxe Annotated & Illustrated Edition] [Kindle Edition]

Edward Gibbon
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE COMPLETE VOLUMES 1 - 6 [Deluxe Annotated & Illustrated Edition] Including Many Colorful Timeline Maps, Illustrations, Photographs, Plus BONUS ENTIRE Audio Narration.

"Enjoy the most thorough & complete edition of this book anywhere to be found worldwide!"

*** Featuring Dynamic Chapter Navigation Linking and Professional Formatting for a Premium Reading Experience.

This edition also includes an illustrated history of BOTH the RISE AND FALL of the Roman Empire from its very beginning. HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE COMPLETE VOLUMES 1 - 6 (sometimes shortened to "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire") is a book of history written by the English historian Edward Gibbon, which traces the trajectory of the Roman Empire—and Western civilization as a whole—from the late first century AD to the fall of the Eastern or Byzantine Empire. Published in six volumes, volume I was published in 1776 and went through six printings. Volumes II and III were published in 1781; volumes IV, V, VI in 1788–89. The original volumes were published in quarto sections, a common publishing practice of the time. The work covers the history of the Roman Empire, Europe, and the Catholic Church from 98 to 1590 and discusses the decline of the Roman Empire in the East and West. Because of its relative objectivity and heavy use of primary sources, at the time its methodology became a model for later historians. This led to Gibbon being called the first "modern historian of ancient Rome".

Gibbon offers an explanation for why the Roman Empire fell, a task made difficult by a lack of comprehensive written sources, though he was not the only historian to tackle the subject.

According to Gibbon, the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions in large part due to the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizens. They had become weak, outsourcing their duties to defend their Empire to barbarian mercenaries, who then became so numerous and ingrained that they were able to take over the Empire. Romans, he believed, had become effeminate, unwilling to live a tougher, "manly" military lifestyle. In addition, Gibbon argued that Christianity created a belief that a better life existed after death, which fostered an indifference to the present among Roman citizens, thus sapping their desire to sacrifice for the Empire. He also believed its comparative pacifism tended to hamper the traditional Roman martial spirit. Finally, like other Enlightenment thinkers, Gibbon held in contempt the Middle Ages as a priest-ridden, superstitious, dark age. It was not until his own age of reason and rational thought, it was believed, that human history could resume its progress.

Gibbon sees the Praetorian Guard as the primary catalyst of the empire's initial decay and eventual collapse, a seed planted by Augustus at the establishment of the empire. He cites repeated examples of the Praetorian Guard abusing their power with calamitous results, including numerous instances of imperial assassination and incessant demands for increased pay.


Edward Gibbon (27 April 1737 – 16 January 1794) was an English historian and Member of Parliament. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. The Decline and Fall is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open criticism of organised religion.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7666 KB
  • Print Length: 4945 pages
  • Publisher: Northpointe Classics (February 15, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BFFY6T0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,868 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gibbon Revealed July 1, 2013
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All my life I have heard this work referred to with reverence, but hardly met anyone who confessed to having read it. Deep into the first volume, I am convinced that the reverence was not misplaced. The scope and richness of detail is wonderful and the notes and commentary by subsequent editors is both enlightening and reassuring.

However, in another sense the reverence over the years has been misleading. It turns out that Gibbon is not only a very learned scholar but also a great writer, easy to read and from time to time quite funny. He also employs a multi-disciplinary approach that strikes me as remarkably sophisticated for someone writing in the 18th Century.

This methodological characteristic serves to amplify one other aspect of Gibbon's work: the currency of much that he reports. What he has to say about the balance of powers of the political class, military elites, and people in the streets sounds remarkably relevant to what I read, much less eloquently expressed, in the daily press.

Back to the future!
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars takes as long to read as it did to happen! April 19, 2013
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this is the second time I have read this amazing history. This time, however, I have read it in tandem with the Cambridge Medieval History and lots of Wikipedia links. The thing that impresses me is how accurate Gibbon was 200 years ago and Bury, even with his updates, 100 years ago. If you want to understand the basis of much of our Constitution (freedom of religion, right to bear arms, right to a speedy trial, etc etc) these are good for thought. Both books also give a longterm perspective that one might otherwise not have regarding governments, and the reasons civilizations collapse, and how we all got to where we are today. Not easy reading, but important for people who really want to know "stuff."
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Work in an Edition That Bridges the Gap October 17, 2013
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This rating and review is focused solely on the Kindle formatting, since Gibbon's work is an unquestionable gem of a classic. I began my journey by obtaining a copy of volume 1 offered for free through Amazon. The free version offered none of the footnotes, so it presented as an uninterrupted, though possibly incomplete, read. When I was ready to move to volume 2, Amazon had been forced to withdraw the free edition due to formatting issues. Forced to choose another edition to continue reading, I selected this one, given a low price and a complete edition of all six volumes. The big difference? This contains all the footnotes, both Gibbon's and those of later editors of Gibbon. Is this beneficial? It depends on what you want. Many are in Latin, which I don't read. Even references to "contemporary" analysts are at least 200 years old. More importantly, the footnotes are not interactive; they present a block of Gibbon's text, followed by the associated notes. This means you cannot experience a continuous read. But it delineates the difference in different editions of the same work at varying price points. Free is good, but stripped of all but the essential text. Economical editions provided full text, but in a manner unsuitable for serious students and researchers. I expect that costlier editions would have searchable, interactive notes. This, of course, is the response to those who claim that public domain items should be free: you get what you pay for.

Still plowing through this (94% complete), but found a couple of oddities a buyer should be aware of. This edition skips Part IV of Chapter LXVIII. This serves to highlight the failings of the semi-active table of contents. D and F should probably have three hundred chapters, but Gibbon prefers to chop each chapter into multiple "parts," something this edition's table of contents ignores. As for missing one of the parts, these things even out. They duplicated one part somewhere in the middle.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This classic is a classic, so why not five stars? January 18, 2014
By GB Dun
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The Kindle edition is pretty good, with footnotes placed very close to the text to which they refer. There are two sets of notes, Gibbon's own and those included by the editor of the 1838 (I think) edition.

There is one very odd feature, however. There is an introduction covering Roman history in brief. It is done on a very fundamental level and is pointless. No one reading Gibbon needs it. But this is the oddest thing: the phrase "Sic Semper Tyrannis" appears once in the intro, and it is misspelled and incorrectly translated!

So: skip the introduction, don't worry that the writer does not know any Latin, and enjoy Gibbon at a bargain price.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic work, still in Progress August 17, 2013
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Slightly different than advertised, the eBook doesn't '[include]' the audiobook which is actually a link to the Librivox public domain, crowd-read version of this multi-volume hit. I'm enjoying bouncing back and forth between the eBook and the audiobook, as sometimes Gibbon uses the 'former' / 'latter' references on previous sentences the size of modern paragraphs containing Greek and Latin pronouns previously unreferenced.

The book is incredible in its depth. Through the first part of volume one, about the closing of the age of the Antonines, you come to realize how exhaustive and elaborate was the research into which the author poured himself. The details, sidestories, pauses for retrospective, and frequent interjection of stories which couldn't have appeared together in same piece of literary history from which the story at hand dwells. I look forward to more and it ought to be required reading for High school Sophomores.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 3 days ago by Thomas Mark Anthony
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
terrible, biased, and not very well researched. Find yourself another source.
Published 12 days ago by GHASSAN N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent reading, although some of Mr Gibbons conclusions are dated.
Published 16 days ago by L.R.
5.0 out of 5 stars The first three volumes are stellar, as entertaining as ...
The first three volumes are stellar, as entertaining as most fiction. The last three seem rushed, perhaps because his subject had become disparate and random in it's plummet. Read more
Published 1 month ago by LW Chandler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good stuff!!
Published 1 month ago by Greg A Warwick
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish someone would write a book on this subject ...
I wish someone would write a book on this subject in "layman's terms"!! For me, it was too hard to follow. It seems all the books on this subject are....
Published 1 month ago by Tina B 108
Easy to read and right on target historically. It is a blessing for any history buff!
Published 2 months ago by William H. Smith Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Apparently factual, but arranged so as to be very cumbersome to read.
Published 2 months ago by Karl Farber
5.0 out of 5 stars A+ for Kindle version
I have found the Kindle version much more enjoyable to read than my previous hardbacks due especially to the dictionary function and the larger font size.
Published 2 months ago by James Akins Jr.
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
There's no audiobook narration. Otherwise it's the book you expected to get when you first bought it.
Published 4 months ago by John
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