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The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 3 Revised Edition
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For many hours prior to purchasing, I researched the numerous editions offered by different publishers and read reviews, and discovered a consensus among Gibbon fans in favor of Womersley's unabridged edition, in part because it includes a complete and unmodernized text, Gibbon's own comments and notes, and his famous Vindication, a final and thorough answer to scurrilous critics of his time. All of this is provided at a quite reasonable price, considering the length of the work (in excess of 1,300 pages), albeit in soft cover which I find makes a book easier to read, if slightly less durable.
I recommend buying this new edition from Amazon, instead of the used editions also offered here, because many of them, I discovered after investigating, are not the same as this one I am reviewing (ISBN 0-14-043393-7, which is Volume I). Like I said, there are many editions of Gibbon's masterpiece floating about, old and new, of varying quality and content. The vendors' failure to disclose the ISBN in their descriptions prohibits any purchase by the discriminating. Just pay the seventeen or so bucks for the new book, which is dirt cheap for a work of this magnitude.
There should be no need to defend Gibbon nor his work, which is simply the best I have yet read. I loved history as a boy, even while reading the simple and often stupid books offered in school.Read more ›
There are of course three aspects of this work that need to be considered. The first of course is the history. Gibbon is considered by many as the first modern historian. He broke new ground (more about that later), and gives us a very good view of the Roman Empire as seen through the eyes of a man of his time. Secondly, this is most certainly a literary work of no mean quality. It is actually an absolute gem; a work of art is words. Third, there is the history of the history; the placing of Gibbons work as a historical event within itself, which is sometimes overlooked.
Now shear volumes have been written concerning this early study of the Roman culture, both critical and laudatory. I have great doubts that anything I say here will add to this mound of observations which have been gathering since the ink dried on the first printing of the work. I can only give you, the reader, my personal perspectives; keeping in mind that I am not in anyway a historian, theologian nor literary master. No, I am just a common `good old boy,' living in the hills that likes to read, loves history and enjoys a reading challenge.
I have a bound set of these books on my bookshelf and I must admit that they sat there for a couple of years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Always meant to read this. Now my husband and I are reading it together. The wealth of information is great, and it is interesting to compare it to what is going on in the world... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Ellen Fields
One of those free scanned editions. I love getting into these and comparing them to other scanned editions. Really cool peek into history.Published 5 days ago by cnote
Masterful. Witty and full of sharp observations about human nature.Published 14 days ago by Tony Tartaglio
This book makes an excellent reading. One would be interested to read the rise and ascendancy of Roman empire. Great.Published 1 month ago
The volunteers who made this volume available did a very good, thorough job. Much appreciation. As for the work itself... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Adam
I've intended to read this book all of my life and am finally getting around to it! What a find! Beautifully written with a lot of fascinating detail, Mr. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kristina Jones