Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Devouring Gibbons' Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 5 minutes at a time

The masters of the fairest and most wealthy climates of the globe [The Romans] turned with contempt from gloomy hills, assailed by the winter tempest, from lakes concealed in a blue mist, and from cold and lonely heaths, over which the deer of the forest were chased by a troop of naked barbarians [Scotland]. - Edward Gibbons, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

18th century historians like Edward Gibbons (April 27, 1737 – January 16, 1794) write such stilted prose that I have found myself hesitant to tackle his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for fear that I would toss my hard-bound collection of this classic work into some cob-webbed abyss in the attic in frustration before I even finished Volume 1. But, despite its errors that have been revealed by research in the last 300 years, Gibbons work is considered one of those sources that a well read Roman scholar should have studied in the course of their career.

More at  Ancient Times