'It was at Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amid the ruins of the capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind,' recorded Edward Gibbon with characteristic exactitude. Over a period of some twenty years, the luminous eighteenth-century historian--a precise, dapper, idiosyncratic little gentleman famous for rapping his snuff-box--devoted his considerable genius to writing an epic chronicle of the entire Roman Empire's decline. His single flash of inspiration produced what is arguably the greatest historical work in any language--and surely the most magnificent narrative history ever written in English. 'Gibbon is one of those few who hold as high a place in the history of literature as in the roll of great historians,' noted Professor J.B. Bury, his most celebrated editor.
This three-volume Modern Library edition of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire--with Gibbon's notes--is edited with a general introduction and index by Bury, along with an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel J. Boorstin. The Volumes are illstrated with reproductions of etchings by Gian Battista Piranesi.
The first volume contains chapters one through twenty-six of The Decline and fall of the Roman Empire.
This first installment in Naxos's ambitious audio edition of Gibbon's classic history of the Roman Empire boasts a standout performance from veteran narrator Timson. Beginning in 14 C.E. during the time of Augustus, this volume covers everything up to 324 C.E. when Constantine the Great becomes emperor of Rome. While reading a history of this size and scope would likely prove an immense challenge to any narrator, Timson handles his duties with great aplomb. His narration is crisp, clear, and commanding. His tone is both intellectual and full of authority, and he modifies his pacing and annunciation to highlight points of particular importance or interest. When reading footnotes to the text, Timson slightly alters his tone to signal to readers the transition to and from these ancillary sections. This masterful performance of a classic work is a must listen for anyone who loves history.