An Inquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful and Wealthy Nations. Designed To Shew How The Prosperity Of The British Empire May Be Prolonged
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The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a six-volume work by the English historian Edward Gibbon. It traces Western civilization (as well as the Islamic and Mongolian conquests) from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium. Volume I was published in 1776 and went through six printings. Volumes II and III were published in 1781; volumes IV, V, and VI in 1788–1789. The original volumes were published in quarto sections, a common publishing practice of the time. The work covers the history, from 98 to 1590, of the Roman Empire, the history of early Christianity and then of the Roman State Church, and the history of Europe, and discusses the decline of the Roman Empire in the East and West. Because of its heavy use of primary sources, unusual at the time, its methodology became a model for later historians. This led to Gibbon's being called the first "modern historian of ancient Rome". His work remains a great literary achievement and a very readable introduction to the period, but considerable progress has since been made in history and archaeology, and his interpretations no longer represent current academic knowledge or thought. In The World of Late Antiquity (1971), Peter Brown offers an alternative interpretation of the period between the second and eighth centuries AD, and Framing the Early Middle Ages (2005) by Christopher Wickham presents hitherto unavailable evidence from both documentary and archaeological sources. From Wikipedia (CC BY-SA).
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- Great Britain -- Economic conditions
- History -- Philosophy
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