It seems on my recent mission to return to some of the classics of English literature I may have overdone it. It wasn't the several volumes of Edward Gibbons fascinating exposition of Rome's downfall. It was the annotated edition of that famous book which I purchased for my Nook. The notes and quotes mostly in Latin added substantially to the total volume of words. Needless to say, I don't read Latin and each Chapter in English was followed by tons of mostly obscure references and explanations. However, my stubborn German (barbarian according to Gibbon) heritage compeled me to finish the four thousand page annotated version in only three months. :)
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was written by the English historian Edward Gibbon in the late eighteenth century. It traces Western civilization (as well as the Islamic and Mongolian conquests) from the height of the Roman Empire to the fall of Byzantium. The author is often regarded as the first modern historian for style, method and substance.
I think ancient history is my favorite period to read about though I’ve often tended toward well researched historical fiction of the kind that Collen McCullough wrote. Roman began as a republic and created an empire which eventually evolved into autocracy. Modern historians have often debated over the many causes of it decline and fall. There is much to learn from this subject and even apply to the similarities and differences to our own country. For reasons of length I would highly recommend an abridged unless you’re literate in the language of the Romans. On that score my wife Barb had a even simpler example in her explanation of the decline and fall….
She reminded me of her upbringing in a girls Catholic high school Our Lady of Peace (a.k.a. Old Ladies Penitentiary). Studying Latin she and her classmate decided that “Latin is a dead language. As dead as it can be. First it killed the Romans. And now it’s killing me
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