The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 12

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W. Hallhead, 1788

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Volumes V and VI include probably the most interesting period for my taste, while also including the worst individual chapter and even more unnecessary Byzantine-bashing (Constantinople's "decline is ... Read full review

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User Review  - Smiley - LibraryThing

Gibbon's third volume of The Decline and Fall seems to stray from the purpose stated in volume one. I think he just got carried away by the sweep of history. The melodious style and easy learning are still present but I was suffering from Gibbon fatigue by the third volume and we were off course. Read full review

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Page 119 - Medicis was the father of a line of princes, whose name and age are almost synonymous with the restoration of learning: his credit was ennobled into fame; his riches were dedicated to the service of mankind ; he corresponded at once with Cairo and London : and a cargo of Indian spices and Greek books was often imported in the same vessel.
Page 199 - They wept, they embraced ; regardless of their families and fortunes, they devoted their lives ; and each commander, departing to his station, maintained, all night, a vigilant and anxious watch on the rampart. The Emperor, and some faithful companions, entered the dome of St. Sophia, which, in a few hours, was to be converted into a mosque, and devoutly received, with tears and prayers, the sacrament of the holy communion.
Page 195 - After a siege of forty days, the fate of Constantinople could no longer be averted. The diminutive garrison was exhausted by a double attack: the fortifications, which had stood for ages against hostile violence, were dismantled on all sides by the Ottoman cannon: many breaches were opened; and near the gate of St. Romanus, four towers had been levelled with the ground. For the payment of his feeble and mutinous troops, Constantine was...
Page 186 - Turkish artillery was pointed against the walls ; fourteen batteries thundered at once on the most accessible places, and of one of these it is ambiguously expressed that it was mounted with one hundred and thirty guns, or that it discharged one hundred and thirty bullets. Yet in the power and activity of the Sultan we may discern the infancy of the new science ; under a master who counted the moments, the great cannon could be loaded and fired no more than seven times in one day.
Page 201 - His numerous ministers of justice were posted behind the line, to urge, to restrain, and to punish ; and if danger was in the front, shame and inevitable death were in the rear, of the fugitives. The cries of fear and of pain were drowned in the martial music of drums, trumpets, and...
Page 196 - Palaeologus to resign the city into the hands of the Ottomans; and he determined to abide the last extremities of war. Several days were employed by the sultan in the preparations of the assault; and a respite was granted by his favorite science of astrology, which had fixed on the twenty-ninth of May, as the fortunate and fatal hour.
Page 121 - ... it might appear that the study of the ancients had given fetters, rather than wings, to the human mind. However laudable, the spirit of imitation is of a servile cast; and the first disciples of the Greeks and Romans were a colony of strangers in the midst of their age and country. The minute and laborious diligence which explored the antiquities of remote times might have improved or adorned the...
Page 198 - Phranza, who was himself present at this mournful assembly. They wept, they embraced ; regardless of their families and fortunes, they devoted their lives ; and each commander, departing to his station, maintained all night a vigilant and anxious watch on the rampart.
Page 119 - Lorenzo rendered him not only a patron, but a judge and candidate, in the literary race. In his palace, distress was entitled to relief, and merit to reward : his leisure hours were delightfully spent in the Platonic academy : he encouraged the emulation of Demetrius Chalcocondyles and Angelo Politian ; and his active missionary Janus Lascaris returned from the East with a treasure of two hundred manuscripts...
Page 202 - I will retire,' said the trembling Genoese, ' by the same road -which God has opened to the Turks ;' and at these words he hastily passed through one of the breaches of the inner wall. By this pusillanimous act he stained the honours of a military life ; and the few days which he survived in Galata, or the isle of Chios, were embittered by his own and the public reproach.

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