The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 4

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Harper & brothers, 1841

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Ah, the paradoxes of contemporary publishing: Gibbon is generally divided into three books, with two 'volumes' per book; here we have volumes three and four. That makes perfectly good sense, on the ... Read full review

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User Review  - stillatim - LibraryThing

Let's be very clear about one thing: if you write English prose, and if you read a lot and care about English prose, you should read Gibbon. His sentences are perfect. Each is carefully weighted ... Read full review

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Page 410 - The place and the object gave ample scope for moralizing on the vicissitudes of fortune, which spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries empires and cities in a common grave...
Page 349 - The foremost ranks consisted of the refuse of the host, a voluntary crowd who fought without order or command; of the feebleness of age or childhood, of peasants and vagrants, and of all who had joined the camp in the blind hope of plunder and martyrdom. The common impulse drove them...
Page 260 - The desolation is complete ; and the temple of Diana or the church of Mary* will equally elude the search of the curious traveller. The circus and three stately theatres of Laodicea are now peopled with wolves and foxes ; Sardis is reduced to a miserable village ; the god of Mahomet, without a rival or a...
Page 248 - I have long since asserted my claim to introduce the nations, the immediate or remote authors of the fall of the Roman empire ; nor can I refuse myself to those events which, from their uncommon magnitude, will interest a philosophic mind in the history of...
Page 349 - In the confusion of darkness an assailant may sometimes succeed ; but in this great and general attack, the military judgment and astrological knowledge of Mahomet advised him to expect the morning, the memorable twentyninth of May, in the fourteen hundred and fifty-third year of the Christian era.
Page 136 - A bloody sacrifice was offered by his mistaken votaries to the God of the Christians ; resistance might provoke, but neither age nor sex could mollify their implacable rage : they indulged themselves three days in a promiscuous massacre, and the infection of the dead bodies produced an epidemical disease.
Page 133 - Christ; and its potent energy was heightened by an accident, a stratagem, or a rumour of a miraculous complexion. Three knights, in white garments and resplendent arms, either issued, or seemed to issue, from the hills. The voice of Adhemar, the pope's legate, proclaimed them as the martyrs St. George, St. Theodore, and St. Maurice; the tumult of battle allowed no time for doubt or scrutiny ; and the welcome apparition dazzled the eyes or the imagination of a fanatic army.
Page 136 - ... the besiegers relieved, as in the city, by the artificial supply of cisterns and aqueducts. The circumjacent country is equally destitute of trees for the uses of shade or building, but some large beams were discovered in a cave by the crusaders : a wood near Sichem, the enchanted grove of Tasso...
Page 98 - I was advised by a sage to humble myself before God ; to distrust my own strength ; and never to despise the most contemptible foe. I have neglected these lessons ; and my neglect has been deservedly punished. Yesterday, as from an eminence I beheld the numbers, the discipline, and the spirit, of my armies, the earth seemed to tremble under my feet ; and I said in my neart, Surely thou art the king of the world, the greatest and most invincible of warriors. These armies are no longei mine ; and,...
Page 410 - ... of Nero's palace: survey the other hills of the city, the vacant space is interrupted only by ruins and gardens. The forum of the Roman people, where they assembled to enact their laws and elect their magistrates, is now inclosed for the cultivation of pot-herbs or thrown open for the reception of swine and buffaloes.

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