Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, published in three instalments from 1776 to 1788, is widely regarded as the greatest work of history in the English language. Starting with the accession of the Roman Emperor Commodus in the late second century CE, Gibbon's work traverses thirteen centuries, encompassing the rise of Christianity and of Islam, the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West, and the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. This Companion provides a comprehensive overview of the intellectual roots, contemporary European contexts, literary style and thematic scale of Gibbon's achievement. Alongside the History, it gives an introduction to Gibbon's other works, including the Memoirs he left unfinished at his death and previously unpublished material. Leading international scholars in the fields of classics, geography, history and literature provide a comprehensive account of Gibbon's monumental account of decline, fall and global historical transformation.
Table of Contents
Chronology; Introduction Karen O'Brien; 1. An overview of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire J. G. A. Pocock; 2. Gibbon's geographies Robert Mayhew; 3. Gibbon and the city of Rome Catharine Edwards; 4. Do Byzantine historians sill read Gibbon? Mark Whittow; 5. Gibbon among the Barbarians George Woudhuysen; 6. Gibbon and enlightenment history in eighteenth-century Britain Tim Stuart-Buttle; 7. Gibbon and republicanism Béla Kapossy and Richard Whatmore; 8. Gibbon and Catholicism B. W. Young; 9. Gibbon's Style in The Decline and Fall Fred Parker; 10. Gibbon's mind and libraries Robert Mankin; 11. The Memoirs and Character of the Historian Charlotte Roberts; 12. Afterword: a new Gibbon manuscript David Womersley.