GIBBON, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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GIBBON, Edward. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire London & New York: Frederick Warne & Co., [1880].

The most celebrated historical work in English literature. "Gibbon's great erudition, breadth of treatment, and powerful organization render this a lasting monument, of substantial accuracy as well as elegance ... most of Gibbon's scholarship remains unchallenged." (Oxford Companion to English Lit.). 'This masterpiece of historical penetration and literary style has remained one of the ageless historical works' (PMM 222). In 1788 Gibbon's friend Adam Smith wrote that 'by the universal assent of every man of taste and learning. [Decline and Fall] sets you at the very head of the whole literary tribe at present existing in Europe' (ODNB). By explaining the role Christianity played in 'weakening' the Roman Empire Gibbon's opus magnum landed on the Papal Index and remained there until the Index librorum prohibitorum was abolished in 1966.

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