The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II [Free E–pub]

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  • The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II
  • Edward Gibbon
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  • 11 August 2020
  • 9780140433944

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The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II review ï 9 Destroyed the West He then turns his gaze to events in the East where even the achievements of the Byzantine emperor Justinian and the campaigns of the brilliant military leader Belisarius could not conceal the fundamental weaknesses of their empi. Well what can I say It s difficult to review what is generally considered perhaps the greatest most magisterial work of history ever written This second of three volumes is comprised of volumes 3 and 4 of the original 6 volume publication The entire work is filled with both sweeping vistas and intimate vignettes As one of the highlights of this volume we are shown the life and times of Justinian and Theodora as well as the growing power both for Good and ill of Christianity We are given the details of the fortunes of empire as it waxes and wanes through time It is such a treat to read an account of history as erudite and well written as this Larbre aux sept vies les sept fils de Philémon perhaps the greatest most magisterial work of history ever written This second of three volumes is comprised of volumes 3 and 4 of the original 6 volume 名探偵コナン 28 Detective Conan #28 publication The entire work is filled with both sweeping vistas and intimate vignettes As one of the highlights of this volume we are shown the life and times of Justinian and Theodora as well as the growing Cabin Boys power both for Good and ill of Christianity We are given the details of the fortunes of empire as it waxes and wanes through time It is such a treat to read an account of history as erudite and well written as this

review The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume IIThe History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II review ï 9 Centuries its rulers wars and society and the events that led to its disastrous collapse Here in volumes three and four Gibbon vividly recounts the waves of barbarian invaders under commanders such as Alaric and Attila who overran and eventually. Works of undisputed genius want personal reflection than analysis This is especially true with a work so capacious as The Decline and Fall even limiting oneself to the third and fourth volumes I can reflect on what aspects of the work mean to me I can focus on which of Gibbon s rhetorical devices I like most But Decline is a work that beggars criticism on the whole It is no exaggeration to compare Gibbon s work to other monuments of literature The Divine Comedy or Shakespeare s corpus One can complain about the mawkishness of Henry V or the lameness of Merry Wives of Windsor but a man who claims to speak in broad strokes about Shakespeare as a whole is either a genius or a critical fool So it is with Gibbon A reader may contest individual points and chapters but overall Gibbon s work can only inspire awe Never has there been a narrator captivating and few intellects extend so broadly Yet it is not infreuent that Narrator Gibbon must carry the weight of Intellectual Gibbon whose sometimes sloth accommodates the florid passages of the work This is the only great flaw of Gibbon s work To borrow from Cardinal Newman Gibbon s habit of making a merely literary point when he should make an intellectual one Take for example the Arian heresy the theological details of which Gibbon told us in Volume I were not worth recounting One thinks this was merely for literary effect or was mistaken for the Arian controversy taints the politics and culture of the Empire well beyond the West s collapse Perhaps the feud between Catholics and Arians can be simplified to the colors they later adopted but while it may be fair to impute to the rabble of Constantinople only their green or blue tunics Gibbon would be wise to give his heroes the benefit of the doubt or accurately to give them the benefit of their belief Even a man who thinks all religion is superstition to be derided must admit for some degree of cogency in the superstition Perhaps Moses time with the angels is of no greater merit than Mohomet s but certainly it is meritorious than Joseph Smith s Mosaic law constitutes a difference in degree and kind from the Book of Mormon Presuming an omniscient god could inform the writing of a book one hopes this book would better resemble the Jews than the Mormons Reject this argument if you wish it is nonetheless an argument It is fine if Gibbon wants to dismiss arguments from design but he must concede that such an argument exists And granted such an argument exists he must concede that a perfect work is suggestive of a perfect god A Stoic may come to the conclusion that all music is frivolous bunk and may conclude Mozart is the same as the Monkees as a moral point but to discriminate no difference between them is to turn a moral point into a fraud Again It is fine from a moral standpoint to declare the euality of the Athanasian and Arian creeds but to declare them theologically eual is to concede one cannot make assessments of theology America s closest comparison to Gibbon Henry Adams so lacked the virtue of Hope that Christianity was an impossibility for him And yet Adams recognized that the philosophy of the Church was likely the soundest the mortal mind of men could possess The heights of this Edifice are possible because of the firmness of her foundations each one of which is mutually dependent on the others Forget changing dogmas a right order and proportion of thought is as essential to the Church as the existence of such thoughts Change this right ordering by even a sliver and there goes the Church Thus in Chapter XLVII Gibbon cannot be so flippant about the incarnation if he seriously wants to make comment on the subject If Christ was not a man his act of redemption cannot include the flesh which is how Adam s sin was transmitted from generation to generation And if Jesus was not fully God he is only a prophet like Mohomet These are not abstruse points of theology their acceptance or denial dictates the Real Presence in the Eucharist And if Christ is not present flesh and blood soul and divinity in the Eucharist there is very little reason for the Church to exist at all Gibbon cannot be both glib and a scholar about these points If the people of Europe had decided in 517 as they did in 1517 that neither the Real Presence nor Church needed to exist the world would be much different Thus the theological slips into the materialBut overall Gibbon is far generous to his Lord and Creator in these volumes Chapter XXXVII sees an addition to the Bible which tends to confound the Arians which speaks perfectly out of the dogma out of the Church but which admittedly did not tend from the original epistle of John the Apostle My New American Bible late 1980s gives no mention of the Trinity in Heaven with my Latin Vulgate the modern compilers clearly referred to one of the untampered editions for the line is not there But my Douay Rheims translation 1582 features the errant addition If Gibbon ever has occasion to lay on a solid punch it is here The Papists have been misleading the flock for over a millennium But immediately after this point Gibbon tells us of the African Catholics who had their tongues torn out and yet on sound testimony retained the ability to talk Juxtaposing one of the Church s embarrassing stories with this verified miracle suggests Gibbon was no longer employing his fullest scandalous power against the Church Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen are some of the greatest works of scandal and heresy in all English literature Why tone it down nowStill Gibbon the man could not despise the Church than the average tenured historian of the present day If Gibbon is dismissive of the Christian theology he is at least wise enough to recognize the benefits of its morality The sins of Sodom and Socrates are unspeakable to Gibbon and the severity of Mosaic law is respected his overall view of Justinian law is generally full of the rigor and mercy which any observant Christian should display Though temporarily playing the Mohometan Gibbon s defense of male and female circumcision makes an interesting footnote the Minneapolis City Council would do well to cite it when in a year s time they are citing the positive goods of labia snipping Regarding the depredations of the law Gibbon s telling of the dual legal system in Gaul is uncomfortably close to our current age Roman law proscribed that murder found proper retribution in a capital sentence the barbarians bereft of the gifts of Minerva practiced a system of revenge which could nevertheless be averted through the use of bribes effectively placing a price on murder of three hundred units of currency The modern travesty of the criminal justice system sees every criminal act as one that can be bargained and bribed into oblivion Well over ninety five percent of federal crimes result in a plea deal as if theft rape and murder were not crimes deserving condemnation but commodities wanting only accurate remuneration Though racial disparities exist there are far fewer blacks on death row than are represented in the general prison population This is not owing to some spurious enlightenment of capital juries but to the nature of black crime Black criminals tend to murder other black criminals and prosecutors are less willing to endure the inconvenience of a capital trial for the sake of a dead gangbanger And so where a white woman s soul necessitates the taking of her murderer s a dead black man must be comforted that his life was worth twenty years of cable TV and probation When the prosecutor envisions himself primarily as a negotiator the justice system can have only passing resemblance to one which punishes evil and resembles the reward and demerits to which Divine Justice must subject us To put reasonable prices on our sins is to make them the subject of commerce and make the law a whore As the above anecdote one of dozens proves no one could ask for a better intellectual companion than Gibbon to accompany him on the history of modern Europe We meet the great Belasarius who is both Caesar and Job The general betters the former in his desperate courage and cuckoldry and perhaps better the latter was well as Job was at some point offered a reprieve from his miseries Caesar is known to us largely because he was ignoble because he was willing to shed civil blood in the pursuit of glory Belasarius is transmitted not so much by his accomplishments but through his virtues Cato s virtues are writ larger only because of Caesar s tyranny Great men can rise only so far above the drudgery of their ageAnother man of virtue the senator Boethius is called the Last of the Romans The Senate had been a moribund institution for five hundred years yet men like Boethius kept the spirit of Roman liberty alive long after her body had died What is amazing about Boethius is how ready he is to resort to inwardness as refuge from the political storm That the author of Consolatio Philosophiae could be given anything to do in Roman public life at all is shocking to the modern sensibility no modern could write a book so profound and certainly none could be elected to office he did In its seamless incorporation of Platonism with Christian morality Boethius betters Augustine Boethius speaks to a great inner life surviving amongst the Romans The great philosophers of our era either preoccupy themselves with technological change or engage in onanistic reflections on nihilism and classical liberalism as if either fostered anything but dull prose and meaningless constitutions But if the spirit of Boethius is the spirit of the Romans the Roman Spirit lasted far longer than the Empire s collapse The light of his philosophy was lessened by centuries of hardship but was rekindled in a brighter flame by the Scholastics The Christian rulers of the Middle Ages may not have been philosopher kings but all Christians at least have a philosophy and if few rose to the level of an Antonine few sunk to that of a Nero But if the Roman Spirit endured the emperors endured the collapse of Rome herself when did it pass away I d say it was the imprisonment of another politician and martyr Sir Thomas More It was with More s punishment that we find the characteristics of brutal modernity When conscience and inner life were made expendable for political expediency Of course kings had made war on the Church and God before but these conflicts did not deny the Church or God their own natures their own God ness and Church ness if you will But the heresies of Luther and the barren womb of Catherine gave Henry VIII license to attack the heart of the Church the heart of the Magisterium the heart of God Whether or not the Church is correct about anything is immaterial What Henry s supremacy proved is that the temporal could trample upon the spiritual so long as the temporal world provided hope for material improvement and a male heir The present day backlash against St Thomas embodied in the scurrilous and specious Wolf Hall rests upon the idea that imminent spiritual death is preferable to probable material loss This was King Henry s wager And this is the wager made by classical liberalism and spread throughout the continents by Rome s one worthy imperial successor In Plato and Aristotle and Christ and Augustine Greece and Rome spread across the planet the means of the soul s apotheosis Britain and America have fostered the barren institutions of materialism and the subordination of the soul to material comfort And admittedly for many centuries it delivered that comfort The gifts of modern civilization can never be lost Gibbon tells us in his reflections on the Western Empire s collapse He didn t know that the animal spirit of reproduction could be weaned out of the race through pornography and contraception that literature would become emasculated of all depth and power by mass communication that in the halls of Academe Minerva would be left to matricides and bigots But then again Gibbon though himself above the desecrations of Luther and Calvin The nihilism of the soul which Luther had fostered did not turn itself outward until the slaughter of King Louis palace guards the rot and revolution propagated by the Corsican Caesar had not yet instigated two centuries worth of bloodshed King Henry s wager turned out to be a poor one and the shiny prospects for soulless material prosperity are eclipsed by the din of Auschwitz and the Gulag The denizens of a crumbling Rome were devout men many of them saints Where are the moral heroes of today s collapsing West The true despair of the Westerner must be in the fact that Gibbon s work in fact tells us so little about our current travails We study history in order to get a grasp on the problems of our own era by seeing how humanity has failed and succeeded in the past we are able to better understand our present and our future The problem of modernity is that so much of the present would be incomprehensible to our forebears and as such is mostly incomprehensible to us Even Marshall McLuhan the godfather of electronic chaos chose the antiuated notion of the village as a metaphor this village has as inhabitants a drone race whose souls have been razed by comfort and conformity and above which mechanized death is looming to strip us of our comforts at any moment Makes you wonder what kind of village he was referring to Gibbon himself probably would not have been able to comprehend the leveling of 1789 perhaps only the Maruis de Sade could make that claim A philosophy of the bedroom in our case is useful than Tacitus or Plutarch Or Gibbon In Chapter XLV Gibbon tells us that a society in which marriage is encouraged and industry prevails soon repairs accidental losses of pestilence and war but as far as the greater part of the Romans was condemned to hopeless indigence and celibacy the depopulation was constant and visible and the gloomy enthusiasts might expect the approaching failure of the human race Moderns have reason to despair Moderns lack hope but also the ability to have hope Centuries of depredation could only soften the valiant strength of Boethius soul it was not until the age of Luther that our tyrants found a way to silence it How one longs for those days of decline and fall distinct from the cruelty of our modern creations Three-Day Town (Deborah Knott Mysteries, #17) personal reflection than analysis This is especially true with a work so capacious as The Decline and Fall even limiting oneself to the third and fourth volumes I can reflect on what aspects of the work mean to me I can focus on which of Gibbon s rhetorical devices I like most But Decline is a work that beggars criticism on the whole It is no exaggeration to compare Gibbon s work to other monuments of literature The Divine Comedy or Shakespeare s corpus One can complain about the mawkishness of Henry V or the lameness of Merry Wives of Windsor but a man who claims to speak in broad strokes about Shakespeare as a whole is either a genius or a critical fool So it is with Gibbon A reader may contest individual Tea Bag Folding Design Original Can Do Crafts points and chapters but overall Gibbon s work can only inspire awe Never has there been a narrator captivating and few intellects extend so broadly Yet it is not infreuent that Narrator Gibbon must carry the weight of Intellectual Gibbon whose sometimes sloth accommodates the florid The Kamasutra for Women The Modern Woman's Way to Sensual Fulfilment and Health Kama Sutra passages of the work This is the only great flaw of Gibbon s work To borrow from Cardinal Newman Gibbon s habit of making a merely literary Simulation Studies of HVDC Using PSSE point when he should make an intellectual one Take for example the Arian heresy the theological details of which Gibbon told us in Volume I were not worth recounting One thinks this was merely for literary effect or was mistaken for the Arian controversy taints the Honoré de Balzac - Les oeuvres complètes (Edition augmentée) politics and culture of the Empire well beyond the West s collapse Perhaps the feud between Catholics and Arians can be simplified to the colors they later adopted but while it may be fair to impute to the rabble of Constantinople only their green or blue tunics Gibbon would be wise to give his heroes the benefit of the doubt or accurately to give them the benefit of their belief Even a man who thinks all religion is superstition to be derided must admit for some degree of cogency in the superstition Perhaps Moses time with the angels is of no greater merit than Mohomet s but certainly it is meritorious than Joseph Smith s Mosaic law constitutes a difference in degree and kind from the Book of Mormon Presuming an omniscient god could inform the writing of a book one hopes this book would better resemble the Jews than the Mormons Reject this argument if you wish it is nonetheless an argument It is fine if Gibbon wants to dismiss arguments from design but he must concede that such an argument exists And granted such an argument exists he must concede that a Golden City Far perfect work is suggestive of a Fashionistas Candy perfect god A Stoic may come to the conclusion that all music is frivolous bunk and may conclude Mozart is the same as the Monkees as a moral Goblin Quest point but to discriminate no difference between them is to turn a moral Full Circle point into a fraud Again It is fine from a moral standpoint to declare the euality of the Athanasian and Arian creeds but to declare them theologically eual is to concede one cannot make assessments of theology America s closest comparison to Gibbon Henry Adams so lacked the virtue of Hope that Christianity was an impossibility for him And yet Adams recognized that the Siebel Customer Order ManagementCOMwith Telecom Industry Examples philosophy of the Church was likely the soundest the mortal mind of men could Bambi Eine Lebensgeschichte aus dem Walde possess The heights of this Edifice are Naya’s Most Important Visitors (Psy-Changeling, #10.2) possible because of the firmness of her foundations each one of which is mutually dependent on the others Forget changing dogmas a right order and Sasvim skromni darovi proportion of thought is as essential to the Church as the existence of such thoughts Change this right ordering by even a sliver and there goes the Church Thus in Chapter XLVII Gibbon cannot be so flippant about the incarnation if he seriously wants to make comment on the subject If Christ was not a man his act of redemption cannot include the flesh which is how Adam s sin was transmitted from generation to generation And if Jesus was not fully God he is only a Pursuit of a Parcel prophet like Mohomet These are not abstruse The Cowboy's Surprise Bride points of theology their acceptance or denial dictates the Real Presence in the Eucharist And if Christ is not Faro and the Royals present flesh and blood soul and divinity in the Eucharist there is very little reason for the Church to exist at all Gibbon cannot be both glib and a scholar about these The Juggernaut Method 20 points If the Psychic Other ESP Party Games people of Europe had decided in 517 as they did in 1517 that neither the Real Presence nor Church needed to exist the world would be much different Thus the theological slips into the materialBut overall Gibbon is far generous to his Lord and Creator in these volumes Chapter XXXVII sees an addition to the Bible which tends to confound the Arians which speaks The Yankee Widow perfectly out of the dogma out of the Church but which admittedly did not tend from the original epistle of John the Apostle My New American Bible late 1980s gives no mention of the Trinity in Heaven with my Latin Vulgate the modern compilers clearly referred to one of the untampered editions for the line is not there But my Douay Rheims translation 1582 features the errant addition If Gibbon ever has occasion to lay on a solid The Highlander's Promise punch it is here The Papists have been misleading the flock for over a millennium But immediately after this Protein Misfolding Diseases point Gibbon tells us of the African Catholics who had their tongues torn out and yet on sound testimony retained the ability to talk Juxtaposing one of the Church s embarrassing stories with this verified miracle suggests Gibbon was no longer employing his fullest scandalous Sir Ferumbras (Ashmole Ms. 33) (Classic Reprint) power against the Church Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen are some of the greatest works of scandal and heresy in all English literature Why tone it down nowStill Gibbon the man could not despise the Church than the average tenured historian of the True Prosperity How to Have Everything present day If Gibbon is dismissive of the Christian theology he is at least wise enough to recognize the benefits of its morality The sins of Sodom and Socrates are unspeakable to Gibbon and the severity of Mosaic law is respected his overall view of Justinian law is generally full of the rigor and mercy which any observant Christian should display Though temporarily Smoke Across the Fell playing the Mohometan Gibbon s defense of male and female circumcision makes an interesting footnote the Minneapolis City Council would do well to cite it when in a year s time they are citing the Territorialno Proizvodstvennye Zony positive goods of labia snipping Regarding the depredations of the law Gibbon s telling of the dual legal system in Gaul is uncomfortably close to our current age Roman law L'AchimisteLa Sorcière de PortobelloLe Zahir proscribed that murder found The Captain's Lady proper retribution in a capital sentence the barbarians bereft of the gifts of Minerva Hex practiced a system of revenge which could nevertheless be averted through the use of bribes effectively La mère parfaite est une mytho placing a One Tempting Proposal price on murder of three hundred units of currency The modern travesty of the criminal justice system sees every criminal act as one that can be bargained and bribed into oblivion Well over ninety five Thriving Under Pressure DK Essential Managers percent of federal crimes result in a Swapped plea deal as if theft rape and murder were not crimes deserving condemnation but commodities wanting only accurate remuneration Though racial disparities exist there are far fewer blacks on death row than are represented in the general Capoeira A Tale of Martial Arts Mastery Mysticism and Love prison Amaranthine population This is not owing to some spurious enlightenment of capital juries but to the nature of black crime Black criminals tend to murder other black criminals and Consumed Part One (The Hot Studs Series # 1) prosecutors are less willing to endure the inconvenience of a capital trial for the sake of a dead gangbanger And so where a white woman s soul necessitates the taking of her murderer s a dead black man must be comforted that his life was worth twenty years of cable TV and The Taming of Women probation When the Dating the Guy Upstairs prosecutor envisions himself Snitch Occupational Hazards #2 passing resemblance to one which Leaflets of the Russian Revolution punishes evil and resembles the reward and demerits to which Divine Justice must subject us To Robin The Boy Wonder A Celebration of 75 Years put reasonable Fate prices on our sins is to make them the subject of commerce and make the law a whore As the above anecdote one of dozens Step up Love Story T46 (Step Up Love Story (46)) proves no one could ask for a better intellectual companion than Gibbon to accompany him on the history of modern Europe We meet the great Belasarius who is both Caesar and Job The general betters the former in his desperate courage and cuckoldry and Jheel Ki Moat perhaps better the latter was well as Job was at some Writing Your Dissertation One Paragraph at a Time point offered a reprieve from his miseries Caesar is known to us largely because he was ignoble because he was willing to shed civil blood in the The Politics of Immigration: Contradictions of the Liberal State pursuit of glory Belasarius is transmitted not so much by his accomplishments but through his virtues Cato s virtues are writ larger only because of Caesar s tyranny Great men can rise only so far above the drudgery of their ageAnother man of virtue the senator Boethius is called the Last of the Romans The Senate had been a moribund institution for five hundred years yet men like Boethius kept the spirit of Roman liberty alive long after her body had died What is amazing about Boethius is how ready he is to resort to inwardness as refuge from the The Secret Zodiac political storm That the author of Consolatio Philosophiae could be given anything to do in Roman HEROIN public life at all is shocking to the modern sensibility no modern could write a book so Is Just War Possible? profound and certainly none could be elected to office he did In its seamless incorporation of Platonism with Christian morality Boethius betters Augustine Boethius speaks to a great inner life surviving amongst the Romans The great Hamlet philosophers of our era either Making a Market The Institutional Transformation of an African Society Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions preoccupy themselves with technological change or engage in onanistic reflections on nihilism and classical liberalism as if either fostered anything but dull Familie rådgivning Perspektiv og proces prose and meaningless constitutions But if the spirit of Boethius is the spirit of the Romans the Roman Spirit lasted far longer than the Empire s collapse The light of his SuperGirls Mission SuperGirls #1 philosophy was lessened by centuries of hardship but was rekindled in a brighter flame by the Scholastics The Christian rulers of the Middle Ages may not have been Flu'es philosopher kings but all Christians at least have a The Ata Bita Pie Cafe philosophy and if few rose to the level of an Antonine few sunk to that of a Nero But if the Roman Spirit endured the emperors endured the collapse of Rome herself when did it Twisted Taurus Zodiac Chillers #4 pass away I d say it was the imprisonment of another Wish Indigo Dreams #1 punishment that we find the characteristics of brutal modernity When conscience and inner life were made expendable for The Chalk Line political expediency Of course kings had made war on the Church and God before but these conflicts did not deny the Church or God their own natures their own God ness and Church ness if you will But the heresies of Luther and the barren womb of Catherine gave Henry VIII license to attack the heart of the Church the heart of the Magisterium the heart of God Whether or not the Church is correct about anything is immaterial What Henry s supremacy Mijn jeugd (Griffioen) proved is that the temporal could trample upon the spiritual so long as the temporal world India Fortunes A Novel of Rajasthan and Northern India Through Past Centuries present day backlash against St Thomas embodied in the scurrilous and specious Wolf Hall rests upon the idea that imminent spiritual death is Azoth preferable to La sombra de una venganza CASATE CONMIGO nº 4 probable material loss This was King Henry s wager And this is the wager made by classical liberalism and spread throughout the continents by Rome s one worthy imperial successor In Plato and Aristotle and Christ and Augustine Greece and Rome spread across the Dork Geek Jew planet the means of the soul s apotheosis Britain and America have fostered the barren institutions of materialism and the subordination of the soul to material comfort And admittedly for many centuries it delivered that comfort The gifts of modern civilization can never be lost Gibbon tells us in his reflections on the Western Empire s collapse He didn t know that the animal spirit of reproduction could be weaned out of the race through Reaching You pornography and contraception that literature would become emasculated of all depth and PMP Project Management Professional Study Guide 3rd Edition palace guards the rot and revolution Project Management A Systems Approach to Planning Scheduling and Controlling propagated by the Corsican Caesar had not yet instigated two centuries worth of bloodshed King Henry s wager turned out to be a IWW Songs poor one and the shiny Nathan der Weise prospects for soulless material بهار برایم کاموا بیاور prosperity are eclipsed by the din of Auschwitz and the Gulag The denizens of a crumbling Rome were devout men many of them saints Where are the moral heroes of today s collapsing West The true despair of the Westerner must be in the fact that Gibbon s work in fact tells us so little about our current travails We study history in order to get a grasp on the The Farmers Register 1838 Vol 5 problems of our own era by seeing how humanity has failed and succeeded in the Si Parasit Lajang Seks Sketsa Cerita past we are able to better understand our Sales Hunting present and our future The Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz: Poems problem of modernity is that so much of the Hotel Tales present would be incomprehensible to our forebears and as such is mostly incomprehensible to us Even Marshall McLuhan the godfather of electronic chaos chose the antiuated notion of the village as a metaphor this village has as inhabitants a drone race whose souls have been razed by comfort and conformity and above which mechanized death is looming to strip us of our comforts at any moment Makes you wonder what kind of village he was referring to Gibbon himself Ne réveillez pas madame probably would not have been able to comprehend the leveling of 1789 Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web, Second Edition perhaps only the Maruis de Sade could make that claim A My Side of the Story philosophy of the bedroom in our case is useful than Tacitus or Plutarch Or Gibbon In Chapter XLV Gibbon tells us that a society in which marriage is encouraged and industry Irish Kiss prevails soon repairs accidental losses of Found in Transition pestilence and war but as far as the greater Arsène Schrauwen part of the Romans was condemned to hopeless indigence and celibacy the depopulation was constant and visible and the gloomy enthusiasts might expect the approaching failure of the human race Moderns have reason to despair Moderns lack hope but also the ability to have hope Centuries of depredation could only soften the valiant strength of Boethius soul it was not until the age of Luther that our tyrants found a way to silence it How one longs for those days of decline and fall distinct from the cruelty of our modern creations

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The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II review ï 9 Edward Gibbon's six volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1776 88 is among the most magnificent and ambitious narratives in European literature Its subject is the fate of one of the world's greatest civilizations over thirteen. In this volume we find what I assume most people expect out of a book called The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire waves of invasions by Goths Huns and Vandals the city of Rome plundered and the Western empire disintegrated It s action packed although not always when or how you expectThe beginning of the volume is dominated by Gibbon s favorite the heroic Julian the Apostate whose pointless but exciting campaign in Persia is related with uncharacteristic detail and thrills the ending by the mysterious and diabolical Count Ricimer whose motives and actions in successively installing and betraying several emperors in a row are left vague and unclear In between we get Theodosius possibly the last competant emperor Stilicho the great general trying desperately to keep the empire together between invading Goths and political intrigues Alaric noble king of the Goths Attila brutal king of the Huns and most fascinating to me a succession of powerful and fascinating women including Eudoxia St Pulcheria Galla Placidia Atheneas At one point the Roman Empire looks almost like a matriarchy with Empress Placidia ruling the West Empress Pulcheria ruling the East and Atheneas aka Aelia Eudocia attempting to wrest power from her while the two nominal emperors were essentially like medieval princesses being suabbled over All of these women had fascinating lives which deserve much fame and attention and I now have a great example to throw in the face of any nerd who whines there can t be a powerful woman in his fantasy world because that wouldn t be realisticOverall in this volume I felt Gibbon did a better job of focussing moving in for the occasional close up from the 70mm Panavision wide shot that he usually uses In addition to Julian s Persian campaign a notable example is the long account of an embassy to the Huns a kind of miniature spy thriller and ethnography of the Huns camp life There are some fun interesting and scandalous anecdotes especially it seemed to me once Procopius becomes a major source I enjoyed the various fortunes of St Athanasius perhaps the only Church Father who comes through Gibbon without much abuse though he does get some teasing as when the chaste saint is forced to take refuge in the home of a beautiful young woman His various adventures might have furnished the subject of a very entertaining romance Gibbon muses I also like when Gibbon reveals his tender feelings his confessing that he hopes it s true that Theodosius acted out of love of his wife or saying he doesn t want to know whether public safety can outweigh morality It s also always interesting to hear his opinions usually in footnotes of celebrated figures he disses St Augustine for example And for me at least having read such praises of Ausonius in Helen Waddell it was a surprise to find Gibbon saying the poetical fame of Ausonius condemns the taste of his ageThe final chapter about the post imperial fates of France Spain and Britain was a hard slog to get through This history is complicated but not very interesting partly I suppose because I don t know where it s heading I m distracted by my ignorance of this early medieval European history wondering what relation if any these Goths and Franks and Saxons and so on have to the countries that existed later and that exist today Guizot has disappeared from the footnotes I guess his work was unfinished when he died and Gibbon has developed an annoying over reliance on the word pusillanimous His summing up chapter was also annoyingly Enlightenment his theory is that barbarians are the common enemy of Europe and they can never really conuer because in order to gain the technology to challenge Europeans they must necessarily become civilized Obviously considering the barbarism of the civilized nations of his day who were busily enslaving and subjugating the peoples that they weren t committing genocide on this is a bit hard to swallow But Gibbon always surprises I would never have expected him to mock the absurd language of imperious Man as regards the guilt and shame of an adulterous woman for example And his writing is always incredible I m very much looking forward to the second half of the History the Byzantine Empire has always fascinated me