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on 23 February 2016
This is a beautiful box set. I have always been fascinated by Roman history and Gibbon is the book that everyone has heard of, but probably hardly anyone has ever seen and less read, although Isaac Asimov made no bones about the fact that "Decline and Fall" was his inspiration for the Foundation Trilogy and that his story and the quotes from the Encyclopedia Galactica imitated Gibbon's history. A colleague bought this boxed set and showed it off to me and I have to admit that I fell in love with it. Bottle green binding. Size convenient to read, this is a facsimile of an early 20th Century printing. Unlikely some reproductions, all Gibbon's extensive footnotes are there.

For anyone whose view of Roman history is a mixture of "I Claudius", "Gladiator" and "Spartacus", this is a real eye-opener. Gibbon wastes little time on the history of Rome up to the 3rd Century. Where he does stop and comment it is usually to poke an eye in a holy cow. Claudius is repeatedly described as "an idiot". Augustus is an implacable dictator. Caligula and Nero are passed over relatively quickly, although Gibbon does ask what Rome had done to deserve the run of emperors from Augustus through to Domitian, until Trajan finally broke the run of bad luck. We then jump most of a century until the good Marcus Aurelius (only referred to as Marcus and treated with enormous affection by Gibbon, although his death, which historians believe was from plague during a campaign in the east - rather than the depiction of being murdered by Commodus - is not mentioned at all by Gibbon) is replaced by Commodus. The film Gladiator probably paints a fair picture of Commodus's character as seen by Gibbon, but Gibbon wades in with spiked gloves and totally fillets him. And then he gets to start on what followed...

Certainly there is food for thought. Gibbon acknowledges that Claudius was the last male descendent in his family and readers may speculate how someone as stupid as Claudius is made out to be by him could survive the terror of Caligula, the plotting and not only become emperor, but have a long and very peaceful reign, with no attempts to revolt by the legions and no palace coup.

Although Gibbon's style is much-commented to be acerbic, wry and humorous, I admit that I was surprised by how dry it is and by how much text he gets out of a short quote from a contemporary historian (all lovingly referenced). It is not something that most people will sit and read from cover to cover, particularly as the volumes do not end with the fall of Rome itself, but with the fall of the eastern empire in Constantinople, centuries later. More it is a set of six volumes to dip in and out of and to treat with reverence.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 December 2014
Edward Gibbon does with words what an artist does with a paint brush. One reviewer said that reading Gibbon's prose was like HD TV. This is true. In fact, Winston Churchill copied Edward Gibbons style. He doesn't come close to the master, but it still won him the Nobel Prize in literature.

Gibbon didn't even have a dictionary when he wrote this and he can create images in you mind whilst you read!

Many reviewers keep talking about Gibbon's claim that it was Christianity that weakened the empire. This is only partly true. Gibbon spends much time talking psychology, power politics, general weakening of a decadent people and many other piercing insights into the general idiocy and brutality of the times.
Words can't describe the genius of Edward Gibbon.
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on 14 February 2014
This was my first eBook and I did not have high expectations of an on-screen version of this classic tale of Roman Emperors. Very surprised to find that it is perfectly readable on my Windows Phone. However, the original scanning of the text leaves a little to be desired, with missing characters, lines of text and even some pages. Not perfection but a great tale of how rulers can get it right or wrong that parallels what is happening in the world today. Plus ça change!
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on 24 February 2015
this is beyond being just an 'abridged' version. it skips whole chapters (on one occasion, from chapter 41 to chapter 50, skipping 8 chapters at once.)
I bought this without knowing it, and I'm very disappointed.
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on 30 May 2017
This is just a generic scan of an old edition, such as one might find on Project Gutenberg for free, and with all the scanning and formatting errors that come with this. Notes are dropped in the middle of the text, disrupting the flow; one has to guess what certain words should be; and the "table of contents" is simply a list of the 6 volumes included. One can't seriously read a work of this length and detail like this.
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on 9 May 2016
Complete unabridged six volumes of Edward Gibbon's Decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Hard box protects the books inside. The books are green hard backs with gold embossed titles, without dust covers. Excellent editions which you can spend literally years reading. Well worth the price.
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on 18 July 2017
Was and always will be the definitive history of the Roman Empire, showing its classical power and it's role in history!
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on 4 October 2017
Makes a nice change to hear it rather than read it, everything I expected.
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on 6 January 2017
Print is small.
But I can't fault Gibbon for that.
A bargain.
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on 10 July 2014
Thought I'd read this after reading I Claudius as I loved book however couldn't get into this but I wouldn't let that put you off I may have another go at reading this when I have a few weeks to spare and at price paid a bargain
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