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Gibbon Edward; The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

SKU: Gibbon Edward AB0410159 $395.00
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon Esq. printed for W. Strahan and T. Cadell in the Strand London in 1783. Stated New Editionpublished in twelve volumes of which this is vol. IV only. Full marbled calf in excellent condition. Author title and vol. # in gilt with seven panel spine ornately decorated with gilt bands central lozenge and corner volutes. Spine and binding are tight. Minor leather loss and wear at the head and foot. Front hinge is slightly cracked by approx. 5 cm. starting at the foot. Very minor corner bumps. Grime edge-wear and shelf-wear are much LESS than consistent with age. 443 supple white to off-white pages without any foxing spotting tear or loss. Owners name inscribed in ink on TP. Both pastedowns and end sheets exhibit darkening around the edges which does not continue through to the text pages. Text is complete. Catch wordat the bottom of each page with margin notes and chapter #. Volume measures: 14 cm. x 21.5 cm. (Octavo). An outstanding volume in fine condition. Edward Gibbon (27 April 1737 16 January 1794) was an English historian and Member of Parliament. His most important work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empirewas published originally in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. The Decline and Fallis known principally for the quality and irony of its prose its use of primary sources and its open denigration of organized religion though the extent of this is disputed by some critics. After several rewrites with Gibbon often tempted to throw away the labours of seven yearsthe first volume of what would become his life trades major achievement was published on February 17 1776. Through 1777 the reading public eagerly consumed three editions for which Gibbon was rewarded handsomely: two-thirds of the profits amounting to approx. 1000 pounds sterling. Biographer Leslie Stephen wrote that thereafter His fame was as rapid as it has been lasting.And as regards this first volume Some warm praise from Davis Hume overpaid the labour of ten years.Volumes II and III appeared on March 1 1781 eventually rising to a level with the previous volume in general esteem.Volume IV was finished in June 1784: the final two were completed during a second Lausanne sojourn (September 1783 to August 1787) where Gibbon reunited with his friend Deyverdun in leisurely comfort. By early 1787 he was straining for the goal:and with great relief the project was finished in June [should you be wondering about the discrepancy between the date of this volume (1783) and the date vol. iv was originally published (1784) keep in mind that the original was published in a six volume set whereas this vol. is part of a twelve volume set. So this material was first published prior to April 1781]. The years following Gibbon trades completion of Decline and Fallwere filled largely with sorrow and increasing physical discomfort. He had returned to London in late 1787 o oversee the publication process alongside Lord Sheffield John Baker-Holroyd. With that accomplished in 1789 it was back to Lausanne only to learn of and be deeply affectedby the death of deyverdun who had willed Gibbon his home La Grotte. He resided there with little commotion took in the local society received a visit from Sheffield in 1791 and shared the common abhorrenceof the French Revolution. In 1793 word came of Lady Sheffield trades death: Gibbon immediately quit Lausanne and set sail to comfort a grieving but composed Sheffield. His health began to fail critically in December and at the turn of the new year he was on his last legs. Gibbon is believed to have suffered from hydocele testis a condition which causes the scrotum to swell with fluid in a compartment overlying either testicle. In an age when close-fitting clothes were fashionable his condition led to a chronic and disfiguring inflammation which left Gibbon a lonely figure. As his condition worsened he underwent numerous procedures to alleviate the condition but with no enduring success. In early January the last of a series of three operations caused an unremitting peritonitis to set in and spread from which he died. The English giant of the Enlightenment finally succumbed at 12:45 pm January 16 1794 at the age of 56. He was buried in the Sheffield family graveyard at the parish church in Fletching Sussex. The decline of the Roman Empire refers to both the gradual disintegration of the economy of Rome and the barbarian invasions that were it final doom. This slow decline occurred over an estimated period of 320 years which many historians believe finally culminated on September 4 476 when Romulus Augustus the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire was deposed by Odoacer a Germanic chieftain. To an extent any such date must be arbitrary: Julius Nepos the legitimate emperor recognized by the East Roman Empire continued to live in Salona Dalmatia until he was assassinated in 480. Some modern historians question the relevance of this date as the Ostogoths who succeeded considered themselves as upholders of the direct line of Roman traditions and note as Gibbon did that the Eastern Roman Empire was going from strength to strength and continued until the Fall of Constantinople on May 29 1453. Many scholars maintain that rather than a fallthe changes can more accurately described as a complex transformation. Over time many theories have been proposed on why the Empire fell or whether indeed it fell at all.