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Download The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1 Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1 (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Edward Gibbon
4.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 54.25 out of 5 4.25 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edward Gibbon Narrator: Bernard Mayes Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2007 ISBN:
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Considered one of the finest historical works in the English language, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is lauded for its graceful, elegant prose style as much as for its epic scope. Remarkably accurate for its day, Gibbon's treatise holds a high place in the history of literature and remains an enduring subject of study.

Gibbon's monumental work traces the history of more than 13 centuries, covering the great events as well as the general historical progression. This first volume covers A.D. 180 to A.D. 395, which includes the establishment of Christianity and the Crusades. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Haws | 2/15/2014

    " I was studying latin and read these three volumes toward the end of the fall semester, over the break, and into the spring. Gibbon is such a joy to read, it makes you appreciate the literary capacity of 18th academics. I think I would rate him with Tocqueville, in terms of the beauty of his historic narrative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Watson | 2/10/2014

    " Isn't this the greatest history book ever written? And it's so funny! (in places) Gibbon has such a cutting wit, you occasionally laugh out loud. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabe | 2/2/2014

    " If you're like me, and I know *I* am, then you'll love Gibbon's definitive 5-volume history of the Roman Empire. Don't pussy out and read an abridged version. Abridged versions are for horse-thieving, mud-eating, ballcap-wearing turd farmers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sunil | 1/28/2014

    " Always scribble, scribble, scribble, eh, Mr. Gibbon? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesse Lopes | 1/21/2014

    " Gibbon is sensible of the finest Enlightenment truisms - that fear is the guardian of authority in government, and that rational persuasion is the guardian of freedom in society; that war is robbery, and wealth a distortion of the public weal; that democracy is the life of society, and monarchy its death; and that a copious prose style with cadences often involving parallel homonyms with insightfully paired subject matters is the stuff of good English prose (indeed, his English prose is, I believe, the finest the language has ever seen). That being said, it must be admitted that Gibbon is also a shameless racist, sexist, and Eurocentric xenophobe (and, however much his superlative style may obscure it, this is why he is a part of the Western canon). Gibbon does not spare his subject, Imperial Rome, from abuse though; he accurately describes, in flowing fashion, the cruelties of the officially bad emperors. But Gibbon errs when he speaks of the officially good emperors; he relates, as do all bigoted ancient historians, the times of the Antonines as if they were idyllic; yet it is certain that Marcus Aurelius persecuted many Christians to the death, and carried on extremely bloody imperialistic wars, nevermind the system of slavery that his Christ-like soul upheld. Hence, Gibbon, like everyone who fails in their humanity by not being either a socialist or an anarchist (even the inhuman Hegel called the socialist Roman Tiberius Gracchus "noble; vanquished by grasping elites"), believes that the prosperity of any given age will depend upon the morality of its rulers. But Gibbon, though he was an extreme reactionary who depended upon slave labor both in and around his home while writing these books, expresses sentiments that seem, to me, to be nothing short of the stuff that the Jacobins proclaimed during the years of the French Revolution (e.g. "The paths of blood; such is the history of nations." - hardly a sentiment that an historian who expects a monetary profit from his work would utter); this, perhaps, does not reveal any contradictions in Gibbon's work per se, but just goes to show how far to the right our so-called "open society" has tilted. Hence, all in all, Gibbon is mightily complex, and one may gain much, on historical, aesthetical, and political grounds, from reading him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Malette Poole | 1/20/2014

    " Reading the Kindle Edition, all six volumes, so I only know I am 14% finished. It is wonderful and the FIRST example of a thematic rather than a chronological history. Had I read this as an undergraduate, my graduate career would have been less difficult. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Anderson | 1/19/2014

    " The first great history of Rome. The style is readable and the stories interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Clulow | 1/10/2014

    " This is considered the most comprehensive book on the roman empire for a reason. It reads like an encyclopedia so you need some motivation but it is full of so many facts that it is worth it. At times, Gibbon's historical prejudices become apparent but that reflects the times he lived in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ctk27 | 1/8/2014

    " Not an easy read, but really worth the effort. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caleb | 12/26/2013

    " Long, outdated, and compellingly interesting reading. Great to read if you know a lot about the Roman Empire, or nothing at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Pyjov | 11/27/2013

    " I feel like I should give this a 5, but will not give in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shane Lees | 11/21/2013

    " Oh my gawd this book is so long. But such an amazing read for Roman history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda | 11/20/2013

    " This set was a trifle dry, but it was a great survey of the empire period of Rome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 11/2/2013

    " I actually read the powerpoint version of this one. By using bullets and some relevant clip art, this french edition of the original doozy became alive for me in a way that I shouldn't mention online. Very sexy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Moran | 5/26/2013

    " Wow, this was very readable even though it was written 200+ years ago. The prose is a bit wordy at times and I had to go back to reread parts, but there is so much to learn from this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hans Dickes | 11/1/2012

    " I have to read this book in spurts. Its so dam big. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 melissa seley | 6/16/2011

    " ok, so i've only read selected chapters and it would take a lifetime to really do it rightly, but - brilliant. a good thing to have on the bookshelf for digging into when you want to escape your own lil life and mull over the oddballs, meanies, heroes, perverts and heartbreaks of an empire vanished. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 5/31/2011

    " Listening to the Audible.com version "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Buddy | 11/30/2010

    " Along with CHurchill, possibly the best user o f th English language. Regardless of your interest in the subject, this would be worth reading for style alone "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anthony Barbieri | 1/14/2009

    " If you read the Age of Civilization then you must read this. "

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About the Author
Author Edward Gibbon

Edward Gibbon (1737–1794), an English historian and member of Parliament, had little formal education. He went to Oxford, but was forced to leave when he converted to Roman Catholicism. His family then sent him to Lausanne, where he was reconverted to Protestantism. His most important work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788.

About the Narrator

Bernard Mayes is a teacher, administrator, corporate executive, broadcaster, actor, dramatist, and former international commentator on US culture. He is best known for his readings of historical classics.