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Download The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 2 Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 2 Audiobook, by Edward Gibbon
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,838 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edward Gibbon Narrator: Philip Madoc, Neville Jason Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2000 ISBN:
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Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire occupies an immortal place in the pantheon of historical masterpieces. This recording covers the final three volumes of Gibbon's work, tracing ten centuries in the life of the eastern half of the empire, whose capital city was Constantinople. Among the many figures who stride across Gibbon's stage here are the emperor Justinian I, a noble statesman and successful warrior, brought low by his lascivious wife, the former prostitute Theodora; the murdering Basil I, a peasant who nonetheless proved himself a worthy figure upon which to drape the purple; and the final emperor of all Constantine XI, who died on the battlements of Constantinople in 1453, valiantly fighting a losing battle to prevent the Turks from gaining a city thay had craved for centuries. This is still the work that sets the standard for all histories of the period. 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 Jesse Lopes | 2/6/2014

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vicki Cline | 1/28/2014

    " I only made it through volume 3, because I'm not really interested in what happened after Rome fell in 476, but I did enjoy what I read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bob Mask | 12/23/2013

    " A tough read, but worth the effort for perspective gleaned. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emmett J. | 11/26/2013

    " I'm not sure I'd be able to get through the unabridged version, but this version was absolutely riveting. I was not expecting a book with so much wry humor nor with such beautiful English. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hugh | 11/17/2013

    " The length, depth and scope of this classic history was a little daunting but the writing style and elegant language made it easier and helped keep my interest. There are more accurate, updated histories of this period but I doubt there are any as well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dana | 8/14/2012

    " Kind of dry and the 18th century writing style makes for a slow read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ctk27 | 8/13/2012

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

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda | 5/1/2012

    " I know there are probably many readers who think this is a wonderful, informative, and priceless book. I'm not a fan of the Roman Empire and the tons of literature it spawned. I forced myself to finish the book, then treated me to chocolate, copious romance novels, and boiling hot bubble baths. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Kubat | 8/21/2011

    " I have the 5-volume, 1879 edition that was edited by H. H. Milman. Great reading, tremendous detail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 10/27/2010

    " Wow. And glad I didn't read the unabridged version. Was a lot of information, well written, and at times even witty. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy Balling | 10/18/2009

    " Great book, but very very challoenging. Have to have at least a above average understanding of rome in order to enjoy this book or else this book would not be much different than reading radio instructions "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Watson | 10/16/2008

    " 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 Hadrian | 6/22/2007

    " Truly grand in scope, in subject matter, in style. Some conclusions/sources are out of date, but it is still a joy to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aran | 1/30/2007

    " Well, Gibbon, we had a great run of it. But I have to admit I totally lost the thread of the narrative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J. D. | 6/30/2006

    " This work is justly regarded as a classic. I am tempted to read an unabridged version (more volumes/chapters), in spite of time-constraints. The historical perspective provided here seem well worth the time spent reading. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Kovatch | 12/15/2005

    " deep but very similar to the USA "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marc L | 12/4/2004

    " Klassiek werk, vooral voor zijn stijl en breedvoerigheid. Typerend: zeer vele morele uitspraken, met betweterige ondertoon, en in elk geval altijd vanuit autoriteit. Dikwijls verwijzingen naar eigen tijd en engelse samenleving. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 بهمن بهمن | 12/13/2002

    " ye ketabe khaste konandeh vali mo'tabar dar bareye tarikhe rome bastan. "

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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.