#162- Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Part 1


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By Scott Hambrick and Online Great Books Podcast. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week, Scott and Karl tackle a massive narrative of one of the world's greatest civilizations. Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire follows the Roman Empire over thirteen centuries - its rulers, wars and society, and, of course, the events that led to its collapse.

Published between 1776 and 1788 in six volumes, Gibbon gained himself the reputation of being the first modern historian of ancient Rome. But does he belong on the Great Books list? Scott says, "If you are putting together this list, there are things that have happened that you must have books about. The fall of Rome, there needs to be something that covers it. What would it be? I guess this."

Gibbon, who devoted most of his life to this project, scored immediate success that was resounding. Speaking about Gibbon's influence, Karl says, "This is a sellout book informing educated Europeans about ideas of empire."

Scott adds, "I think modern people carry ideas about the Romans that came from Gibbon even if they haven't read this book. He's very influential."

Tune in for Part One of the duo's conversation. Brought to you by onlinegreatbooks.com.

169 episodes