The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

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Vernor, Hood, & Sharpe, 1806 - Byzantine Empire
 

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User Review  - LisaMaria_C - LibraryThing

I feel decidedly ambivalent about this book. My rating reflects that ultimately I didn't want to stick with it; I didn't find its pleasures and degree of informativeness worth the slogging through ... Read full review

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

A classic of historical literature, in two volumes. The author details the history to the fall in the first volume, and the byzantine period in the second volume. Read full review

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Page 130 - If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. The vast extent of the Roman empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom.
Page 8 - After a war of about forty years, undertaken by the most stupid, maintained by the most dissolute, and terminated by the most timid of all the emperors, the far greater part of the island submitted to the Roman yoke.
Page 357 - ... each barbarian fixed his independent dwelling on the spot to which a plain, a wood, or a stream of fresh water, had induced him to give the preference.
Page 90 - But in the present imperfect condition of society, luxury, though it may proceed from vice or folly, seems to be the only means that can correct the unequal distribution of property.
Page 130 - The labours of these monarchs were overpaid by the immense reward that inseparably waited on their success ; by the honest pride of virtue, and by the exquisite delight of beholding the general happiness of which they were the authors.
Page 144 - But the words of the assassin sunk deep into the mind of Commodus, and left an indelible impression of fear and hatred against the whole body of the senate.* Those whom he had dreaded as importunate ministers, he now suspected as secret enemies. The Delators, a race of men discouraged, and almost extinguished, under the former reigns, again became formidable, as soon as they discovered that the emperor was desirous of nmding disaffection and treason in the senate.
Page 274 - Experience overturns these airy fabrics, and teaches us that in a large society the election of a monarch can never devolve to the wisest or to the most numerous part of the people.
Page 51 - Platonists endeavoured to reconcile the jarring interests of reason and piety. They have left us the most sublime proofs of the existence and perfections of the first cause; but, as it was impossible for them to conceive the creation of matter, the workman in the Stoic philosophy was not sufficiently distinguished from the work; whilst, on the contrary, the spiritual God of Plato and his disciples resembled an idea rather than a substance.
Page 154 - They only forgot to observe that, in the first ages of society, when the fiercer animals often dispute with man the possession of an unsettled country, a successful war against those savages is one of the most innocent and beneficial labours of heroism.
Page 49 - Fear, gratitude, and curiosity, a dream or an omen, a singular disorder, or a distant journey, perpetually disposed him to multiply the articles of his belief, and to enlarge the list of his protectors.

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