By J. G. A. Pocock
This 6th and ultimate quantity in John Pocock's acclaimed series of works on Barbarism and faith examines Volumes II and III of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, sporting Gibbon's narrative to the top of empire within the west. It makes common assertions: first, that this can be in fact a mosaic of narratives, written on various premises and not totally synthesized with each other; and moment, that those chapters assert a development of either barbarism and faith from east to west, leaving a lot heritage at the back of as they accomplish that. The value of Barbarism and faith is already obvious. Barbarism: Triumph within the West represents the fruits of a outstanding try to detect and current what Gibbon was once asserting, what he intended by means of it, and why he stated it within the ways in which he did, in addition to an unprecedented contribution to the historiography of Enlightened Europe.
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Additional resources for Barbarism: Triumph in the West (Barbarism and Religion, Volume 6)
592. Does Gibbon ever enquire why a merchant class does not develop and seek power on the Bosphorus? 22 The Constantinian Empire Here Gibbon inserts the sentence already quoted32 in which the new institutions earlier praised as giving ‘strength and stability’ to the empire become one of the causes of its ‘rapid decay’. He continues: In the pursuit of any remarkable institution, we may be frequently led into the more early or the more recent times of the Roman history; but the proper limits of this enquiry will be included within a period of about one hundred and thirty years from the accession of Constantine to the publication of the Theodosian code, from which, as well as from the Notitia of the east and west, we derive the most copious and authentic information of the state of the empire.
3; Rolfe, 1939/1986, ii, pp. 334–5. Brown, 1977b, p. 78. 56 FDF, p. 480. 57 EEG, pp. 28–38. 58 Above, p. 15, n. 6 Constantinople: a new city and a new history 29 as well as Panciroli’s59 – and these describe an immense structure of ofﬁces, civil and military, domestic and provincial, in the western empire and in the east. To portray it as a ritualised palace phenomenon, as Gibbon seems to be doing, is to say the least selective. He will a few pages later describe it as the imperial administration it was, leaving the passage quoted an isolated display of rhetoric.
1276–77. 36 The Constantinian Empire himself as the successor to Polybius, narrating a loss of empire as vast and rapid as the conquests recorded by the earlier historian, for which as a pagan he was resolved to hold Constantine to blame. Gibbon thought him as biased and credulous as his Christian opponents, but follows him exactly and interestingly in connecting the separation of civil and military authority with the degeneracy of the armies. An English translation of 1684 conveys by its raciness the quality of Zosimus’s mind.
Barbarism: Triumph in the West (Barbarism and Religion, Volume 6) by J. G. A. Pocock