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Barbarism and Religion: Volume 3, The First Decline and Fall: First Decline and Fall v. 3

Barbarism and Religion: Volume 3, The First Decline and Fall: First Decline and Fall v. 3

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By (author) J. G. A. Pocock

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 542 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 234mm x 38mm | 984g
  • Publication date: 14 July 2003
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521824451
  • ISBN 13: 9780521824453
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 1,565,737

Product description

'Barbarism and Religion' - Edward Gibbon's own phrase - is the title of a sequence of works by John Pocock designed to situate Gibbon, and his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in a series of contexts in the history of eighteenth-century Europe. This is a major intervention from one of the world's leading historians, challenging the notion of any one 'Enlightenment' and positing instead a plurality of enlightenments, of which the English was one. The first two volumes of Barbarism and Religion were warmly and widely reviewed, and won the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History of the American Philosophical Society. In this third volume in the sequence, The First Decline and Fall, John Pocock offers an historical introduction to the first fourteen chapters of Gibbon's great work, recounting the end of the classical civilisation Gibbon and his readers knew so much better than the worlds that followed.

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Author information

J. G. A. Pocock is one of the world's leading historians of ideas, and is Harry C. Black Emeritus Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University.

Review quote

'This volume is every bit as persuasive as its predecessors and, perhaps because it is as much recit as the others were peintures, it is also rather more compelling a read. More than the first two volumes of his work, volume three of Barbarism and Religion leaves one hanging; like Gibbon and his first readers, we are only at the Milvian Bridge, pondering what will follow with Constantine. One hopes that, unlike those readers, we will not have to wait five years for the next episode.' Daniel Woolf, American Historical Review 'It is, in every respect, a masterwork. ... Of books about our shared undertaking, about the practice and historical importance of Roman studies, this is the finest I know.' C. Ando, University of Southern California 'This is a ... rewarding book, requiring the reader to mediate on long quotations from the sources as well as to follow a complex argument ... The most important thing to say, though, is that this is a work of great intellectual power and distinction, its complex and subtle argument firmly under control, a long book yet one in which every sentence counts.' The European Legacy

Table of contents

Introduction; Prologue: 1. Gibbon's first volume: the problem of the Antonine moment; Part I. The First Decline and Fall: Ancient Perceptions: 2. Alibi quam Romae: the Tacitean narrative; 3. The Gracchan explanation: Appian of Alexandria and the unknown historian; 4. The construction of Christian empire; Part II. The Ambivalence and Survival of Christian Empire: 5. Orosius and Augustine: the formation of a Christian anti-history; 6. Otto of Freising and the two cities; 7. The historiography of the translatio imperii; Part III. The Humanist Construction of Decline and Fall: 8. Leonardo Bruni: from translatio to declinatio; 9. Flavio Biondo and the decades of decline; 10. Niccolo Machiavelli and the imperial republic; Part IV. Extensive Monarchy and Roman History: 11. Pedro Mexia: empire and monarchy; 12. History in the western monarchies: barbarism, law and republican survivals; 13. Lipsius and Harrington: the problem of arms in ancient and modern monarchy; Part V. Republic and Empire: The Enlightened Narrative: 14. European Enlightenment and the Machiavellian Moment; 15. The French narrative: I: Boussuet and Tillemont, II: Montesquieu and Beaufort; 16. The Scottish narrative: I: David Hume and Adam Smith, II: Adam Ferguson's history of the republic; Part VI. Gibbon and the Structure of Decline: 17. The Antonine moment; 18. The Severi and the disintegration of the principate; 19. The Illyrian recovery and the new monarchy; Epilogue; 20. The Constantinean moment.