The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

  • by Edward Gibbon
  • Narrated by Philip Madoc, Neville Jason
  • 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is one of the greatest texts in the English language. In magisterial prose, Gibbon charts the gradual collapse of the Roman rule form Augustus (23 BC - AD 14) to the first of the barbarian kings, Odoacer (476- 490 AD). It is a remarkable account, with the extravagant corruption and depravity of emperors such as Commodus, Caracalla, and Elagabalus contrasted by the towering work of Constantine, Julian, and other remarkable men. It remains the standard work of scholarship on the subject two hundred years after it is written; yet equally important, in its sheer accessibility, it is an unforgettable story.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Triumph

How often does one hear of someone admitting to have tried and failed to get through Gibbon's "Decline and Fall"? I have heard it several times and I include myself in the statistic. This abridged audio version is exquisitely done and makes Gibbon accessible enough to enjoy and be inspired by this timeless masterpiece. Philip Madoc reads Gibbon beautifully and earnestly, while Neville Jason provides background and context. Both are first rate. I happened to listen to a sample of the other Decline and Fall version offered by Audible. I respectfully prefer this one (However, I'm intrigued by the other because it looks much less abridged than this one). I would also recommend Cyril Robinson's "A History of Rome" as a companion. Charlton Griffin is an excellent narrator.
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- Jesse

Beautifully written and narrated

This is one of those classics that, sooner or later, all educated people manage to get around to. I had attempted reading it in my youth, but never finished it. I was pleased to find an abridged version that would not strain my attention span. This is a very well narrated version by two British readers who are skillful in the craft. It is elegantly done, and the voices match the baroque style of Gibbons' flowery style. If ancient Rome is a subject that interests you, you must hear this. However, this history does NOT include the origins and history of republican Rome. In fact, the vast bulk of the subject matter is the corruption and fall of the Roman Empire, starting approximately with the events of the first half of the 2nd century A.D. and proceeding from there. I recommend this work without hesitation to lovers of ancient history.
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- Theresa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-01-2000
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks