The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 2

  • by Edward Gibbon
  • Narrated by Bernard Mayes
  • 40 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Famous for its unflagging narrative power, fine organization, and irresistibly persuasive arguments, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has earned a permanent place of honor in historical literature. Gibbon's elegantly detached erudition is seasoned with an ironic wit, and remarkably little of his work is outdated.This second volume covers A.D. 395 to A.D. 1185, from the reign of Justinian in the East to the establishment of the German Empire of the West. It recounts the desperate attempts to hold off the barbarians, palace revolutions and assassinations, theological controversy, and lecheries and betrayals, all in a setting of phenomenal magnificence.

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What the Critics Say

"[Gibbon] stood on the summit of the Renaissance achievement and looked back over the waste of history to ancient Rome, as from one mountain top to another." (Christopher Dawson)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brilliant in parts, excellent in Most.

There was some drudgery with the minor, post Constantine emperors. I was also not as excited by the HRE sections as I was by the sections on the Rise of Islam, the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire, and the Crusades. Those sections alone are why I rated the second half 5 stars and not 4. Anyway, a fantastic read. Ironic to finish it right after S&P lowers our national credit rating and our senators again fail to do anything productive.
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- Darwin8u

Enormously Important, Fataly Flawed Delivery

What would have made The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 2 better?

This is obviously one of the most important western works of literature, and should be on the list of every serious reader. Unfortunately there are several major flaws with this rendition.

First and foremost, this is a very very poor, almost unlistenable recording. It is either very old and uncared for or it was just plain technically poor when recorded. Unless you have a tin ear it will be excruciating to endure it for long.

Second the reader has a very thick British accent and peculiar annunciation and timing. This, combined with the imperceptible mumbling lows and over modulated highs make this an unbearable recording.
Yet somehow, the absolute brilliance of the writing comes through.
It's just that it is so enormously fatiguing that I was unable to finish it.


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- Heather

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-03-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.