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The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1 | [Edward Gibbon]

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

Considered one of the finest historical works in the English language, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is lauded for its graceful, elegant prose style as much as for its epic scope. Remarkably accurate for its day, Gibbon's treatise holds a high place in the history of literature and remains an enduring subject of study.

Gibbon's monumental work traces the history of more than 13 centuries, covering the great events as well as the general historical progression. This first volume covers A.D. 180 to A.D. 395, which includes the establishment of Christianity and the Crusades.

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Publisher's Summary

Considered one of the finest historical works in the English language, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is lauded for its graceful, elegant prose style as much as for its epic scope. Remarkably accurate for its day, Gibbon's treatise holds a high place in the history of literature and remains an enduring subject of study.

Gibbon's monumental work traces the history of more than 13 centuries, covering the great events as well as the general historical progression. This first volume covers A.D. 180 to A.D. 395, which includes the establishment of Christianity and the Crusades.

(P)1992 Blackstone Audio Inc.

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (353 )
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4.0 (197 )
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 (11)
Story
3.5 (196 )
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 (65)
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 (45)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (27)
Performance
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  •  
    Bruce Minnetonka, MN, USA 02-28-08
    Bruce Minnetonka, MN, USA 02-28-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "How did I ever order this"

    When I realized Audible had Decline and Fall on file I was thrilled - I have always wanted to read it. However, either Edward Gibbon or the narrator makes this history so tedious to listen to that I simply quit after the first part.

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 01-04-08
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 01-04-08 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    571
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    239
    104
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    33
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    Overall
    "Some books are meant to..."

    Some books are more suitable for the medium of audiobooks than others, just as some books are meant to be read while others are meant to stand on the shelf testifying the learned sophistication of the owner. In printed form, Edward Gibbon's masterpiece makes fabulous sleeping aid, in audiobook form, it has lost even that, the recording sounds like it comes from outdated dictaphone, and the content, well, it's "decline and fall of the roman empire..."

    7 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-07-13 Member Since 2011

    JimBobBillyJoeJackJasonTom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    196
    22
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    "I just want to give a star rating. If you force me"
    Would you listen to The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1 again? Why?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    What about Bernard Mayes’s performance did you like?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    Any additional comments?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 31-33 of 33 results PREVIOUS134NEXT
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  • John
    RomseyUnited Kingdom
    1/28/08
    Overall
    "Stupendous"

    I've been hanging on for an unabridged version of Gibbon for a while now and this well worth the wait. Some may find Bernard Mayes' delivery a little dry but the reprise of his slightly grandfatherly delivery from Herodotus' Histories suits Gibbon's prose perfectly. I'm not sure what edition is being used, I would guess it's the Penguin. The only gripe is that Gibbon's introduction is missing, as are the copious footnotes, but then constant digressions, as entertaining as they are in the original, probably wouldn't work in audio form. Highly recommended.

    26 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Natalia
    United Kingdom
    9/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, poor recording"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    This is one of the classics of the genre, and despite it's reputation for being dry and dusty is actually quite interesting with a wry sense of humour in places.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    I am already a great fan of books about Roman history, so reading one that is so important to books that came after just makes me want to read more.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    It really is the kind of style that you either enjoy it or hate it.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    While the narrator is okay, the sound quality is woeful - at times it sounds like there is another person reading in the background or that this has been copied over another recording!


    Do you have any additional comments?

    It is a shame that such a great book is let down by such bad recording quality.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • PFK
    UK
    3/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very poor sound quality"
    Where does The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The book is one I was really looking forward to. Sadly the recording appears to be very old. It sounds like an ancient cassette tape and would have benefited from cleaning up. It is very difficult to listen to - I might persist for a few minutes, but not for a long, long book like this.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Bernard Mayes?

    The reader was probably good but the poor sound quality made it hard to tell.


    Any additional comments?

    I gave up after about ten minutes - with regret.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • andslau
    England
    10/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor quality audio"
    What disappointed you about The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1?

    The quality of the audio is rather poor.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is Gibbon's elegantly written epic work - difficult to fault.


    What does Bernard Mayes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The narrator was excellent but unfortunately let down by the quality of the recording. It was bearable for a few minutes but started to grate fairly quickly.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • andrew
    darlington, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Beautifully written, strangely read!"

    This book is widely regarded as being one of the most beautifully written in the English language. This spoken version sounds rather odd to the modern ear as the narrator gives the impression of having recorded it whilst having a glass of brandy dressed in a silk smoking jacket! Very upper middle class! Once you become accustomed to the rather homely style however, the language shines through and you begin to focus rather more on the subject matter and less on the delivery. I do feel this is a book for those already accustomed with Roman history rather than a 'beginner 's guide' so would recommend it to those who wish to expand their knowledge, not those starting their exploration.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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