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Edward Gibbon FRS (8 May 1737 - 16 January 1794) was an English historian, writer and Member of Parliament. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788 and is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its polemical criticism of organised religion.
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is Edward Gibbon's magnum opus, written and published over a 13-year period beginning in 1776. It not only chronicles the events of the downfall starting with the end of the rule of Marcus Aurelius, but proposes a theory as to why Rome collapsed: the populace, Gibbon theorizes, lost its moral fortitude, its militaristic will, and its sense of civic duty. History is considered a classic in world literature, and Gibbon is sometimes called the first "modern historian" for his insistence upon using primary sources for his research. Many scholars today still use his highly regarded work as reference.
In this second of seven volumes, readers will find Chapter 15 ("The Progress of the Christian Religion") through Chapter 24 ("The Retreat and Death of Julian"), which cover Gibbon's controversial history of Christianity in the Roman Empire; the rule of Nero; the construction of Constantinople; the organization of the Roman government; the rule of Constantine; wars with Persia; the rules of Gallus and Julian; the Schism of the Donatists; the council of Nice; and the Arian heresy.
English parliamentarian and historian EDWARD GIBBON (1737-1794) attended Magdelan College, Oxford for 14 months before his father sent him to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he continued his education. He published Essai sur l'Étude de la Littérature (1761) and other autobiographical works, including Mémoire Justificatif pour servir de Réponse à l'Exposé, etc. de la Cour de France (1779).