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The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Volume 2 (Penguin Classics)


The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Volume 2 (Penguin Classics) Cover


Synopses & Reviews


Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (the second and third volumes were originally published in 1781), is one of the most famous texts in the English language. David Womersley's annotated edition returns to manuscript and original sources.

About the Author

Edward Gibbon was born in 1737 in Putney, England, and was the only child of his parents to survive infancy. Although his education was frequently interrupted by ill health, his knowledge was far-reaching. His brief career as an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, ended when he joined the Catholic Church. His father sent him to Lausanne, in Switzerland, where, while studying Greek and French for the next five years, he re-joined the Protestant Church. In 1761 he published his Essai sur l'étude de la Littérature; the English version appeared in 1764. Meanwhile, Gibbon served as a captain in the Hampshire Militia until 1763, when he returned to the Continent. It was while he was in Rome in 1764 that he first conceived the work that was eventually to become The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

In 1774, after the death of his father, Gibbon settled in London and was elected to Parliament where he sat for the next eight years, although he never once spoke in the Commons. He also took his place among the literary circles of London. The first volume of his famous History was published in 1776; it was highly praised for its learning and style but incurred some censure for its treatment of the early Christians. The second and third volumes appeared in 1781 and the final three, which were written in Lausanne, in 1788. He died while on a visit to his friend, Lord Sheffield, who posthumously edited Gibbon's autobiographical papers and published them in 1796.

David Womersley teaches at Jesus College, Oxford, and edited Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for Penguin Classics.

Table of Contents

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume II Chapter XXVII

Death of Gratian—Ruin of Arianism.—St. Ambrose.—First civil War againt Maximus.—Character, Administration and Pennance of Theodosius.—Death of Valentinian II.—Second civil War, againt Eugenius.—Death of Theodosius.


379-383. Character and Conduct of the Emperor Gratian. His Defects

383 Discontent of the Roman Troops. Revolt of Maximus in Britain. Flight and Death of Gratian

383-387. Treaty of Peace between Maximus and Theodosius

380 Baptism and orthodox Edicts of Theodosius

340-380. Arianism of Constantinople

378 Gregory Nazianzen accepts the mission of Constantinople

380 Ruin of Arianism at Constantinople

381 In the East. The Council of Constantinople. Retreat of Gregory Nazianzen

380-394. Edicts of Theodosius against the Heretics

385 Execution of Priscillian and his Associates

375-397. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan

385 His successful Opposition to the Empress Justina

387 Maximus invades Italy. Flight of Valentinian. Theodosius takes Arms in the Cause of Valentinian

388 Defeat and Death of Maximus. Virtues of Theodosius. Faults of Theodosius

387 The Sedition of Antioch. Clemency of Theodosius

390 Sedition and Massacre of Thessalonica

388 Influence and Conduct of Ambrose

390 Pennance of Theodosius

388-391. Generosity of Theodosius

391 Character of Valentinian

392 His Death

392-394. Usurpation of Eugenius. Theodosius prepares for War

394 His Victory over Eugenius

395 Death of Theodosius. Corruption of the Times. The Infantry lay aside their Armour

Chapter XXVII

Final Destruction of Paganism.—Introduction of the Worship of Saints, and Relics, among the Christians.


378-395. The Destruction of the Pagan Religion. State of Paganism at Rome.

384 Petition of the Senate for the Altar of Victory

388 Conversion of Rome

381 Destruction of the Temples in the Provinces. The Temple of Serapis at Alexandria

389 Its final Destruction

390 The Pagan Religion is prohibited. Oppressed

390-420. Finally extinguished. The Worship of the Christian Martyrs. General Reflections

I. Fabulous Martyrs and Relics

II. Miracles

III. Revival of Polytheism

IV. Introduction of Pagan Ceremonies

Chapter XXIX

Final Division of the Roman Empire between the Sons of Theodosius—Reign of Arcadius and Honorius—Administration of Rufinus and Stilicho.—Revolt and Defeat of Gildo in Africa.


395 Division of the Empire between Arcadius and Honorius

386-395. Character and Administration of Rufinus

395 He oppresses the East. He is disappointed, by the Marriage of Arcadius. Character of Stilicho, the Minister, and General of the Western Empire

385-408. His Military Command

395 The Fall and Death of Rufinus

396 Discord of the two Empires

386-398. Revolt of Gildo in Africa

397 He is condemned by the Roman Senate

398 The African War

398 Defeat and Death of Gildo

398 Marriage, and Character of Honorius

Chapter XXX

Revolt of the Goths.—They plunder Greece. Two great Invasions of Italy by Alaric and Radagaisus.—They are repulsed by Stilicho.—The Germans over-run Gaul.—Usurpation of Constantine in the West.—Disgrace and Death of Stilicho.


395 Revolt of the Goths

396 Alaric marches into Greece

397 He is attacked by Stilicho. Escapes to Epirus

398 Alaric is declared Master-general of the eastern Illyricum. Is proclaimed King of the Visigoths

400-403. He invades Italy

403 Honorius flies from Milan. He is pursued and besieged by the Goths. Battle of Pollentia. Boldness and Retreat of Alaric

404 The Triumph of Honorius at Rome. The Gladiators abolished. Honorius fixes his Residence at Ravenna

400 The Revolutions of Scythia

405 Emigration of the northern Germans

406 Radagaisus invades Italy. Besieges Florence. Threatens Rome. Defeat and Destruction of his Army by Stilicho. The Remainder of the Germans invade Gaul

407 Desolation of Gaul. Revolt of the British Army. Constantine is acknowledged in Britain and Gaul

408 He reduces Spain

404-408. Negociation of Alaric and Stilicho

408 Debates of the Roman Senate. Intrigues of the Palace. Disgrace and Death of Stilicho. His Memory persecuted. The Poet Claudian among the Train of Stilicho's Dependents

Chapter XXXI

Invasion of Italy by Alaric.—Manners of the Roman Senate and People.—Rome is thrice besieged, and at length pillaged by the Goths.—Death of Alaric.—The Goths evacuate Italy.—Fall of Constantine.—Gaul and Spain are occupied by the Barbarians.—Independence of Britain.


408 Weakness of the Court of Ravenna. Alaric marches to Rome. Hannibal at the Gates of Rome. Genealogy of the Senators. The Anician Family. Wealth of the Roman Nobles. Their Manners. Character of the Roman Nobles, by Ammianus Marcellinus. State and Character of the People of Rome. Public Distribution of Bread, Bacon, Oil, Wine, &c. Use of the public Baths. Games and Spectacles. Populousness of Rome. First Siege of Rome by the Goths. Famine. Plague. Superstition

409 Alaric accepts a Ransom, and raises the Siege. Fruitless Negociations for Peace. Change and Succession of Ministers. Second Siege of Rome by the Goths. Attalus is created Emperor by the Goths and Romans

410 He is degraded by Alaric. Third Siege and Sack of Rome by the Goths. Respect of the Goths for the Christian Religion. Pillage and Fire of Rome. Captives and Fugitives. Sack of Rome by the Troops of Charles V. Alaric evacuates Rome and ravages Italy

408-412. Possession of Italy by the Goths

410 Death of Alaric

412 Adolphus, King of the Goths, concludes a Peace with the Empire, and marches into Gaul

414 His Marriage with Placidia. The Gothic Treasures

410-417. Laws for the Relief of Italy and Rome

413 Revolt and Defeat of Heraclian, Count of Africa

409-413. Revolutions of Gaul and Spain. Character and Victories of the General Constantius

411 Death of the Usurper Constantine

411-416. Fall of the Usurpers, Jovinus, Sebastian, and Attalus

409 Invasion of Spain by the Suevi, Vandals, Alani, &c.

414 Adolphus, King of Goths, marches into Spain

415 His Death

415-418. The Goths conquer and restore Spain

419 Their Establishment in Aquitain. The Burgundians

420, &c. State of the Barbarians in Gaul

409 Revolt of Britain and Armorica

409-449. State of Britain

418 Assembly of the Seven Provinces of Gaul

Chapter XXXII

Arcadius Emperor of the East.—Administration and Disgrace of Eutropius.—Revolt of Gainas.—Persecution of St. John Chrysostom.—Theodosius II. Emperor of the East.—His Sister Pulcheria.—His Wife Eudocia.—The Persian War, and Division of Armenia.


395-1453. The Empire of the East

395-408. Reign of Arcadius

395-399. Administration and Character of Eutropius. His Venality and Injustice. Ruin of Abundantius. Destruction of Timasius

397 A cruel and unjust Law of Treason

399 Rebellion of Tribigild. Fall of Eutropius

400 Conspiracy and Fall of Gainas

398 Election and Merit of St. John Chrysostom

398-403. His Administration and Defects

403 Chrysostom is persecuted by the Empress Eudocia. Popular Tumults at Constantinople

404 Exile of Chrysostom

407 His Death

438 His Relics transported to Constantinople

408 Death of Arcadius. His supposed Testament

408-415. Administration of Anthemius

414-453. Character and Administration of Pulcheria. Education and Character of Theodosius the Younger

421-460. Character and Adventures of the Empress Eudocia

422 The Persian War

431-440. Armenia divided between the Persians and the Romans

Chapter XXXIII

Death of Honorius.—Valentinian III. Emperor of the West.—Administration of his Mother Placidia.—Ætius and Boniface.—Conquest of Africa by the Vandals.


423 Last Years and Death of Honorius

423-425. Elevation and Fall of the Usurper John

425-455. Valentinian III. Emperor of the West

425-450. Administration of his Mother Placidia. Her two Generals, #&198;tius and Boniface

427 Error and Revolt of Boniface in Africa

428 He invites the Vandals. Genseric king of the Vandals

429 He lands in Africa. Reviews his Army. The Moors. The Donatists

430 Tardy Repentance of Boniface. Desolation of Africa. Siege of Hippo. Death of St. Augustin

431 Defeat and Retreat of Boniface

432 His Death

431-439. Progress of the Vandals in Africa

439 They surprise Carthage. African Exiles and Captives. Fable of the Seven Sleepers

Chapter XXXIV

The Character, Conquests, and Court of Attila, King of the Huns.—Death of Theodosius the Younger.—Elevation of Marcian to the Empire of the East.


376-433. The Huns. Their Establishment in modern Hungary

433-453. Reign of Attila. His Figure and Character. He discovers the Sword of Mars. Acquires the Empire of Scythia and Germany

430-440. The Huns invade Persia

441, &c. They attack the Eastern Empire. Ravage Europe, as far as Constantinople. The Scythian, or Tartar Wars. State of the Captives

446 Treaty of Peace between Attila, and the Eastern Empire. Spirit of the Azimuntines. Embassies from Attila to Constantinople

448 The Embassy of Maximin to Attila. The royal Village and Palace. The Behaviour of Attila to the Roman Ambassadors. The royal Feasts. Conspiracy of the Romans against the Life of Attila. He reprimands, and forgives the Emperor

450 Theodosius the Younger dies. Is succeeded by Marcian

Chapter XXXV

Invasion of Gaul by Attila.—He is repulsed by Ætius and the Visigoths.—Attila invades and evacuates Italy.—The Deaths of Attila, Ætius, and Valentinian the Third


450 Attila threatens both Empires, and prepares to invade Gaul

433-454. Character and Administration of Ætius. His Connection with the Huns and Alani

419-451. The Visigoths in Gaul under the Reign of Theodoric

435-439. The Goths besiege Narbonne, &c.

420-451. The Franks in Gaul under the Merovingian Kings. The Adventures of the Princess Honoria

451 Attila invades Gaul and besieges Orleans. Alliance of the Romans and Visigoths. Attila retires to the Plains of Champagne. Battle of Châlons. Retreat of Attila

452 Invasion of Italy by Attila. Foundation of the Republic of Venice. Attila gives Peace to the Romans

453 The Death of Attila. Destruction of his Empire

454 Valentinian murders the Patrician Ætius. ravishes the Wife of Maximus

455 Death of Valentinian. Symptoms of the Decay and Ruin of the Roman Government

Chapter XXXVI

Sack of Rome by Genseric, King of the Vandals.—His naval Depredations.—Succession of the last Emperors of the West, Maximus, Avitus, Majorian, Severus, Anthemius, Olybrius, Glycerius, Nepos, Augustulus.—Total Extinction of the Western Empire.—Reign of Odoacer, the first Barbarian King of Italy.


439-445. Naval Power of the Vandals

455 The Character and Reign of the Emperor Maximus. His Death. Sack of Rome by the Vandals. The Emperor Avitus

453-466. Character of Theodoric, King of the Visigoths

456 His Expedition into Spain. Avitus is deposed

457 Character and Elevation of Majorian

457-461. His Salutary Laws. The Edifices of Rome

457 Majorian prepares to invade Africa. The Loss of his Fleet

461 His Death

461-467. Ricimer reigns under the Name of Severus. Revolt of Marcellinus in Dalmatia. of Ætius, in Gaul

361-467. Naval War of the Vandals

462, &C. Negocations with the Eastern Empire

457-474. Leo, Emperor of the East

467-472. Anthemius, Emperor of the West. The Festival of the Lupercalia

468 Preparations against the Vandals of Africa. Failure of the Expedition

462-472. Conquests of the Visigoths in Spain and Gaul

468 Trial of Arvandus

471 Discord of Anthemius and Ricimer

472 Olybrius, Emperor of the West. Sack of Rome, and Death of Anthemius. Death of Ricimer. of Olybrius

472-475. Julius Nepos and Glycerius, Emperors of the West

475 The Patrician Orestes

476 His Son Augustulus, the last Emperor of the West

476-490. Odoacer, King of Italy

476 or 479. Extinction of the Western Empire. Augustus is banished to the Lucullan Villa. Decay of the Roman Spirit

476-490. Character and Reign of Odoacer. Miserable State of Italy

Chapter XXXVII

Origin, Progress, and Effects of the monastic Life.—Conversion of the Barbarians to Christianity and Arianism.—Persecution of the Vandals in Africa.—Extinction of Arianism among the Barbarians.


I. Institution of the Monastic Life

Origin of the Monks

305 Antony, and the Monks of Egypt

341 Propagation of the monastic Life at Rome

328 Hilarion in Palestine

360 Basil in Pontus

370 Martin in Gaul. Causes of the rapid Progress of the monastic Life. Obedience of the Monks. Their Dress and Habitations. Their Diet. Their manual Labour. Their Riches. Their Solitude. Their Devotion and Visions. The Coenobites and Anachorets

395-451. Simeon Stylites. Miracles and Worship of the Monks. Superstition of the Age

II. Conversion of the Barbarians

360, &c. Ulphilas, Apostle of the Goths

400, &c.The Goths, Vandals, Burgundians, &c. embrace Christianity. Motives of their Faith. Effects of their Conversion. They are involved in the Arian Heresy. General Toleration. Arian Persecution of the Vandals

429-477. Genseric

477 Hunneric

484 Gundamund

496 Thorismund

523 Hilderic

530 Gelimer. A general View of the Persecution in Africa. Catholic Frauds. Miracles

500-700. The Ruin of Arianism among the Barbarians

577-584. Revolt and Martyrdom of Hermenegild in Spain

586-589. Conversion of Recared and the Visigoths of Spain

600, &c. Conversion of the Lombards of Italy

612-712. Persecution of the Jews in Spain. Conclusion


Reign and Conversion of Clovis.—His Victories over the Alemanni, Burgundians, and Visigoths.—Establishment of the French Monarchy in Gaul.—Laws of the Barbarians.—State of the Romans.—The Visigoths of Spain.—Conquest of Britain by the Saxons.


The Revolution of Gaul

476-485. Euric, King of the Visigoths

481-511. Clovis, King of the Franks

486 His Victory over Syagrius

496 Defeat and Submission of the Alemanni. Conversion of Clovis

497, &c. Submission of the Armoricans and the Roman Troops

499 The Burgundian War

500 Victory of Clovis

532 Final Conquest of Burgundy by the Franks

507 The Gothic War. Victory of Clovis

508 Conquest of Aquitain by the Franks

510 Consulship of Clovis

536 Final Establishment of the French Monarchy in Gaul. Political Controversy. Laws of the Barbarians. Pecuniary Fines for Homicide. Judgments of God. Judicial Combats. Division of Land by the Barbarians. Domain and Benefices of the Merovingians. Private Usurpations. Personal Servitude. Example of Auvergne. Story of Attalus. Privileges of the Romans of Gaul. Anarchy of the Franks. The Visigoths of Spain. Legislative Assemblies of Spain. Code of the Visigoths. Revolution of Britain

449 Descent of the Saxons

455-582. Establishment of the Saxon Heptarchy. State of the Britons. Their Resistance. Their Flight. The Fame of Arthur. Desolation of Britain. Servitude of the Britons. Manners of the Britons. Obscure or fabulous State of Britain. Fall of the Roman Empire in the West

General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West

Chapter XXXIX

Zeno and Anastasius, Emperors of the East.—Birth, Education, and first Exploits of Theodoric the Ostrogoth.—His Invasion and Conquest of Italy.—The Gothic Kingdom of Italy.—State of the West.—Military and Civil Government.—The Senator Boethius.—Last Acts and Death of Theodoric.


455-475. Birth and Education of Theodoric

474-491. The Reign of Zeno 491-518. of Anastasius

475-488. Service and Revolt of Theodoric

489 He undertakes the Conquest of Italy. His march

489-490. The three Defeats of Odoacer

493 His Capitulation and Death

493-526. Reign of Theodoric, King of Italy. Partition of Lands. Separation of the Goths and Italians. Foreign Policy of Theodoric. His defensive Wars

509 His Naval Armaments. Civil Government of Italy according to the Roman Laws. Prosperity of Rome

500 Visit of Theodoric. Flourishing State of Italy. Theodoric an Arian. His Toleration of the Catholics. Vices of his Government. He is provoked to persecute the Catholics. Character, Studies, and Honours, of Boethius. His Patriotism. He is accused of Treason

524 His Imprisonment and Death

525 Death of Symmachus

526 Remorse and Death of Theodoric

Chapter XL

Elevation of Justin the Elder.—Reign of Justinian:—I. The Empress Theodora.—II. Factions of the Circus, and Sedition of Constantinople.—III. Trade and Manufacture of Silk.—IV. Finances and Taxes.—V. Edifices of Justinian.—Church of St. Sophia.—Fortifications and Frontiers of the Eastern Empire.—VI. Abolition of the Schools of Athens, and the Consulship of Rome.


482 or 483. Birth of the Emperor Justinian

518-527. Elevation and Reign of his Uncle Justin I.

520-527. Adoption and Succession of Justinian

527-565. The Reign of Justinian. Character and Histories of Procopius. Division of the Reign of Justinian. Birth and Vices of the Empress Theodora. Her Marriage with Justinian. Her Tyranny. Her Virtues

548 And Death. The Factions of the Circus. At Rome. They distract Constantinople and the East. Justinian favours the Blues

532 Sedition of Constantinople, surnamed Nika. The Distress of Justinian. Firmness of Theodora. The Sedition is suppressed. Agriculture and Manufactures of the Eastern Empire. The Use of Silk by the Romans. Importation from China by Land and Sea. Introduction of Silk-worms into Greece. State of the Revenue. Avarice and Profusion of Justinian. Pernicious Savings. Remittances. Taxes. Monopolies. Venality. Testaments. The Ministers of Justinian. John of Cappadocia. His Edifices and Architects. Foundation of the Church of St. Sophia. Description. Marbles. Riches. Churches and Palaces. Fortifications of Europe. Security of Asia after the Conquest of Isauria. Fortifications of the Empire, from the Euxine to the Persian Frontier

488 Death of Perozes, King of Persia

502-505. The Persian War. Fortifications of Dara. The Caspian or Iberian Gates. The Schools of Athens. They are suppressed by Justinian. Proclus 485-529. His Successors. The last of the Philosophers

541 The Roman Consulship extinguished by Justinian

Chapter XLI

Conquests of Justinian in the West.—Character and first Campaigns of Belisarius.—He invades and subdues the Vandal Kingdom of Africa.—His Triumph.—The Gothic War.—He recovers Sicily, Naples, and Rome.—Siege of Rome by the Goths.—Their Retreat and Losses.—Surrender of Ravenna.—Glory of Belisarius.—His domestic Shame and Misfortunes.


533 Justinian resolves to invade Africa

523-530. State of the Vandals. Hilderic

530-534. Gelimer. Debates on the African War. Character and Choice of Belisarius

529-532. His Services in the Persian War

533 Preparations for the African War. Departure of the Fleet. Belisarius lands on the Coast of Africa. Defeats the Vandals in a first Battle. Reduction of Carthage. Final Defeat of Gelimer and the Vandals

534 Conquest of Africa by Belisarius. Distress and Captivity of Gelimer. Return and Triumph of Belisarius

535 His sole Consulship. End of Gelimer and the Vandals. Manners and Defeat of the Moors. Neutrality of the Visigoths

550-620. Conquests of the Romans in Spain

534 Belisarius threatens the Ostrogoths of Italy

522-534. Government and Death of Amalasontha, Queen of Italy

535 Her Exile and Death. Belisarius invades and subdues Sicily

534-536. Reign and Weakness of Theodatus, the Gothic King of Italy

537 Belisarius invades Italy, and reduces Naples

536-540. Vitiges, King of Italy

536 Belisarius enters Rome

537 Siege of Rome by the Goths. Valour of Belisarius. His Defence of Rome. Repulses a general Assault of the Goths. His Sallies. Distress of the City. Exile of Pope Sylverius. Deliverance of the City. Belisarius recovers many Cities of Italy

538 The Goths raise the Siege of Rome. Lose Remini. Retire to Ravenna. Jealousy of the Roman Generals. Death of Constantine. The Eunuch Narses. Firmness and Authority of Belisarius

538, 539. Invasion of Italy by the Franks. Destruction of Milan. Belisarius besieges Ravenna

539 Subdues the Gothic Kingdom of Italy. Captivity of Vitiges

540 Return and Glory of Belisarius. Secret History of his Wife Antonina. Her Lover Theodosius. Resentment of Belisarius and her Son Photius. Persecution of her Son. Disgrace and Submission of Belisarius

Chapter XLII

State of the Barbaric World.—Establishment of the Lombards on the Danube.—Tribes and Inroads of the Sclavonians. Origin, Empire, and Embassies of the Turks.—The Flight of the Avars.—Chosroes I. or Nushirvan King of Persia.—His prosperous Reign and Wars with the Romans.—The Colchian or Lazic War.—The Æthiopians.


527-565. Weakness of the Empire of Justinian. State of the Barbarians. The Gepidæ. The Lombards. The Sclavonians. Their Inroads

545 Origin and Monarchy of the Turks in Asia. The Avars fly before the Turks, and approach the Empire

558 Their Embassy to Constantinople

569-582. Embassies of the Turks and Romans 500-530. State of Persia

531-579. Reign of Nushirvan, or Chosroes. His Love of Learning

533-539. Peace and War with the Romans

540 He invades Syria. And ruins Antioch

541 Defence of the East by Belisarius. Description of Colchos, Lazica, or Mingrelia. Manners of the Natives. Revolution of Colchos. Under the Persians, before Christ, 500. Under the Romans, before Christ, 60

130 Visit of Arrian

522 Conversion of the Lazi

542-549. Revolt and Repentance of the Colchians

549-551. Siege of Petra

549-556. The Colchian or Lazic War

540-561. Negociations and Treaties between Justinian and Chosroes

522 Conquests of the Abyssinians

533 Their Alliance with Justinian

Chapter XLIII

Rebellions of Africa.—Restoration of the Gothic Kingdom by Totila.—Loss and Recovery of Rome.—Final Conquest of Italy by Narses.—Extinction of the Ostrogoths.—Defeat of the Franks and Alemanni.—Last Victory, Disgrace and Death of Belisarius.—Death and Character of Justinian.—Comets, Earthquakes, and Plague.


535-545. The Troubles of Africa

543-558. Rebellion of the Moors

540 Revolt of the Goths

541-544. Victories of Totila, King of Italy. Contrast of Greek Vice and Gothic Virtue

544-548. Second Command of Belisarius in Italy

546 Rome besieged by the Goths. Attempt of Belisarius. Rome taken by the Goths

547 Recovered by Belisarius

548 Final Recal of Belisarius

549 Rome again taken by the Goths.

549-551. Preparations of Justinian for the Gothic War

552 Character and Expedition of the Eunuch Narses. Defeat and Death of Teias, the last King of the Goths. Invasion of Italy by the Franks and Alamanni

554 Defeat of the Franks and Alamanni by Narses

554-568. Settlement of Italy

559 Invasion of the Bulgarians. Last Victory of Belisarius

561 His Disgrace and Death

565 Death and Character of Justinian

531.539. Comets. Earthquakes

542 Plague-its Origin and Nature

542-594. Extent and Duration

Chapter XLIV

Idea of the Roman Jurisprudence.—The Laws of the Kings.—The Twelve Tables of the Decemvirs.—The Laws of the People.—The Decrees of the Senate.—The Edicts of the Magistrates and Emperors.—Authority of the Civilians.—Code, Pandects, Novels, and Institutes of Justinian:—I. Rights of Persons.—II. Rights of Things.—III. Private Injuries and Actions.—IV. Crimes and Punishments

The Civil or Roman Law. Laws of the Kings of Rome. The Twelve Tables of the Decemvirs. Their Character and Influence. Laws of the People. Decrees of the Senate. Edicts of the Prætors. The perpetual Edict. Constitutions of the Emperors. Their Legislative Power. Their Rescripts. Forms of the Roman Law. Succession of the Civil Lawyers


303-648. The first Period

648-988. Second Period

988-1230. Third Period. Their Philosophy. Authority. Sects


527 Reformation of the Roman Law by Justinian


528, 529. The Code of Justinian

530-533. The Pandects or Digest. Praise and Censure of the Code and Pandects. Loss of the ancient Jurisprudence. Legal Inconstancy of Justinian

534 Second Edition of the Code

534-565. The Novels

533 The Institutes

I. OF PERSONS. Freemen and Slaves. Fathers and Children. Limitations of the paternal Authority. Husbands and Wives. The religious Rites of Marriage. Freedom of the Matrimonial Contract. Liberty and Abuse of Divorce. Limitations of the Liberty of Divorce. Incest, Concubines, and Bastards. Guardians and Wards

II. OF THINGS. Right of Property. Of Inheritance and Succession. Civil Degrees of Kindred. Introduction and Liberty of Testaments. Legacies. Codicils and Trusts.

III. OF ACTIONS. Promises. Benefits. Interest of Money. Injuries

IV. OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS. Severity of the Twelve Tables. Abolition or Oblivion of penal Laws. Revival of capital Punishments. Measure of Guilt. Unnatural Vice. Rigour of the Christian Emperors. Judgments of the People. Select Judges. Assessors. Voluntary Exile and Death. Abuses of Civil Jurisprudence

Chapter XLV

Reign of the younger Justin.—Embassy of the Avars.—Their Settlement on the Danube.—Conquest of Italy by the Lombards.—Adoption and Reign of Tiberius.—Of Maurice.—State of Italy under the Lombards and the Exarchs.—Of Ravenna.—Distress of Rome.—Character and Pontificate of Gregory the First.


565 Death of Justinian

565-574. Reign of Justin II. or the Younger

566 His Consulship. Embassy of the Avars. Alboin, King of the Lombards—his Valour, Love, and Revenge. The Lombards and Avars destroy the King and Kingdom of the Gepidæ

567 Alboin undertakes the Conquest of Italy. Disaffection and Death of Narses

568-570. Conquest of a great Part of Italy by the Lombards

573 Alboin is murdered by his Wife Rosamond. Her Flight and Death. Clepho, King of the Lombards. Weakness of the Emperor Justin

574 Association of Tiberius

578 Death of Justin II.

578-582. Reign of Tiberius II. His Virtues

582-602. The Reign of Maurice. Distress of Italy

584-590. Autharis, King of the Lombards. The Exarchate of Ravenna. The Kingdom of the Lombards. Language and Manners of the Lombards. Dress and Marriage. Government

643 Laws. Misery of Rome. The Tombs and Relics of the Apostles. Birth and Profession of Gregory the Roman

590-604. Pontificate of Gregory the Great, or First. His spiritual Office. And temporal Government. His Estates. And Alms. The Saviour of Rome

Chapter XLVI

Revolutions of Persia after the Death of Chosroes or Nushirvan.—His Son Hormouz, a Tyrant, is deposed.—Usurpation of Baharam.—Flight and Restoration of Chosroes II.-His Gratitude to the Romans.—The Chagan of the Avars.—Revolt of the Army against Maurice.—His Death.—Tyranny of Phocas.—Elevation of Heraclius.—The Persian War.—Chosroes subdues Syria, Egypt, and Asia Minor.—Siege of Constantinople by the Persians and Avars.—Persian Expeditions.—Victories and Triumph of Heraclius.


Contest of Rome and Persia

570 Conquest of Yemen by Nushirvan

572 His last War with the Romans

579 His Death

579-590. Tyranny and Vices of his son Hormouz

590 Exploits of Bahram. His Rebellion. Hormouz is deposed and imprisoned. Elevation of his Son Chosroes. Death of Hormouz. Chosroes flies to the Romans. His Return, and final Victory. Death of Bahram

591-603. Restoration and Policy of Chosroes

570-600. Pride, Policy, and the Power of the Chagan of the Avars

595-602. Wars of Maurice against the Avars. State of the Roman Armies. Their Discontent. And Rebellion

602 Election of Phocas. Revolt of Constantinople. Death of Maurice and his Children

602-610. Phocas Emperor. His Character. And Tyranny

610 His Fall and Death

610-642. Reign of Heraclius

603 Chosroes invades the Roman Empire

611 His Conquest of Syria

614 Of Palestine

616 Of Egypt. Of Asia Minor. His Reign and Magnificence

610-622. Distress of Heraclius. He solicits Peace

621 His Preparations for War

622 First Expedition of Heraclius against the Persians

623, 624, 625. His second Expedition

626 Deliverance of Constantinople from the Persians and Avars. Alliances and Conquests of Heraclius

627 His third Expedition. And Victories. Flight of Chosroes

628 He is deposed. And murdered by his Son Siroes. Treaty of Peace between the two Empires

Chapter XLVII

Theological History of the Doctrine of the Incarnation.—The Human and Divine Nature of Christ.—Enmity of the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Constantinople.—St. Cyril and Nestorius.—Third General Council of Ephesus.—Heresy of Eutyches.—Fourth General Council of Chalcedon.—Civil and Ecclesiastical Discord.— Intolerance of Justinian.—The Three Chapters.—The Monothelite Controversy.—State of the Oriental Sects:—I. The Nestorians.—II. The Jacobites.—III. The Maronites.—IV. The Armenians.—V. The Copts.—VI. The Abyssinians


The Incarnation of Christ

I. A pure Man to the Ebonites. His Birth and Elevation

II. A pure God to the Docetes. His incorruptible Body

III. Double Nature of Cerinthus

IV. Divine Incarnation of Apollinaris

V. Orthodox Consent and verbal Disputes

412-444. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria

413, 414, 415. His Tyranny

428 Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople

429-431. His Heresy

431 First Council of Ephesus. Condemnation of Nestorius. Opposition of the Orientals

431-435. Victory of Cyril

435 Exile of Nestorius

448 Heresy of Eutyches

449 Second Council of Ephesus

451 Council of Chalcedon. Faith of Chalcedon

451-482. Discord of the East

482 The Henoticon of Zeno

508-518. The Trisagion, and religious War, till the Death of Anastasius

514 First religious War

519-565. Theological Character and Government of Justinian. His Persecution of Heretics. Of Pagans. Of Jews. Of Samaritans. His Orthodoxy

532-698. The three Chapters

553 Vth general Council: IId of Constantinople

564 Heresy of Justinian

629 The Monothelite Controversy

639 The Ecthesis of Heraclius

648 The Type of Constans

680, 681. VIth general Council: IIId of Constantinople. Union of the Greek and Latin Churches. Perpetual Separation of the Oriental Sects

I. The Nestorians

500 Sole Masters of Persia.

500-1200 Their Missions in Tartary, India, China, &c.

883 The Christians of St. Thomas in India

II. The Jacobites

III. The Maronites

IV. The Armenians

V. The Copts or Egyptians

537-568. The Patriarch Theodosius

538 Paul

551 Apollinaris

580 Eulogius

609 John. Their Separation and Decay

625-661. Benjamin, the Jacobite Patriarch

VI. The Abyssinians and Nubians

530 Church of Abyssinia

1525-1550 The Portuguese in Abyssinia

1557 Mission of the Jesuits

1626 Conversion of the Emperor

1632 Final Expulsion of the Jesuits

Product Details

Womersley, David
Womersley, David
Womersley, David P.
Gibbon, Edward
Penguin Books
London ;
Ancient - Rome
Byzantine empire
Byzantine Empire History.
Rome History Empire, 30 B.C.-476 A.D.
World History-Ancient Near East
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Penguin Classics
Series Volume:
Volume 2
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.70x5.04x1.63 in. 1.41 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Volume 2 (Penguin Classics) New Trade Paper
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Product details 1024 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140433944 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (the second and third volumes were originally published in 1781), is one of the most famous texts in the English language. David Womersley's annotated edition returns to manuscript and original sources.
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