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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Abridged Gibbon

Well read, but lacks the wit of the original, or rather the suggestion of it in the voice. The abridgement leaves out some of the more famous and amusing comments of Gibbon. The passages on the younger Gordian are omitted, and only summarised by the edtitorial voice, and some passages on the early Christians also. The music is not of the period as one might expect. But generally worth while.
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- Andrew

An excellent way to read Decline and Fall

This is an extraordinary book! And although I listened to both parts, it is really during the second part, and especially with the account of the fall of Constantinople, that I was gripped ? and astonished. To be honest, it?s a bit of a challenge to listen to and I?m certainly not enough of an expert to review the book as such ? but I think this abridgement is OK. I suspect that reviewer Andrew from Dublin has read the whole work and is better placed to judge. I was quite irritated by Philip Madoc?s voice. When you start listening you think ?oh yes this is the voice of Gibbon? but after a while his sonorous tones get on your nerves ? and he sounds too old. Neville Jason who reads the intervening passages comes as a relief. Nevertheless, it is something of a tour de force to read the long, and to our modern ears, difficult to follow sentences and Madoc makes sense of what we are hearing. The book itself tends to be ?one damn thing after another? and unless you keep up and concentrate, you quickly loose the thread. But the advantage of modern technology is you can go back again, and again, and again?Depending on how good your concentration is, you may or may not be able to follow the book successfully. Having said all that, if this is one of the books you always meant to read ? the audiobook is certainly a good way of absorbing the Decline and Fall ? which is, when all is said and done, an achievement of monumental proportions.
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- Louisa

Book Details

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