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edward gibbon Quotes

Edward Gibbon Quotes

Birth Date: 1737-04-27 (Saturday, April 27th, 1737)
Date of Death: 1794-01-16 (Thursday, January 16th, 1794)


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Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman EmpireMonday, October 15th, 1764


    • The policy of the emperors and the senate, as far as it concerned religion, was happily seconded by the reflections of the enlightened, and by the habits of the superstitious, part of their subjects. The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people, as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful. And thus toleration produced not only mutual indulgence, but even religious concord. The superstition of the people was not embittered by any mixture of theological rancour; nor was it confined by the chains of any speculative system. The devout polytheist, though fondly attached to his national rites, admitted with implicit faith the different religions of the earth. Fear, gratitude, and curiosity, a dream or an omen, a singular disorder, or a distant journey, perpetually disposed him to multiply the articles of his belief, and to enlarge the list of his protectors. The thin texture of the Pagan mythology was interwoven with various but not discordant materials.
    • Antoninus diffused order and tranquility over the greatest part of the earth. His reign is marked by the rare advantage of furnishing very few materials for history; which is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
    • The reign of Antoninus is marked by the rare advantage of furnishing very few materials for history, which is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
    • Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.
    • Amiable weaknesses of human nature.
    • In every deed of mischief he had a heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.
    • Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
    • The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
    • Vicissitudes of fortune, which spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries empires and cities in a common grave.
    • All that is human must retrograde if it do not advance.
    • The successors of Charles the Fifth may disdain their brethren of England; but the romance of Tom Jones, that exquisite picture of human manners, will outlive the palace of the Escurial and the imperial eagle of the house of Austria.
    • Decent easy men, who supinely enjoyed the gifts of the founder.
    • It was here [at the age of seventeen] that I suspended my religious inquiries.
    • I saw and loved.
    • I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.
    • Crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure.
    • The captain of the Hampshire grenadiers...has not been useless to the historian of the Roman Empire.
    • It was Rome, on the fifteenth of October 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefoot friars were singing vespers in the Temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind.
    • On the approach of spring I withdraw without reluctance from the noisy and extensive scene of crowds without company, and dissipation without pleasure.
    • I was never less alone than when by myself. 6
    • Every man who rises above the common level has received two educations: The first from his teachers; the second, more personal and important, from himself.
    • From my childhood, I had been fond of religious disputation.
    • The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    • Another damned thick book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble! Eh, Mr. Gibbon?
    • edward gibbon

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