Edward Gibbon (27 April 1737 – 16 January 1794) was an English historian 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. The Decline and Fall is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open criticism of organised religion.
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... Gibbon's work has been criticised for its scathing view of Christianity as laid down in chapters XV and XVI ... Gibbon's alleged crime was disrespecting, and none too lightly, the character of sacred Christian doctrine, by "treat the Christian church as a phenomenon of general history, not ... Gibbon, though assumed to be entirely anti-religion, was actually supportive to some extent, insofar as it did not obscure his true endeavour – a history that was ...
... She is a noted expert on the historian Edward Gibbon, the author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ... has published a two-volume biography, Young Edward Gibbon Gentleman of Letters (Johns Hopkins, 1982) and Edward Gibbon "Luminous" Historian (Johns Hopkins, 1989) ...
... the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88), Edward Gibbon famously placed the blame on a loss of civic virtue among the Roman citizens ... Gibbon held that Christianity contributed to this shift by making the populace less interested in the worldly here-and-now because it was willing to wait for the rewards of heaven ...
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“The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.”
—Edward Gibbon (17371794)