The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1846. Excerpt: ... CHAP. XX. The Motives, Progress, and Effects of the Conversion of Constantine.--Legal Establishment and Constitution of the Christian or Catholic Church, Tiie public establishment of Christianity may be considered as one of those important and domestic revolutions which excite the most lively curiosity, and afford the most valuable instruction. The victories and the civil policy of Constantine no longer influence the state of Europe; but a considerable portion of the globe still retains the impression which it received from the conversion of that monarch; and the ecclesiastical institutions of his reign are still connected, by an indissoluble chain, with the opinions, the passions, and the interests of the present generation. In the consideration of a subject which may be ex-Dateofthe amined with impartiality, but cannot be viewed with Ur'coniunindifference, a difficulty immediately arises of a very Oncunexpected nature; that of ascertaining the real and precise date of the conversion of Constantine. The eloquent Lactantius, in the midst of his court, seems impatienti to proclaim to the world the glorious example of the sovereign of Gaul; who, in the first moments of his reign, acknowledged and adored the majesty of the true and only God.2 The learned Eusebius has ascribed the faith of Constantine to the miraculous sign which was displayed in the heavens whilst he meditated and prepared the 1 The date of the Divine Institutions of Lactantius has been accurately discussed, difficulties have been started, solutions proposed, and an expedient imagined of two original epitions; the former published during the persecution of Diocletian, the latter under that of Licinius. See Dufresnoy, Prefat. p. v. Tillemont, Mern. Ecclesiast. torn. vi. p. 465--470. Lardner's...
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - msaucier818 - LibraryThing
That was a beast of a book. I had always wanted to read this book and the other volumes because I think it is the type of book that educated people should read. I read it in chunks throughout the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Smiley - LibraryThing
Gibbon's third volume of The Decline and Fall seems to stray from the purpose stated in volume one. I think he just got carried away by the sweep of history. The melodious style and easy learning are still present but I was suffering from Gibbon fatigue by the third volume and we were off course. Read full review