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To understand Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire properly it is necessary to have knowledge of his historiographical and philosophical context. Gibbon is considered here not just for what he reveals of eighteenth-century intellectual attitudes, but for his forceful interpretation of the period. Leading experts in the field about which Gibbon himself wrote enter into dialogue with historians of the eighteenth century. New light is thereby thrown not only on Gibbon's text, but also on the degree to which he can be regarded as a trustworthy guide to late antiquity and the Middle Ages in the late twentieth century.
Introduction Rosamond McKitterick and Roland Quinault; 1. Gibbon and the later Roman Empire: causes and circumstances John Matthews; 2. Gibbon and Justinian Averil Cameron; 3. Gibbon and the middle period of the Byzantine Empire James Howard-Johnson; 4. Byzantine soldiers, missionaries and diplomacy under Gibbon's eyes Jonathan Shepard; 5. Gibbon and the later Byzantine empires Anthony Bryer; 6. Gibbon and the Merovingians Ian Wood; 7. Gibbon, Hodgkin, and the invaders of Italy T. S. Brown; 8. Gibbon and the early Middle Ages in eighteenth-century Europe Rosamond McKitterick; 9. Gibbon and the 'watchmen of the Holy City': religion and revision in The Decline and Fall David Womersley; 10. Gibbon and international relations Jeremy Black; 11. Gibbon's Roman Empire as a universal monarchy John Robertson; 12. The conception of Gibbon's History Peter Ghosh; 13. Winston Churchill and Gibbon Roland Quinault; Epilogue J. W. Burrow, Rosamond McKitterick and Roland Quinault.