Regular price: £33.89

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
OR
In Basket

Summary

Published in six volumes between 1776 and 1781, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - for all its renown - can be intimidating. It contains one point five million words, an estimated 8,000 footnotes, a cast of 10,000 historical figures, and a timeline of more than 1,000 years. Yet even today, Gibbon's historical chronicle demands to be understood.

These 24 lectures invite you on a riveting examination of this great work as a vast historical chronicle, a compelling masterpiece of literature, a sharp commentary on cultural mores, and a cautionary tale to Enlightenment Europe. In this chapter-by-chapter guide to the Decline and Fall, Professor Damrosch helps you navigate the book's themes, structure, and lasting influence.

You'll approach the Decline and Fall as a written work whose footnotes, periodic style, and historical blind spots reflect the styles and ideologies of the Enlightenment age in which it was written. And for those intimidated by its thousands of pages or who feel they may lack the time to fully appreciate Gibbon's narrative of how Rome fell to "barbarism and religion", these lectures offer a richly detailed overview of what Gibbon called "many of the events most interesting in human annals", including: the reign of the Antonines, the rise of Christianity and Islam, the codification of Roman law, the Crusades, and the dawn of medieval Europe.

Whether you've read the Decline and Fall before or whether you've always wanted to read it but never knew where to start, Professor Damrosch's lectures are an authoritative guide to a once-mighty empire - and the great book that became its classic eulogy and epitaph.

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

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carol
  • 16-03-17

Definitely Worth Your Time!

This is a really fine course, well organized, superbly presented, and unique in its content. Since most of us will never make it through Gibbon's masterpiece (the unabridged Audible versions take up over 140 hours), this enlightening overview explains how great the book is, not only in the field of classical history, but also from literary and philosophical perspectives.

From the description of Gibbon's "periodic" writing technique to the seamless integration of Roman history and the "big questions" that face all civilizations, Dr. Damrosch's course is both fascinating and important, and his lecture style is delightful. Well done, Dr. Damrosch!

Written during the last half of the 18th century, the history Gibbon presents so exactingly in "The Decline and Fall" was filtered through the lenses of the European enlightenment and also through the perspective of a nation (England) with its own Empire. The fact that Volume 1 appeared in 1776 is not insignificant in the overall scope of the book.

So, even though most of the lectures describe the content of the book, and thus constitute a history of, well, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," the overall impact consistently speaks to much larger issues that are still important. This truly is one of the "Books That Matter."

Well done, Mr. Gibbon!

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin D Norwood
  • 03-05-17

Like a conversation with a well read old friend

Any additional comments?

I had the pleasure of taking an undergrad course with Prof Damrosch decades ago. Listening to this series was better than revisiting the classroom--it was more like listening to an old friend, a very well-read old friend, talk about this interesting book he had just read. The fact that it was the 6 volume Gibbon and the chat went on for hours was not a bother in the least. I listened generally during my 30-45 minutes in the car each day, and was always glad to pick up where we had left off. Prof D proceeds at a good pace, hitting the highlights, sometimes giving a preview of what's ahead, sometimes refreshing something we covered a while back, and always with a nice sense of humor and side references that bring other eras and other bits of culture and English Lit into play. My only regret was coming to the end of the course. I think the Prof would be pleased that I am also inclined to dig out my set of Gibbon and settle into a comfortable armchair for another visit.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ellenindc
  • 07-04-17

A Story Within a Story Told Magnificently

Absolutely astute discussion of one of the world's greatest series of books that is sometimes very funny, sad, and colorful. You will want to listen more than once.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • citydweller
  • 14-08-17

Very informative.

The presenter was excellent. The information was imparted in an interesting and compelling manner. Would definitely recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Laszlo
  • 01-06-18

Very good educational study.

Although it was not exactly what I was expecting which was a direct reading of Gibbons book this had a lot of additional valuable information that I would suggest you still listen to. The value comes in the translation and interpretation of the footnotes in the book which are not translated into English but consists of about 25% of the total pages in the book. Even lthough not every chapter was read completely or every footnote translated this interpretation I feel was excellent to anybody looking to study Gibbons book or knowledge and information on the topic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-18

outstanding

gives enough perspective to engage and awaken further research if one chooses. excellent book and commentary

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • E. Fortuner
  • 25-02-18

Excellent

Thoughtful, sympathetic, and clear lecture series on Gibbon’s masterpiece. I thought the professor’s teacing was incisive and just the right depth. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M.J. Hauser
  • 28-11-17

Fabulous!!!

I enjoyed every minute of this series. Leo Damrosch is downright wonderful. His lectures? All of them great.

His Enlightenment Invention of the Modern Self course is also available on Audible in a lecture series, which is in some ways even better than this one. They're completely different. Both are absolutely required listening!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 13-11-17

Roman empire lectures

A thoughtful and balanced covering of a major historic work of Western history and thought.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • CV
  • 14-11-17

This is a book report...not a book

This is a book report, not a book. It is someone talking about a book on Ancient Rome not the author of the book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful