This chapter surveys the reception of late antique literature in the works of Edward Gibbon, above all the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon is a fine illustration of eighteenth-century views of Late Antiquity, since his history is fundamentally a literary one and offers abundant comments on and acute responses to a very diverse range of literary works. Gibbon’s classicising preferences, and general underrating of Christian literature are linked to his perceptions of the phenomenon of decline. The chapter concludes with a test case of his treatment of Ammianus Marcellinus, who is treated as an artistic failure but a correspondingly admirable source.
|Title of host publication||Blackwell's Companion to Late Antique Literature|
|Editors||Scott McGill, Ed Watts|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Blackwell Publishing Ltd|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9781118830352, 9781118830390|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2018|