Edward Gibbon and late antique literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlackwell's Companion to Late Antique Literature
EditorsScott McGill, Ed Watts
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Chapter38
Pages611-626
ISBN (Electronic)9781118830352, 9781118830390
ISBN (Print)9781118830345
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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