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date: 23 October 2018

Edward Gibbon 1737–94
English historian 

  1. The various modes of worship, which prevailed in the Roman world, were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher, as equally false; and by the magistrate, as equally useful.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 2
  2. Agriculture is the foundation of manufactures; since the productions of nature are the materials of art.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 2
  3. History…is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 3; see Voltaire
  4. Twenty-two acknowledged concubines, and a library of sixty-two thousand volumes, attested the variety of his inclinations, and from the productions which he left behind him, it appears that the former as well as the latter were designed for use rather than ostentation. [Footnote] By each of his concubines the younger Gordian left three or four children. His literary productions were by no means contemptible.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 7
  5. Whenever the offence inspires less horror than the punishment, the rigour of penal law is obliged to give way to the common feelings of mankind.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 14
  6. The courage of a soldier is found to be the cheapest and most common quality of human nature.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–1788) ch. 25
  7. In every deed of mischief he had a heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.
    of Comnenus
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 48; see Clarendon
  8. Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 49
  9. Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 50
  10. Persuasion is the resource of the feeble; and the feeble can seldom persuade.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 68
  11. All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88) ch. 71
  12. Dr — well remembered that he had a salary to receive, and only forgot that he had a duty to perform.
    Memoirs of My Life (1796) ch. 3
  13. It was at Rome, on the fifteenth of October, 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefoot friars were singing vespers in the Temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind.
    Memoirs of My Life (1796) ch. 6 n.
  14. My English text is chaste, and all licentious passages are left in the obscurity of a learned language.
    parodied as ‘decent obscurity’ in the Anti-Jacobin, 1797–8
    Memoirs of My Life (1796) ch. 8