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Who's Edward Gibbon?

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  • Who's Edward Gibbon?

    So I'm in the pub enjoying a Christmas drink. And someone who's just moved into the area is asking people where the best pubs are. But he also wants to recommend. So he says, "I like the pub in Fletching; do you know Fletching?" And I say, "Sure, where Edward Gibbon's buried." And he looks blank. So I mention The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but he's still in the dark. This man isn't someone from a video-games generation; he's got white hair. But he's never heard of this "damned thick square book". Can you credit it?

    Now I think Gibbon, like many 18th-century people, had an over-rosy view of the Romans. This is partly why he wrote the thing: to him they weren't Christian, and thus perhaps more "rational". And he wouldn't have had a sense, as someone like Nietzsche would have, of just how much even in that rejection he was keeping of the Christian worldview. (This is perhaps why Gibbon pitches his tent on the relatively peaceful Antonines.)

    I think William Morris imaginatively speaking nailed what the Romans were about in The House of the Wolfings

    And Caesar, these days, would qualify as a war-criminal for what he did in Gaul.

    Nevertheless, you don't have to approve of Gibbon's viewpoint to know of him -- and of the cultural and historical impact of his work. I'd imagined some knowledge of him, however superficial, was part of living in an English-speaking society. Surely even the film Gladiator - tripe as it is - with that old drunkard Richard Harris as a rather cuddly Marcus Aurelius draws on a Gibbonian view of the Antonines. But I was mistaken I guess.
    Last edited by Lewis; 12-24-2012, 06:01 AM.

  • #2
    Yeah, the Romans were sooooooooooo civilized, soooooooooooo civilized. In other words, don't get me started - I know I won't finish this year and I don't want to start a new year with ... the Romans. It would be utter barbarity.
    BTW, I have a huge problem with getting knowledge of history from the movies or literature.

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    • #3
      Did you just get home when you wrote this? It seems like ponderings caught in the twilight betw. intoxication and meditation. But yes, even I wd. have known both the book by the author and vise versa. Just a good old boy cracking a down-home grin in the Midwest (with no offense intended). Interesting post.
      Last edited by Terry H; 12-24-2012, 06:18 AM.

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      • #4
        Heh I had to read those as part of a political science class, the dick teacher sat there with the class of about 12 or so of us and would randomly grab one, flip to a page, read a sentence or two and we were supposed to tell him what the pages around it were about... he did that as a final. Guy was a piece of work.
        -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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        • #5
          "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

          B*tch-lite

          Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
            Bwahaha this forum is a source for a constant stream of literal laugh out louds for me
            -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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            • #7
              Are those monkeys saying "WHO?" if so, I'd better hang from that rope
              with them, cuz I have no clue who Edward Gibbon is either.

              Julie

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                Why are the nipples on the one surrounded by a bullseye watermark?
                -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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                • #9
                  Obviously a womenz - someone is about to shoot it because now that
                  she's bore a son, who needs her anymore?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ryanmercer View Post
                    Why are the nipples on the one surrounded by a bullseye watermark?
                    It is the copyright shading, which is only removed from the image when you enter the code indicating that you have paid for the right to reproduce the image.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you, Lewis, for another interesting post. Hard to believe that in your country someone of his age would be totally unfamiliar with Gibbon. Do you ever get that reaction when you refer to Boswell's "Life of Johnson"?
                      Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                        yeah that was the only thing that came to mind for me
                        beautiful
                        yeah you are

                        Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
                        lol

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                        • #13
                          I know about the book, but that's only because of a date with a History major. The author didn't ring a bell until you gave the title. But I guess I qualify as "of a videogame generation."
                          http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

                          Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

                          And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sabine View Post
                            It is the copyright shading, which is only removed from the image when you enter the code indicating that you have paid for the right to reproduce the image.
                            I'm going to stick with my theory because it's fun, someone is a pervert haha.
                            -Ryan Mercer my blog and Genco Peptides my small biz

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                            • #15
                              You know that metal lip on the edge of a drag pressure plate assembly? It's FAMOUS, man. I thought EVERYBODY knew about it!
                              Crohn's, doing SCD

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