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"?
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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."
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I read Gibbon on the way to a BA in history. I don't expect any other human I meet to have the slightest idea who he is. The best part of the book is the title and even that's misleading. Rome certainly fell but it lasted one hell of a long time before it did. Romanticising it has been a cottage industry ever since.
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Before I sold out and became an accountant, I wanted to teach American Sign Language to apes. So, when I saw the title of the thread, I thought, "Ooh, that must be the guy who found the Gibbon Monkey." Which is now classified as an ape. A decent education, but not a classical one by any means.
And while I have respect for history and anthropology now, as a young woman, I was much more interested in calculus, physics, animal behavior, and chemistry (especially the labs). Accounting was a breeze after those classes.
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