Best 367 of Edward Gibbon quotes - MyQuotes

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Edward Gibbon
By Anonym 18 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The army is the only order of men sufficiently united to concur in the same sentiments, and powerful enough to impose them on the rest of their fellow-citizens; but the temper of soldiers, habituated at once to violence and to slavery, renders them very unfit guardians of a legal, or even a civil constitution.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Instead of pressing, with the foremost of the crowd, into the palace of Constantinople, Libanius calmly expected his arrival at Antioch; withdrew from court on the first symptoms of coldness and indifference; required a formal invitation for each visit; and taught his sovereign an important lesson, that he might command the obedience of a subject, but that he must deserve the attachment of a friend.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Suspicious princes often promote the last of mankind from a vain persuasion, that those who have no dependence, except on their favour, will have no attachment, except to their benefactor.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The ascent to greatness, however steep and dangerous, may entertain an active spirit with the consciousness and exercise of its own power: but the possession of a throne could never yet afford a lasting satisfaction to an ambitious mind.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Let us read with method, and propose to ourselves an end to which our studies may point. The use of reading is to aid us in thinking.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty, was successfully practised; honours, gifts, and immunities were offered and accepted as the price of an episcopal vote; and the condemnation of the Alexandrian primate was artfully represented as the only measure which could restore the peace and union of the catholic church.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

In old age the consolation of hope is reserved for the tenderness of parents, who commence a new life in their children, the faith of enthusiasts, who sing hallelujahs above the clouds; and the vanity of authors, who presume the immortality of their name and writings.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

A perpetual stream of strangers and provincials flowed into the capacious bosom of Rome. Whatever was strange or odious, whoever was guilty or suspected, might hope, in the obscurity of that immense capital, to elude the vigilance of the law. In such a various conflux of nations, every teacher, either of truth or of falsehood, every founder, whether of a virtuous or a criminal association, might easily multiply his disciples or accomplices.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The principles of a free constitution are irrecoverably lost, when the legislative power is nominated by the executive.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The sectaries of a persecuted religion, depressed by fear, animated with resentment, and perhaps heated by enthusiasm, are seldom in a proper temper of mind calmly to investigate, or candidly to appreciate, the motives of their enemies, which often escape the impartial and discerning view even of those who are placed at a secure distance from the flames of persecution.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

A warlike nation like the Germans, without either cities, letters, arts, or money, found some compensation for this savage state in the enjoyment of liberty. Their poverty secured their freedom, since our desires and our possessions are the strongest fetters of despotism.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

In everyage and country, the wiser, or at least the stronger, ofthetwosexes, hasusurped thepowers ofthe state, and confined the other to the cares and pleasures of domestic life.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

[Instead] of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

This variety of objects will suspend, for some time, the course of the narrative; but the interruption will be censured only by those readers who are insensible to the importance of laws and manners, while they peruse, with eager curiosity, the transient intrigues of a court, or the accidental event of a battle.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Constantinople was the principal seat and fortress of Arianism; and, in a long interval of forty years, the faith of the princes and prelates who reigned in the capital of the East was rejected in the purer schools of Rome and Alexandria.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The incapacity of a weak and distracted government may often assume the appearance and produce the effects of a treasonable correspondence with the public enemy. If Alaric himself had been introduced into the council of Ravenna, he would probably have advised the same measures which were actually pursued by the ministers of Honorius.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

In less than seven years the vestiges of the Gothic invasion were almost obliterated, and the city appeared to resume its former splendour and tranquillity. The venerable matron replaced her crown of laurel, which had been ruffled by the storms of war, and was still amused in the last moment of her decay with the prophecies of revenge, of victory, and of eternal dominion.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The love of liberty was the ruling passion of these Germans; the enjoyment of it, their best treasure; the word that expressed that enjoyment the most pleasing to their ear. They deserved, they assumed, they maintained the honourable epithet of Franks or Freemen; which concealed, though it did not extinguish, the peculiar names of the several states of the confederacy.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The love of study, a passion which derives fresh vigor from enjoyment, supplies each day, each hour, with a perpetual source of independent and rational pleasure.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Edward Gibbon

It was here that I suspended my religious inquiries (aged 17).

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

A bloody and complete victory has sometimes yielded no more than the possession of the field and the loss of ten thousand men has sometimes been sufficient to destroy, in a single day, the work of ages.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

History has scarcely deigned to notice [Libius Severus's] birth, his elevation, his character, or his death.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The nations, and the sects, of the Roman world, admitted with equal credulity, and similar abhorrence, the reality of that infernal art [witchcraft], which was able to control the eternal order of the planets, and the voluntary operations of the human mind. . . . They believed, with the wildest inconsistency, that this preternatural dominion of the air, of earth, and of hell, was exercised, from the vilest motives of malice or gain, by some wrinkled hags and itinerant sorcerers, who passed their obscure lives in penury and contempt.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The complaints of contemporary writes, who deplore the increase of luxury and deprevation of manners, are commonly expressive of their peculiar temper and situation. There are few observers who possess a clear and comprehensive view of the revolutions of society, and who are capable of discovering the nice and secret springs of action which impel, in the same uniform direction, the bland and capricious passions of a multitude of individuals.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

[Every age], however destitute of science or virtue, sufficiently abounds with acts of blood and military renown.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery [gunpowder] with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The books of jurisprudence were interesting to few, and entertaining to none: their value was connected with present use, and they sunk forever as soon as that use was superseded by the innovations of fashion, superior merit, or public authority.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most civilised portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and luxury.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Both Moscow and [Kiev], the modern and the ancient capitals, were reduced to ashes [by the Tartars]; a temporary ruin, less fatal than the deep, and perhaps indelible, mark, which a servitude of two hundred years has imprinted on the character of the Russians.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Greek is a musical and prolific language, that gives a soul to the objects of sense, and a body to the abstractions of philosophy.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

But the severe rules of discipline which the prudence of the bishops had instituted were relaxed by the same prudence in favour of an Imperial proselyte, whom it was so important to allure, by every gentle condescension, into the pale of the church; and Constantine was permitted, at least by a tacit dispensation, to enjoy most of the privileges, before he had contracted any of the obligations, of a Christian.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

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.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

But in almost every province of the Roman world, an army of fanatics, without authority and without discipline, invaded the peaceful inhabitants; and the ruin of the fairest structures of antiquity still displays the ravages of those barbarians who alone had time and inclination to execute such laborious destruction.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

In a distant age and climate, the tragic scene of the death of Hosein will awaken the sympathy of the coldest reader.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Yet the people, and even the clergy, incapable of forming any rational judgment of the business of peace and war, presumed to arraign the policy of Stilicho, who so often vanquished, so often surrounded, and so often dismissed the implacable enemy of the republic. The first moment of the public safety is devoted to gratitude and joy; but the second is diligently occupied by envy and calumny.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The monastic studies have tended, for the most part, to darken, rather than to dispel, the cloud of superstition.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

If we are more affected by the ruin of a palace than by the conflagration of a cottage, our humanity must have formed a very erroneous estimate of the miseries of human life.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

History should be to the political economist a wellspring of experience and wisdom.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

In populous cities, which are the seat of commerce and manufactures, the middle ranks of inhabitants, who derive their subsistence from the dexterity or labour of their hands, are commonly the most prolific, the most useful, and, in that sense, the most respectable part of the community.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Bad roads and indifferent inns, ... the continual converse one is obliged to have with the vilest part of mankind - innkeepers, post-masters, and custom house officers.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The two Antonines (for it is of them that we are now speaking) governed the Roman world forty-two years, with the same invariable spirit of wisdom and virtue. ... Their united reigns are possibly the only period of history in which the happiness of a great people was the sole object of government.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The division of the Roman world between the sons of Theodosius marks the final establishment of the empire of the East, which, from the reign of Arcadius to the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, subsisted one thousand and fifty-eight years in a state of premature and perpetual decay.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The pains and pleasures of the body, howsoever important to ourselves, are an indelicate subject of conversation

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

Hope, the best comfort of our imperfect condition, was not denied to the Roman slave; and if he had any opportunity of rendering himself either useful or agreeable, he might very naturally expect that the diligence and fidelity of a few years would be rewarded with the inestimable gift of freedom.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Edward Gibbon

I will not dissemble the first emotions of joy on the recovery of my freedom, and, perhaps, the establishment of my fame. But my pride was soon humbled, and a sober melancholy was spread over my mind, by the idea that I had taken an everlasting leave of an old and agreeable companion, and that whatsoever might be the future date of my History, the life of the historian must be short and precarious.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Edward Gibbon

The inactivity of a conqueror betrays the loss of strength and blood . . .

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

[All] the manly virtues were oppressed by the servile and pusillanimous reign of the monks.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Edward Gibbon

I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.