Edward Gibbon Bibliography

L’Essai sur l’étude de la littérature 1761
Gibbon’s first work, written and published in French, and appearing in English in 1764.

“The history of empires is that of men’s misery. The history of the sciences is that of their grandeur and happiness.”
Mémoires littéraires de la Grande Bretagne 1768
Published in 2 volumes between 1768 and 1769.
Critical Observationns on the Sixth Book of the Aeneid 1770
A critique of William Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated (1737, 1741) that contended that Book 6 of the Aeneid is an allegory of Aeneas's initiation into the Eleusinian mysteries.
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1776
Published between 1776 and 1788 the first quarto volume was published in 16 February 1776. It was immediately successful and Gibbon was acclaimed by David Hume and William Robertson as their equal if not their superior as an historian.
A Vindication of Some Passages in the XVth and XVIth Chapters of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1779
A devastating reply to critics who accused Gibbon of falsifying his critics.
Un Mémoire justificatif 1779
A masterly state paper in reply to continental criticism of the British government’s policy in America.
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1781
Publication of volumes 2 and 3.
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 1787
Volumes 4-6 published on Gibbon’s 51st birthday, May 8. Gibbon had finished writing the last lines of his history the on 27 June 1787. It’s completion was greeted with universal acclaim.
The Memoirs of My Life and Writings 1796
Published in 2 volumes. Put together from fragments and edited by Lord Sheffield after Gibbon’s death in 1794, the Memoirs, more commonly known as the Autobiography, are thought by some critics to be superior in style to the Decline and Fall.

“My temper is not very susceptible of enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm which I do not feel I have ever scorned to affect. But at the distance of twenty-five years I can neither forget nor express the strong emotions which agitated my mind as I first approached and entered the Eternal City. After a sleepless night I trod, with a lofty step, the ruins of the Forum; each memorable spot where Romulus stood, or Tully spoke, or Caesar fell, was at once present to my eye, and several days of intoxication were lost or enjoyed before I could descend to a cool and minute investigation.”

“It was at Rome, on the 15th of October 1764, as I sat musing amid the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city started to my mind.”