Edward Gibbon (1737 – 1794), an English historian, is perhaps the greatest historian of all times. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. The History is known principally for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open denigration of organized religion.
The History is a literary monument and a massive step forward in historical method. In writing The History, Gibbon was notably not content with secondhand accounts when the primary sources were accessible, and used them so well that even today historians still cite his work as the definitive factual history of the western empire.
Gibbon's work has been criticized for its aggressively scathing view of Christianity as laid down in chapters XV and XVI. Those chapters were strongly criticized and resulted in the banning of the book in several countries. Gibbon's alleged crime was disrespecting the character of sacred Christian doctrine in "treating the Christian church as a phenomenon of general history, not a special case admitting supernatural explanations and disallowing criticism of its adherents" as the Roman church was likely expecting.
Gibbon, by his admittance, expected some type of church-inspired backlash, but the utter harshness of the ensuing torrents far exceeded anything he or his friends could possibly have anticipated. Gibbon subsequently published his Vindication in 1779, in which he categorically denied the accusations against him and defended his accounts of the history of Christianity.
This upload includes:
1- The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1891 Edition in 7 volumes.
2- History of Christianity, comprising all that relates to the progress of the Christian Religion in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; and attached to it A Vindication of Some Passages in the 15th and 16th Chapters. (1916 Edition)