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Barbarism and Religion

Volume 6. Barbarism: Triumph in the West

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  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107464360

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About the Authors
  • This sixth and final volume in John Pocock's acclaimed sequence of works on Barbarism and Religion examines Volumes II and III of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, carrying Gibbon's narrative to the end of empire in the west. It makes two general assertions: first, that this is in reality a mosaic of narratives, written on diverse premises and never fully synthesized with one another; and second, that these chapters assert a progress of both barbarism and religion from east to west, leaving much history behind as they do so. The magnitude of Barbarism and Religion is already apparent. Barbarism: Triumph in the West represents the culmination of a remarkable attempt to discover and present what Gibbon was saying, what he meant by it, and why he said it in the ways that he did, as well as an unparalleled contribution to the historiography of Enlightened Europe.

    • The triumphant conclusion to an unparalleled and highly regarded sequence of works
    • The culmination of a life's work by one of the great historians of our time, writing about the greatest English historian of all time
    • A major reinterpretation of one of the defining cultural moments in European history
    Read more


    • Joint Winner, 2015 István Hont Book Prize, Institute of Intellectual History

    Reviews & endorsements

    'By uniting civil with ecclesiastical histories, and by describing narratives of antiquity created by, and in a world on the brink of, revolutionary change, Pocock concludes his sixth volume in scholarly territory initially explored by the pioneering work of Arnaldo Momigliano and Franco Venturi, to both of whom the first volume of Barbarism and Religion was dedicated. In his end is his beginning; where Pocock's uniquely authoritative contribution to historical scholarship magisterially concludes, that of many others will surely follow.' B. W. Young, The English Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107464360
    • length: 542 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Constantinian Empire:
    1. Constantinople: a new city and a new history
    2. Constantine to Julian: the disintegration of a dynasty
    Part II. The Church in the Empire:
    3. Constantine's second revolution
    4. Theology and the problems of authority
    5. Nicaea and its aftermath
    6. The reign of Constantius and the Arian triumph
    7. The structure of chapter 21
    Part III. The Interlude of Julian:
    8. Gibbon and Julian: the history of an anomaly
    9. Julian apostate: the failure of an alternative
    10. Julian as persecutor: from toleration to the failure of repression
    11. The sojourn at Antioch and the Persian disaster
    Part IV. Barbarism: The First Catastrophe:
    12. Valentinian I and Valens: the turn to the west
    13. The geography and history of the western Decline and Fall
    Part V. The Triumph of Orthodoxy and the Last Emperor:
    14. The reign of Theodosius: triumphs preceding disaster
    15. Ambrose of Milan: the church and the empire
    16. Theodosius narrated and re-narrated: the death and rebirth of polytheism
    Part VI. The Barbarisation of the West
    17. The Gothic phase: the sack of Rome and the loss of the transalpine west
    18. Vandals and Huns: the twin empires and the loss of Africa
    19. Attila and Aetius: the Hun invasions of the west
    20. The end of the western succession
    Part VII. After the Fall: Towards a History Not Written:
    21. Ends and beginnings: the conclusion of Gibbon's third volume
    22. The barbarian kingdoms and their laws: the beginnings of a mediaeval history
    23. The general observations
    24. Gibbon's first trilogy and its successor volumes
    Conclusion of the present series

  • Author

    J. G. A. Pocock, The Johns Hopkins University
    J. G. A. Pocock was educated at the Universities of Canterbury and Cambridge. He is now Harry C. Black Professor of History Emeritus at The Johns Hopkins University and an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. His many seminal works on intellectual history include The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law (1957, second edition 1987), Politics, Language and Time (1971), The Machiavellian Moment (1975, second edition 2003), Virtue, Commerce and History (1985), Political Thought and History (2009), and five previous volumes in the Barbarism and Religion sequence, initiated in 1999. He has also edited The Political Works of James Harrington (1977) and Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1987), as well as the collaborative study The Varieties of British Political Thought (1995). A Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Historical Society, Professor Pocock is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of New Zealand Merit in 2002.


    • Joint Winner, 2015 István Hont Book Prize, Institute of Intellectual History

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