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Barbarism and Religion

Barbarism and Religion

Volume 1. The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737–1764

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  • Date Published: April 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521797597


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About the Authors
  • 'Barbarism and Religion' - Edward Gibbon's own phrase - is the title of an acclaimed sequence of works by John Pocock designed to situate Gibbon, and his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in a series of contexts in the history of eighteenth-century Europe. This is a major intervention from one of the world's leading historians of ideas, challenging the notion of any one 'Enlightenment' and positing instead a plurality of enlightenments, of which the English was one. In this first volume, The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, John Pocock follows Gibbon through his youthful exile in Switzerland and his criticisms of the Encyclopédie, and traces the growth of his historical interests down to the conception of the Decline and Fall itself.

    • 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
    • First-time paperback of a work that has already generated major review coverage (including NYTRB), and won a highly prestigious American prize in cultural history
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    • Winner of the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History of the American Philosophical Society

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Pocock manages to place Gibbon within these larger cosmopolitan movements without diminishing the historian's extraordinary accomplishment.' Tim Breen, New York Times Review of Books

    'Pocock the historian of political thought has not been altogether useless to Pocock the historian of Gibbon's Roman Empire.' Peter Burke, European Legacy

    '… the grandeur of Pocock's conception amazes, but it is often the asides and apercus that linger longest in the mind.' David Armitage, Lingua Franca

    'Thus we come back to the English Protestant Enlightenment and the point from which John Pocock set out on his magnificent tour de force.' Nicholas Tyacke, The Times Literary Supplement

    'He has penned two very important volumes.' Jeremy Black

    'There can be few scholars who can match the range and depth of Pocock's scholarship …'. History of Political Thought

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521797597
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 232 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. England and Switzerland, 1737–1763:
    1. Putney, Oxford and the question of English Enlightenment
    2. Lausanne and the Arminian Enlightenment
    3. The re-education of young Gibbon: method, unbelief and the turn towards history
    4. The Hampshire militia and the problems of modernity
    5. Study in the camp: erudition and the search for a narrative
    Part II. The Encounter with Paris and the Defence of Erudition, 1761–1763:
    6. The politics of scholarship in French and English Enlightenment
    7. Erudition and Enlightenment in the Académie des Inscriptions
    8. D'Alembert's Discours Preliminaire: the philosophe perception of history
    9. The Essai sur l'Etude de la Litterature: imagination, irony and history
    10. Paris and the gens de lettres: experience and recollection
    Part III. Lausanne and Rome: The Journey Towards a Subject, 1763–1765:
    11. The return to Lausanne and the pursuit of erudition
    12. The journey to Rome and the transformation of intentions
    Epilogue: Gibbon and the rhythm that was different

  • Author

    J. G. A. Pocock
    Born in London and brought up in Christchurch, New Zealand, J. G. A. Pocock was educated at the Universities of Canterbury and Cambridge, and was for many years (1974-1994) Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. 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), and Virtue, Commerce and History (1985). 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.


    • Winner of the Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History of the American Philosophical Society

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