The history of the decline and fall of the Roman empire, Volume 11

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Vernor, Hood & Sharpe, 1806 - Byzantine Empire
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User Review  - Benedict8 - LibraryThing

No I have not read the whole thing. About a quarter of it. It features spectacular English and wonderful irony. It is long, but not boring by any means. I learned more about how religion operates in ... Read full review

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User Review  - LisaMaria_C - LibraryThing

I feel decidedly ambivalent about this book. My rating reflects that ultimately I didn't want to stick with it; I didn't find its pleasures and degree of informativeness worth the slogging through ... Read full review

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Page 75 - Christ ; and its potent energy was heightened by an accident, a stratagem, or a rumor, of a miraculous complexion. Three knights, in white garments and resplendent arms, either issued, or seemed to issue, from the hills : the voice of Adhemar, the pope's legate, proclaimed them as the martyrs St. George, St. Theodore, and St. Maurice ; the tumult of battle allowed no time for doubt or scrutiny; and the welcome apparition dazzled the eyes or the imagination of a fanatic army.
Page 205 - While the wind was favourable, the sky serene, and the water smooth, every eye was fixed with wonder and delight on the scene of military and naval pomp which overspread the sea. The shields of the knights and squires, at once an ornament and a defence, were arranged on either side of the ships; the banners of the nations and families were displayed from the stern; our modern artillery was supplied by three hundred engines for casting stones and darts; the...
Page 304 - Veres, Despensers, St. Johns, Talbots, Bohuns, and even the Plantagenets themselves; and in a contest with John of Lancaster, a Courtenay, bishop of London, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, might be accused of profane confidence in the strength and number of his kindred.
Page 437 - The desolation is complete ; and the temple of Diana or the church of Mary will equally elude the search of the curious traveller. The circus and three stately theatres of Laodicea are now peopled with wolves and foxes ; Sardis is reduced to a miserable village ; the God of...
Page 406 - Bokhara, the insolent victor might trample the Koran under his horse's feet ; but the calm legislator respected the prophets and pontiffs of the most hostile sects. The reason of Zingis was not informed by books — the Khan could neither read nor write — and, except the tribe of the Igours, the greatest part of the Moguls and Tartars were as illiterate as their sovereign. The memory of their exploits was preserved by tradition ; sixty-eight years after the death of Zingis, these traditions were...
Page 38 - The bath and white garment of the novice were an indecent copy of the regeneration of baptism; his sword, which he offered on the altar, was blessed by the ministers of religion ; his solemn reception was preceded by fasts and vigils ; and he was created a knight in the name of God, of St. George, and of St. Michael the archangel.
Page 39 - Abroad in enterprise and pilgrimage, at home in martial exercise, the warriors of every country were perpetually associated ; and impartial taste must prefer a Gothic tournament to the Olympic games of classic antiquity *. Instead of the naked spectacles which corrupted the manners of the Greeks...
Page 26 - At Verdun, Treves, Mentz, Spires, Worms, many thousands of that unhappy people were pillaged and massacred, nor had they felt a more bloody stroke since the persecution of Hadrian. A remnant was saved by the firmness of their bishops, who accepted a feigned and transient conversion; but the more obstinate Jews opposed their fanaticism to the fanaticism of the Christians, barricaded their houses, and, precipitating themselves, their families, and their wealth into the rivers or the flames, disappointed...
Page 437 - Pergamus ; and the populousness of Smyrna is supported by the foreign trade of the Franks and Armenians. Philadelphia alone has been saved by prophecy, or courage.
Page 362 - But in this eloquent work we should vainly seek the sincerity of a hero or a penitent. Retired in a cloister from the vices and passions of the world, he presents not a confession, but an apology, of the life of an ambitious statesman. Instead of unfolding the true counsels and characters of men, he displays the smooth and specious surface of events, highly varnished with his own praises and those of his friends. Their motives are always pure ; their ends always legitimate : they conspire and rebel...

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