I like reading old history texts. I also like knowing accurate history (to the degree that we know it). Is there an edition (abridged or not) of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that includes notes on what Gibbon got wrong, or information he didn't have access to?

Alternately, is there a separate text that would accomplish the same end?

  • 2
    Why limit your search to reeditions of Gibbon? I would also be searching for original works (journal articles or books) that criticize his work. Sep 25, 2018 at 0:36
  • 1
    Not a bad point, but an annotation would be easier than going back and forth between two books. Do you know of a good example of what you suggest?
    – Calion
    Sep 25, 2018 at 2:13
  • 1
    No, I haven't done the research. One way to ask about it on this site would be along the lines of "What about Gibbon's account have other historians disputed?". Sep 25, 2018 at 2:53
  • 1
    @Calion. Nice question. I was wondering about the same when I read him, and the best I got was investigating individual points from the books. I tried a few quick searches right now as I know 'The Peloponnesian War' has a few modern copies, but there does not seem to have been the same level of interest in Gibbon. It could, perhaps, be a bit too monumental for people to take on in the same way...
    – gktscrk
    Sep 26, 2018 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


enter image description here
Source: Amazon

Suggestion (not necessarily a valid Answer since I do not own a copy of this edition and cannot verify to what extent it is annotated with modern information) have you investigated this edition from Hugh Trevor-Roper (pub 1993, this edition is a 2010 reprint)? Some of the customer reviews indicate it has factual corrections, such as this:

The merit of Gibbon's masterpiece needs no defense. Readers are, I assume, looking for remarks about whether this Everyman set is a quality edition. Well, this is it. I looked at the Folio Society edition: lovely, yes; but fragile and grossly overpriced. The Everyman is sturdily bound with solid boards and paper. The typeface is clean. A handy bookmark is bound into each volume. It's nice to hold in the hand.

The text is the standard one of 1910, with notes to catch major errors of fact; there are good, more recent introductions (to vols 1 and 4) by the eminent Hugh Trevor-Roper (does that man know everything, or what?). ALL of the original footnotes are here, and readers of Gibbon should consider them as essential. Someone once quipped that Gibbon lived out his sex life in footnotes; there's some truth in that remark. [emphasis added]

Edit by OP: This is indeed an excellent edition for this purpose. Here's an example, from page 4: example of textual correction

Note however that the corrections are from no later than 1936; for more up-to-date information, the book refers readers to the enormous and exorbitant Cambridge Ancient and Medieval Histories ("which contain detailed bibliographies").

  • 1
    @axsvl77 the notes are not 1910, the original work is 1910. Hugh Trevor-Roper (Jan 15 1914 - Jan 26 2003) published this in 1993. This particular edition is a 2010 reprint of the 1993 work. If that is not modern enough, I don't know what is.
    – Kerry L
    Sep 27, 2018 at 19:10
  • 3
    I have this set of books and yes it does have pretty decent modern annotations.
    – ed.hank
    Sep 28, 2018 at 15:41
  • 1
    It looks like the reviewer complaining about typos was referring to a Kindle edition; that is, not this (Everyman) edition at all. I had heard that this was the definitive edition, but not that it had annotations correcting Gibbon's errors. I could wish for something cheaper, but that's not what I asked for. Thanks!
    – Calion
    Sep 28, 2018 at 19:16
  • 2
    @KerryL I managed to get it given to me as a wedding gift!! Luckily it is exactly what I was looking for, and a beautiful edition to boot.
    – Calion
    Oct 26, 2018 at 16:25
  • 2
    @Calion that is fantastic! Congratulations on both the wedding and the gift!
    – Kerry L
    Oct 26, 2018 at 18:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.