The aim of this two-volume work, now reprinted, is to set Edward Gibbon firmly within the intellectual and cultural context of the 18th century and to assess The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as an artefact of the Enlightenment. The first volume comprises a biography of Gibbon, exploring his contacts with Oxford, Switzerland, Paris and Rome, while the second volume examines the philosophy behind the Enlightenment, in England, Scotland and Europe. Pocock also considers the life and works of other early modern historiographers such as Voltaire, david Hume, William Robertson, Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson.
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