|Publication Date||July 5, 2012|
It is perhaps superfluous to say that nothing like a general history of the period has been attempted. That is a task which has been already accomplished by abler hands. The subject of this work is mainly what it professes to be, the inner life and thoughts of the last three generations in the Empire of the West. If external events are referred to, it is only because mens private fortunes and feelings cannot be severed from the fortunes of the State. The limits of the period covered by this study of Eoman society have not been arbitrarily chosen. The last hundred years of the Western Empire seem marked off both by momentous events, and, for the student of society, by the authorities at his command. The commencement of the period coincides roughly with the passage of the Gothic hordes across the Danube, the accession of Gratian and Theodosius, the termination of the long truce between paganism and the Christian Empire, and the reopening of the conflict which, within twenty years, ended in the final prohibition of heathen rites. It closes, not only with the deposition of the last shadowy Emperor of the West, but with the practical extinction of Eoman power in the great prefecture of the Gauls. Perhaps even more obvious are the lines drawn by the fullest authorities for our subject.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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