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Edward Gibbon (Perhaps): “The five marks of the Roman decaying culture”

4 February 2015

cole_distruction-1024x628 “The five marks of the Roman decaying culture: Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth; Obsession with sex and perversions of sex; Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original; Widening disparity between very rich and very poor; Increased demand to live off the state.”

– This quote is often attributed to Edward Gibbon but there is reason to believe that it is spurious. It is a good statement though. I am posting this in the expectation that readers will readily see the very strong similarity to The United States, and indeed the whole western world, in our time.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Will permalink
    5 February 2015 2:50 am

    Is there an email we can reach you by? I would like to email you to discuss high church Anglicanism and Orthodoxy?

  2. 5 February 2015 1:46 pm

    Is this someone’s conclusions after reading Gibbon? Or a quotation from the book I.e. his own summary?

    Id like to use this reference in some conversations i’m having at church, but want to be sure of its accuracy. For examle, i had never heard of #3 and #5 being relevant to Rome’s decline. I tried reading him years ago, but got lost in the woods, then too tired to return later.

    • 5 February 2015 2:24 pm

      I read a good deal of Gibbons book, as you did, but like many people found it a long winded and not always easy to digest. This quote can be found all over the place repeated by sources that should be reliable. But since looking at your question I’ve investigated a little more and found that there is good reason to to doubt it was a direct quote from Gibbon. I think I’m going to take it down.

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