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Posts Tagged ‘temple of Jupiter

Lest one think it’s anything new…

click on image above, or here

As we remind ourselves of Mark Twain’s observation that, while history never repeats itself, it rhymes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1764 that then-twenty-seven-year-old Edward Gibbon, on a Grand Tour of Europe, was inspired by a group of chanting clerics to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

It was at Rome, on the [fifteenth] of October[,] 1764, as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while the bare[-]footed fryars were singing [V]espers in the temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the [C]ity first started to my mind.
- Gibbon, Memoirs

Gibbons “Capitoline vision” (as historians now call it) expanded from Rome to the entire empire, and resulted in a magnum opus that was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788.

Sir Joshua Reynolds’ portrait of Gibbon (source)

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