Antonina; or, The Fall of Rome: A Romance of the Fifth Century

Antonina; or, The Fall of Rome: A Romance of the Fifth Century

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Antonina; or, The Fall of Rome: A Romance of the Fifth Century

Antonina; or, The Fall of Rome: A Romance of the Fifth Century

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The remarkable historical events which have been chosen to originate the following story, are amply and brilliantly detailed in the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The origin and process of the Gothic invasion of Italy under Alaric; the varied causes which produced, from the earliest periods, that fierce enmity cherished against Rome by the nations of the North, which ultimately ended in the memorable overthrow of the whole Empire; those occurrences attending the first barbarian siege of the Imperial City, which the present Romance is intended to reproduce, and which essentially mark the commencing epoch of the "Fall of Rome;" will all be found by the reader who may not be previously acquainted with them, in the pages of the great history already mentioned.

Whenever it has been thought probable that some desire might be felt to test the historical accuracy of particular passages, the proper notes have been inserted at the bottom of the page, where little more than a reference to chapter and book was requisite, and in the Appendix, where some extent of quotation appeared necessary.

Believing that the work of Gibbon would be more easily attainable to all classes of readers than any of the other ancient and modern authorities which he had consulted, the Author has taken care to refer, on all possible occasions, to the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," except in cases where the introduction of minute historical particulars, which importantly influenced the story, seemed to require the production of the various historical sources (mostly ancient) from which they had been drawn.

It will be observed, that the only two historical personages introduced in the following pages, (the Emperor Honorius and Alaric,) appear as characters of secondary importance, as regards the conduct of the story. Upon consideration of the principle on which he should write, the Author doubted the propriety (in his case, at least,) of selecting heroes and heroines from the real personages of the period. He feared, on this plan, that while he was necessarily adding from invention to what was actually known, his fiction might be placed in unfavorable contrast with truth, and that he might be unable to carry out his story, written upon such a system, without confusing or falsifying dates; thus failing in one main object of his anxiety, viz., to make his plot invariably arise, and proceed out of, the great historical events of the era, exactly in the order in which they occurred.

Under these circumstances, he thought that by forming all his principal characters from imagination, he should be able to hold them as he pleased to the main necessities of the story; to display them, without any impropriety, as influenced in whatever manner appeared most strikingly interesting by its minor incidents; and . . .

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