Barbarism and Religion: The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737-1764 - Vol. 1

By J. G. A. Pocock | Go to book overview

Note on references, quotations and translations

References to the Decline and Fall will be in the first instance to the original volume and chapter; in the second, by volume and page to the critical edition carried out by David Womersley (London: Allen Lane, the Penguin Press, 1994). This supersedes the previous modern edition, that by J. B. Bury (1896), on which scholars have been obliged to rely, short of consulting the first printings, for the last hundred years. However, since the edition by Bury is still in many libraries as an object of deserved respect, references will here be given in the third instance to the revision of 1909, reprinted by the AMS Press of New York in 1974. Womersley's edition is unique in paying attention to boththe original divisions between volumes, and the changes wrought by Gibbon in printing and revising his own text. References to Gibbon's autobiographical writings are similarly given in two forms: in the first place to Georges Bonnard's Edward Gibbon: Memoirs of my Life (cited as Memoirs), which is convenient but not exhaustive, and in the second place to John Murray's The Autobiographies of Edward Gibbon (cited as A), which prints all Gibbon's drafts in full but has not been reprinted since 1897. The bibliographical situation which has made this procedure necessary is less than satisfactory. References to Gibbon's other writings, including his letters, are given to modern critical editions, and where these are lacking to the 1814 edition of the Miscellaneous Works by Lord Sheffield. All references are given in what has been found the most compendious bibliographical form.

This volume, like its successor, quotes liberally from Gibbon himself and from texts which supply the contexts illustrating his own. Where these quotations are in languages other than English, the original has been allowed to stand and a translation appended to it. When Gibbon himself wrote in French, it has seemed ridiculous to give a modern English version priority over his own words, and this principle has been extended to his peers writing in the main languages of European

-xii-

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