Medieval History

Gibbon: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Edward_Emily_GibbonThe History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon is an influential enlightenment account of Roman history from the peak of prosperity under the Antonine Emperors in the second century CE. Originally published in six volumes between 1776 and 1789, the later books bring the story all the way up to the fall of Constantinople in the fifteenth century, taking in the rise of Islam and the Crusades on the way.

Although his methods were soon overtaken by new standards of historical criticism emanating from Germany, Gibbon's preference for primary sources was notable by the standards of his own day. Then and later, most controversy attached to his assessment of the role of Christianity in Rome's decdine. More recently, scholarship of the period now known as Late Antiquity has defined itself against the image of the Dark Ages which Gibbon helped to popularise.

Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire at Amazon

Free online texts
Gutenberg: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, edited by H.H. Milman. 
Internet Archive: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Vol I | Vol II, edited by J. B. Bury (1914). EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, with Notes by the Rev. H.H. Milman. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Multiple editions, though each currently incomplete. HTML and other formats.

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Michael Psellos: Chronographia

Michael_PsellosThe Chronographia (Greek: Χρονογραφία) by Michael Psellos is a history of the Byzantine Empire in the century from 976 CE by Michael Psellos, who was himself an active courtier and political advisor during the latter part of this period. His chief interest is in the character of individual rulers, which he considers in fourteen biographies of individual emperors and empresses, from Basil II 'The Bulgar-Slayer' to Michael VII Doukas.

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English translations

Documenta Catholica Omnia: Chronographia, translated by E.R.A. Sewter (1953). PDF format.

Fordham University Medieval History Sourcebook: Chronographia, translated by E.R.A. Sewter (1953). HTML format.

Greek texts

Internet Archive: The History of Psellus, edited by Constantine Sathas (1899). PDF, EPUB, DJVU, Kindle and other formats.

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Anna Comnena: The Alexiad

Alexios_I_KomnenosThe Alexiad (Greek: Ἀλεξιάς) by Anna Comnena, is a history of the Byzantine Empire during the reign of her father Alexios I Comnenus from 1048-1118. Written in around 1148, it is significant as an important source for the period leading up to the First Crusade, and as one of the earliest historical works by by a woman.

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Free online texts
English Translations

Fordham University Medieval Sourcebook: The Alexiad, translated by Elizabeth A. Dawes (1928). HTML format.

Wikisource: The Alexiad, translated by Elizabeth A. Dawes. HTML and other formats.

York University: The Alexiad, translated by Elizabeth A. Dawes. PDF format.

Greek texts

Greek Wikisource: Αλεξιάς. HTML and other formats.

Internet Archive: Anna Comnena Vol I (edited by Schopen). | Vol II (edited by Reifferscheid). Corpus Scriptorum Historiae Byzantinae.

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