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Edward Gibbon
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    (April 27, 1737-January 16, 1794)
    Born in Putney, United Kingdom
    English historian
    Most well known for writing 'The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
    He blamed the Catholic Church for the fall of Rome.
    He briefly joined the Catholic Church, then left it at his father's behest and became rabidly anti-Catholic.
    He broke off an engagement at his father's instructions.
    He was elected a Member of Parliament, but appeared totally disinterested and contributed nothing to the position.
    The first part of 'The History...' covering from 180AD to 641AD is far, far superior to the second part.
    He described the fall of the Roman Empire as 'the triumph of barbarism and religion.'
    He attended Oxford, but quit after 14 months, describing his time there as 'the most idle and unprofitable of his life.'
    He was anti-semitic and a Freemason.
    Whatever its faults, 'The History...' remains one of the greatest achievements in the history of the English language and has influenced writers from Issac Asimov to Winston Churchill.
    Gibbon scrupulously used original sources whenever possible.
    He was a sickly child, and the only one of his parents' five children to survive infancy.
    His mother died when he was ten.
    He was against slavery and protested it vigorously.
    He was enormously loyal to his friends and would travel from England to the Continent just to comfort one in mourning.
    He died of complications arising from being treated for a disease that caused his testicles to swell up enormously.
    Some of the shortcomings of his work are due to his not having access to sources available today.

Credit: tom_jeffords

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