Monday, May 18, 2015

"the feeble and dissolute Valentinian . . . had reached his thirty-fifth year without attaining the age of reason or courage. . . ."

     Edward Gibbon on Valentinian III, The history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 35 (ed. J. B. Bury, new edition, vol. 3 (London:  Methuen & Co., 1906 [1897]), p. 476).  Cf. "The deepest wounds were inflicted on the empire during the minorities of the sons and grandsons of Theodosius; and, after those incapable princes seemed to attain the age of manhood, they abandoned the church to the bishops, the state to the eunuchs, and the provinces to the Barbarians" (chap. 38, "General observations on the fall of the Roman Empire in the West" (ed. Bury, 3rd edition, vol. 4 (London:  Methuen & Co., 1908 [1897]), p. 165).

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