Quotations from Chapter 13 of Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ("The Reign of Diocletian and his Three Associates, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius --- General Re-establishment of Order and Tranquility --- The Persian War, Victory, and Triumph --- The new Form of Administration --- Abdication and Retirement of Diocletian and Maximian (285 - 313 A.D.)"):

Philosophy, with the aid of experience, has at length banished the study of alchymy; and the present age, however desirous of riches, is content to seek them by the humbler means of commerce and industry.

His sumptuous tents, and those of his satraps, afforded an immense booty to the conqueror; and an incident is mentioned which proves the rustic but martial ignorance of the legions in the elegant superfluities of life. A bag of shining leather, filled with pearls, fell into the hands of a private soldier; he carefully preserved the bag, but he threw away its contents, judging that whatever was of no use could not possibly be of any value.

It is seldom that minds long exercised in business have formed any habits of conversing with themselves, and in the loss of power they principally regret the want of occupation.

The knowledge that is suited to our situation and powers, the whole compass of moral, natural, and mathematical science, was neglected by the new Platonists; whilst they exhausted their strength in the verbal disputes of metaphysics, attempted to explore the secrets of the invisible world, and studied to reconcile Aristotle with Plato, on subjects of which both these philosophers were as ignorant as the rest of mankind.

(see also Gibbon _-_Table_of_Contents, Gibbon_-_Thoughts_Upon_Reading, ... and for a single-page presentation of Gibbon quotes)


(correlates: Gibbon - Table of Contents, GibbonChapter11, HurrisomeThrustfulHavering, ...)