Quotations from Chapter 16 of Edward Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ("The Conduct of the Roman Government towards the Christians, from the Reign of Nero to that of Constantine (180 - 313 A.D.)"):

The sectaries of a persecuted religion, depressed by fear, animated with resentment, and perhaps heated by enthusiasm, are seldom in a proper temper of mind calmly to investigate, or candidly to appreciate, the motives of their enemies, which often escape the impartial and discerning view even of those who are placed at a secure distance from the flames of persecution.

History, which undertakes to record the transactions of the past, for the instruction of future ages, would ill deserve that honourable office if she condescended to plead the cause of tyrants, or to justify the maxims of persecution.

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


(correlates: GibbonChapter12, Gibbon - Table of Contents, QuietingReflex, ...)