The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 1

Edward Gibbon, Author, David Timson, Read by
Edward Gibbon, read by David Timson. Naxos AudioBooks, unabridged, 18 CDs, 22.75 hrs., $107.98 ISBN 978-1-84379-715-9
Reviewed on: 02/24/2014
Release date: 01/01/2014
This first installment in Naxos’s ambitious audio edition of Gibbon’s classic history of the Roman Empire boasts a standout performance from veteran narrator Timson. Beginning in 14 C.E. during the time of Augustus, this volume covers everything up to 324 C.E. when Constantine the Great becomes emperor of Rome. While reading a history of this size and scope would likely prove an immense challenge to any narrator, Timson handles his duties with great aplomb. His narration is crisp, clear, and commanding. His tone is both intellectual and full of authority, and he modifies his pacing and annunciation to highlight points of particular importance or interest. When reading footnotes to the text, Timson slightly alters his tone to signal to readers the transition to and from these ancillary sections. This masterful performance of a classic work is a must listen for anyone who loves history. (Jan.)
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