Famous for its stunning breadth of treatment and powerful organization, Gibbon's masterpiece remains the most celebrated history in English literature. Written in a perfect neoclassic style, the prose is elegant, dignified and lucid. Gibbon's erudition is seasoned with an ironic wit, and remarkably little of his work is outdated. This second volume covers 395 A.D. to 1185 A.D., from the reign of Justinian in the East to the establishment of the German Empire of the West. It recounts the desperate attempts to hold off the barbarians, palace revolutions and assassinations, theological controversy, lecheries and betrayals, all in a setting of phenomenal magnificence.