Edward Gibbon  

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"The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosophers as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful." --Edward Gibbon

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Edward Gibbon (April 27, 1737January 16, 1794) was an English historian. His most important work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. The History is known principally for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open denigration of organized religion, though the extent of this is disputed by some critics. The work was put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

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