A COMPREHENSIVE AND READABLE ACCOUNT OF THE WORLD'S HISTORY, EMPHASIZING THE MORE IMPORTANT EVENTS, AND PRESENTING THESE AS COMPLETE NARRATIVES IN THE MASTER-WORDS OF THE MOST EMINENT HISTORIANSNON-SECTARIAN NON-PARTISAN NON-SECTIONALON THE PLAN EVOLVED FROM A CONSENSUS OF OPINIONS GATHERED FROM THE MOST DISTINGUISHED SCHOLARS OF AMERICA AND EUROPE, INCLUDING BRIEF INTRODUCTIONS BY SPECIALISTS TO CONNECT AND EXPLAIN THE CELEBRATED NARRATIVES, ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY. WITH THOROUGH INDICES, BIBLIOGRAPHIES, CHRONOLOGIES. AND COURSES OF READING
earth was being punished for its neglect and insult of the ancient gods. The Christians were persecuted anew.
THE PERIOD OF DECAY
The reign of Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius, marks the beginning of a century which sank almost into anarchy. He was murdered, and his guards auctioned the Empire to the highest bidder. Once more the legions fought against each other and placed their generals upon the throne. During ninety-two years there were twenty-five emperors fully acknowledged, besides a far larger number of claimants who were overthrown before Rome had time to hear of and salute them. The Imperial city was no longer mistress of the world; she was only its capital, as feeble and helpless as the other cities, which these unstable emperors began at times to favor in her stead.
The barbarians also, who through all these ages were growing stronger while Rome grew weaker, became ever a more serious menace. The internal disorder of the Empire left its frontiers often unguarded. The G