- The first quarter of the chapter is about the layout of the city of Constantinople; a good description, but hampered by Gibbon's not having his own personal experience of being there, and also could have done with a map. There is then a lengthy section on how the empire was governed: the setup of the civilian administration, of the military, and last but not least of the imperial palace. Finally there are notes on the security system (spies and torture) and on taxation.
Thanks for the kind messages enquiring about my involvement or otherwise in this morning's train crash. At 0830 this morning I was at Brussels airport, checking in for my flight to Switzerland. It's not my sideof town anyway - I don't think I have ever been on that particular train track. But I appreciate the concern.