Gulliver journeys to the island of Glubbdubdrib, which appears to be populated by sorcerers. The ruler of the island, has developed the ability to bring persons from the past to life, and return them to their eternal slumber. He invites Gulliver to visit with several historical figures which he revives from beyond the grave. Through this intermediary, Gulliver discovers such historical inaccuracies as the fact that Alexander was not poisoned, and Hannibal did not really use fire and vinegar to destroy an impassable boulder in the Alps, as the story goes. Caesar and Brutus are evoked, after which Caesar admits that all his own glory does not equal the glory Brutus gained by murdering him. Gulliver concludes that history, is not what it has been portrayed to be.
Continuing with his interactions, Gulliver conjures Homer, Aristotle, Descartes, and Gassendi. He spends many days conversing with various Roman emperors, and several other rulers whom he feels "history" has forgotten. Focusing on modern history, he is disappointed to find that these rulers have not been the virtuous leaders people have held them to be for so long. When Gulliver queries a visit with some average Englishmen of the past, he is shocked to find that they are so robust and vibrant. He fears the English race has degenerated in recent times due to a "rich diet and syphilis," and that the average man of the current generation is as corrupt as if they were all frivolous nobles.