I have just finished the 3 volumes of the first half of "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" by Gibbon. This is one of the most important books I have ever read. There is nothing superfluous or uninteresting in this huge opus. The description of how a very organised, civilised and rich society came to an end is as passionating as it is frightening in the times in which we live. Much of what Gibbon wrote about is happening now in our society, the rise of intolerant religion, the movement of different peoples from what it was then the third world to the most prosperous society of the Romans, the lack of civil spirit.The book in itself is written in a marvelous witty and grandiose style which is very becoming to this kind of subject. I found the footnotes very ironic or really sarcastic. I am now in the fourth volume and as soon as I finish it I will feel very happy of having had the inmense luck of finding such an extraordinary book which has deeply influenced me.