Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 5 by Edward Gibbon Edward Gibbon (b. 1737, d. 1794) upon visiting the ruins of the Roman forum in 1762, during his Grand Tour, was inspired to write a history of the Roman Empire and its long fall. Gibbon became one of the leading figures of the Enlightenment, and his unvarnished take on the early Church has led to the book being banned sporadically. The Decline and Fall, however, has had continued cultural relevance for over two centuries. The sheer dimensions of Gibbon's chronicle of the end of the Roman empire, and the birth of our modern civilization, mean that it is seldom reprinted in entirety any more. This edition is based on the unabridged 1845 edition, with editing by H. H. Milman. This is a reading edition: the massive footnote apparatus has been omitted so that the majestic narrative flow can be experienced without intermission.