The author himself is the best judge of his own performance; none has so deeply meditated on the subject; none is so sincerely interested in the event.
Edward Gibbon (April 27, 1737 (O.S.) (May 8, 1737 (N.S.)) - January 16, 1794) was arguably the most influential historian since the time of Tacitus. His magnum opus, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, published between 1776 and 1788, is a groundbreaking work whose influence endures to this day.