<i>The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol. 4 of 12</i> is one volume of a larger series crafted by the famous historian Edward Gibbon. In this volume, Gibbon continues his exploration of the Roman Empire, and re-establishes the importance of this civilization in terms of world history. Gibbon's career in history is culminated in these volumes, and his expansive expertise in this area of history makes these books an invaluable resource for any student and scholar of history.<br><br>Gibbon's ultimate goal is to determine the specific factors behind the collapse of the Roman Empire, and to illuminate those clues throughout the text. His main argument rests on the importance of the Catholic Church in both Roman history and in the myriad of ways Christianity affected the Roman Empire. To Gibbon, a combined effort between barbarian invasions and the new religious belief system (based on a better life after this one rather than on the wrath of vengeful gods) caused Romans to allow their civilization to die through war and apathy. According to Gibbon, by bowing to outside forces, and by rejecting the traditional martial spirit of Roman life for a more religious lifestyle, Romans stood idly by as outsiders decimated their civilization. <br><br><i>The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol. 4 of 12</i> is a complex and complete evaluation of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. Before beginning work on the text, Gibbon knew what evidence for the fall of the Empire he wanted to illuminate and he does so artfully throughout the text. By the end of the volume it's clear what his argument is and that the rest of the series will continue to promote Gibbons thoughts on the Empire. The books still stand out as wonderful references for individuals interested in Roman history and world powers.