I feel a great comfort and relief knowing that there were others who lived and died and thought and fought so long ago; I feel less tyrannized by the present day.
I learn much about the way our society really works, because the system-origins - military, religious, political, colonial, agricultural, financial - are all there to be scrutinized in their infancy. I have gained perspective.
The language in which the book is written is rich and complete, as the language of today is not.
I find out how little I know.
I am inspired by the will and erudition which enabled Gibbon to complete a work of twenty-odd years. The guy stuck with things.