Since the beginning of recorded history, empires and civilizations have risen and fallen; sometimes they would seem to have completely disappeared. It would probably be truer to say that the races who have developed the varying civilizations have disappeared, but that their gifts to the world have survived, not always in the form in which they gave them, but in the form in which the world has needed them.

    Dorothy Mills, on the fall of Rome in the introduction to her Book of the Middle Ages.