The first volume of Edward Gibbon's famous book Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire is published. For quite a long time it will be the standard history on the Roman civilization and continues to be used and read to this day.
Gibbon's book is unusual in how the footnotes play such an important role in his work. Any scholarly book will have important information and references contained in footnotes, but Gibbon's Decline and Fall contains nearly eight thousand of them.
Any edition of this work which does not include all the footnotes is seriously abridged, all the more so because Gibbon tended to put the ruder and more scandalous stories there, where people wouldn't notice them immediately.
Gibbon is also very cynical and skeptical regarding traditional religious beliefs and, as a result, criticisms of Christianity appear through his books - something which angered the more pious readers of his day.