Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is an amazing book but I think a little unfair to the Middle Ages.Work then was being done on lots of fronts like Faith and Reason and lots of areas. Progress was being made that made things later possible. One example that comes to mind is water technology. That was a total Medieval invention. And when electricity was discovered it was easy to transfer from water to electricity.

It is common to find people that do not respect the Middle Ages. One of my first lessons in yeshiva as to correct me from that attitude. "Rishonim" are not just considered more logically rigorous than achronim. They are in fact more logically rigorous.