How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe

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9780340637876: How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe

Ireland played the central role in maintaining European culture when the dark ages settled on Europe in the fifth century: as Rome was sacked by Visigoths and its empire collapsed, Ireland became 'the isle of saints and scholars' that enabled the classical and religious heritage to be saved.In his compelling and entertaining narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Irish monks and scrines copied the mauscripts of both pagan and Christian writers, including Homer and Aristotle, while libraries on the continent were lost forever. Bringing the past and its characters to life, Cahill captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilisation.

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Review:

In this delightful and illuminating look into a crucial but little-known "hinge" of history, Thomas Cahill takes us to the "island of saints and scholars," the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian despoliation of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the West's written treasury. When stability returned in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning, becoming not only the conservators of civilization, but also the shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture.

From the Publisher:

The perfect St. Patrick's Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history -- the untold story of Ireland's role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe. Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" -- and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians. In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved front the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost -- they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task. As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated. In the tradition of Barbara Tuchmail's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.

"A lovely and engrossing tale . . . Graceful and instructive."--Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times

"Cahill's lively prose breathes life into a 1,600-year-old history."--The Boston Globe

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Thomas Cahill
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Book Description Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ireland played the central role in maintaining European culture when the dark ages settled on Europe in the fifth century: as Rome was sacked by Visigoths and its empire collapsed, Ireland became the isle of saints and scholars that enabled the classical and religious heritage to be saved.In his compelling and entertaining narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Irish monks and scrines copied the mauscripts of both pagan and Christian writers, including Homer and Aristotle, while libraries on the continent were lost forever. Bringing the past and its characters to life, Cahill captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilisation. Bookseller Inventory # EAS9780340637876

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Book Description Hodder Stoughton General Division, United Kingdom, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ireland played the central role in maintaining European culture when the dark ages settled on Europe in the fifth century: as Rome was sacked by Visigoths and its empire collapsed, Ireland became the isle of saints and scholars that enabled the classical and religious heritage to be saved.In his compelling and entertaining narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Irish monks and scrines copied the mauscripts of both pagan and Christian writers, including Homer and Aristotle, while libraries on the continent were lost forever. Bringing the past and its characters to life, Cahill captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilisation. Bookseller Inventory # EAS9780340637876

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Book Description Sceptre. Book Condition: New. 2003. New Ed. Paperback. The untold story of Ireland's role, from the fall of Rome to the rise of medieval Europe. Num Pages: 272 pages, 1x8pp b/w. BIC Classification: 1D; DSB; HBJD1; HBTB; JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 131 x 17. Weight in Grams: 190. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780340637876

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Book Description Sceptre, 2003. Book Condition: New. 2003. New Ed. Paperback. The untold story of Ireland's role, from the fall of Rome to the rise of medieval Europe. Num Pages: 272 pages, 1x8pp b/w. BIC Classification: 1D; DSB; HBJD1; HBTB; JFC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 131 x 17. Weight in Grams: 190. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780340637876

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Book Description Sceptre, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 256 pages. 7.76x5.04x0.67 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0340637870

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