HomeGroupsTalkExplore
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic… (1995)

by Thomas Cahill

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Hinges of History (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,935831,468 (3.68)109
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 from 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 Tuchman'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.… (more)
Recently added byMitchBanks, russw3000, mdlorimac, Alyssa_JTR, private library, emakay, KTraynorinski, Boveca, sewster
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 109 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
Forgot I read this in college until I saw it at the library. Derp! ( )
  Brian-B | Nov 30, 2022 |
After hearing my mentor speak about and reference this book numerous times, I finally read it for myself. This book was written amazingly well and has sent me down dozens of rabbit trails that I may never reach the end of. This is a history that I was mostly ignorant of (save what my mentor had shared) and having it opened up to me in this book has been a wonderful experience. I was not at all prepared to be really moved in any way, but reading about the zeal that these traveling monks had for the Lord, and the love they had for the people was inspiring as well as convicting. I look forward to revisiting this book many times over the years and digging deeper into this great story. ( )
  EmilyRaible | Sep 27, 2022 |
Here's what I wrote about this read in 2008: "Well, it turns out that Irish did continue to scribe and keep alive the manuscripts of Christianity during the dark ages. An informative and educational read as MGA and DBA took a 15-year anniversary trip to Ireland!" True but the Irish we not the only ones scribing and illuminating those manuscripts; nor were they the only ones practicing and spreading faith in on the British Isles and western Europe. You learned more about all of this in 2022 as part of the St. Cuthbert's Way Pilgramage. ( )
  MGADMJK | Sep 13, 2022 |
A fairly average book with a killer ending. ( )
  FaithBurnside | Aug 17, 2022 |
Exceptionally well researched and written, Thomas Cahill brings alive a culture lost before the dark ages. This book will be of great in to those who fancy they know all about the Holy Roman Empire. ( )
  Windyone1 | May 10, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cahill, Thomasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donnelly, DonalReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graaf, Renée deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however, virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love. -- Reinhold Niebuhr
Dedication
To Susie ...
first and fairest ... best and dearest:
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love, and Pleasure.

(spelling is authors)
First words
On the last, cold day of December in the dying year we count as 406, the river Rhine froze solid, providing the natural bridge that hundreds of thousands of hungry men, women, and children had been waiting for.
Quotations
So in peace our task we ply,
Pangur Ban my cat and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.
Wherever they went the Irish brought with them their books, many unseen in Europe for centuries and tied to their waists as signs of triumph, just as Irish heroes had once tied to their waists their enemies' head. Wherever they went they brought their love of learning and their skills in bookmaking. In the bays and valleys of their exile, they reestablished literacy and breathed new life into the exhausted literary culture of Europe.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (4)

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 from 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 Tuchman'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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagne - the "dark ages" - learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of western civilization - from the Greek and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian works - would have been utterly lost were it not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.68)
0.5 5
1 17
1.5 7
2 63
2.5 20
3 224
3.5 47
4 345
4.5 17
5 181

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 183,027,316 books! | Top bar: Always visible