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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Hodder & Stoughton, Sep 1, 2011 - History - 256 pages

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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User Review  - rsairs -

Just glancing quickly through the reviews here at Librarything is pretty amusing. It seems like Cahill managed to find a sweet spot where his critics say completely contradictory things. I think it's ... Read full review

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User Review  - oataker - LibraryThing

Deeply satisfying book about how the Irish were last to get Christianity, via Patrick, their ex-slave, and then discovered learning just as it was being wiped out all over the rest of Europe. They ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Thomas Cahill is an author, historian, and publisher with a leading New York firm. He is married and has two children. He lives in New York, Paris and Rome.

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