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

av Thomas Cahill

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Serier: Hinges of History (1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
5,584761,437 (3.69)104
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.… (mer)
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Excellent book on medieval history and particularly on Irish history. Starting at the ending days of the Roman Empire and ending at the fall of Ireland as leader in Europe, How the Irish Saved Civilization steps you through the important influencers in Irish history that kept the written world from the Greek and Roman civilizations alive after Rome fell. Those influencers were particularly the hermits and monks who fell in love with the written word, and became copyists in their isolation, and who eventually brought a new brand of Christianity and the classics back to the mainland. Highly recommended. ( )
  phoenixcomet | Oct 27, 2021 |
Rather than a heroic role in saving civilization, I felt that Cahill made a case that the Irish of the middle ages played a somewhat accidental roll in "saving" civilization. Nonetheless, there was a lot of information which was new to me, especially regarding Irish history. But the book also went into other periphial areas such as the ancient greeks, which added pages but didn't contribute much to making the point of the books title. ( )
  rsutto22 | Jul 15, 2021 |
This is the Frasier Crane of history books.

I consumed this as an audiobook because I thought it would be a nice, light book that kept me interested while I worked on other tasks. I wasn't too far into the book before I started wondering if this was meant to be satirical, some kind of theatrical spoof on academic snobbery. Like an exaggerated John Houseman impersonation. The narrators accent was just.....weird. Usually that doesn't mother me, I've been exposed to a lot of accents that can't be defined but usually that's because the speaker moved around from one country to another. This narrator's accent struck me as being for stage, and from 75 years ago. Kind of a Boston Brahman, mid-atlantic hybrid but with an english twang (yes I said twang.) If you've seen Black Adder, there's an episode where some actors from MacBeth visit the king and try and teach him how to project his voice. That's how the narrator spoke. And yelling every word! Like, dude, the microphone is right there.

OK, so I didn't give this book one star just because I didn't like the narrator. I gave it one star because I spent most of my time thinking "What is he talking about and who is he talking to?" Ah yes, dear reader he is talking directly to you. Or is he. Because of the audiobook format I was never sure if the author was talking to the reader or if he was quoting someone talking to another reader. It was all very confusing. Even so, what I did pick up was that he was spending a lot of time talking about specific Caesars and goings on in Rome that had nothing really to do with the Irish. At first I thought he was setting up some context around the fall of Rome, and perhaps he was, but it just seemed like he was rambling.

After reading some reviews about the book having a slow start I tried giving it another chance by jumping ahead a few chapters. It didn't help. Finally I decided it just wasn't worthy of my attention.

( )
  northwestknitter | Mar 28, 2021 |
2013 (my review can be found on the LibraryThing page linked)
http://www.librarything.com/topic/160515#4377757
  dchaikin | Sep 26, 2020 |
I borrowed the book from the library to learn about St Patrick. By reading it I have a good idea of history from the fall of Roman empire. The little backwater Ireland and the scribes in the monasteries played a big part in saving much literature and historical bible texts. I now have a great admiration for St Patrick and the tenacity of the Irish people. He was the right influential leader and the right time. Turned them from fighting to loving Christians with a heart for God. A magic book, written in an easy style, teaching about history and illuminating historical influences and key people. ( )
  GeoffSC | Jul 25, 2020 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (6 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Cahill, Thomasprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Donnelly, DonalReadermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Graaf, Renée deÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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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
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To Susie ...
first and fairest ... best and dearest:
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love, and Pleasure.

(spelling is authors)
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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.
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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.
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Wikipedia på engelska (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.

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