Ebook Epub How the Irish Saved Civilization The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe ☆ Thomas Cahill – thereeldoctor.co.uk
Life Leverage dIne histories and biographies I ve read lately but several things in this book made it suspect to me Cahill isn t a historian The short biography at the end says only that he has a MFA in Film and Dramatic Literature and that he has studied theology His pro Catholic bias is notable throughout He even takes gratuitous slams at Mormons and Jehovah s Witnesses Ion t claim a writer of a solid history has to be a historian some of those great histories and biographies recently read were by journalists And all writers have their take from conservative to Marxist that are evident to me But notably the good ones whatever their background or worldview have pages of sources and notes to back up their claims this Bulbophyllums; the Incomplete Guide, From A to WHY? didn t But the reason I ended up feeling the book wasubious was the actual content starting with the title and the very premise Irish monks saved civilization by preserving classical literature Other reviewers have pointed out that the Western world isn t the whole of civilization Even as Cahill at one point conflates the whole of the civilized world with the Roman Empire What about China for instance And others preserved the old Latin learning Not just in Europe the Eastern Roman Empire remained in existence until 1453 Cahill though claims the Irish were liberal in what they copied than those on the continent And of the Eastern Romans he claimed that the literature of ancient Greece were well enough preserved at Byzantium but Latin literature would almost certainly surely have been lost without the Irish I find that hard to credit They idn t read Vergil at ConstantinopleI think part of why I also find it hard to swallow his encomium to Christianity as a preserver of classical Greek and Roman civilization is that it also id so much to estroy it One poignant illustration of that is the fate of the works of Sappho Cahill himself notes that among the treasures of antiuity lost were almost all her poetry What he oesn t tell you is that her poems were preserved until nearly AD 1000 at least according to A Book of Woman Poets when a wrathful church Its a Lat Lat Lat Lat World destroyed whatever it could find In 1073 her writings were publicly burned in Rome and Constantinople by order of Pope Gregory VIII So I guess I wonder why is it these great gift givers of civilizationidn t preserve her for usBut Cahill The Infinite Air doesn t give me a good answer for this especially because so little of the book even focuses on that part of the story Weon t get to Ireland at all until Part III starting on page 71 The section that tells us how the Irish saved this learning The Spill doesn t begin until Part VI on page 145 in a book of 218 pages Between that we get a biography of St Patrick who Cahill claimed was the first human being in the history of the world to speak out uneuivocally against slavery And he be wrong by nearly a millennium look up the Cyrus Cylinder called the first charter of human rights from the Persian king who ended the Jewish Babylonian exile a biblical scholar such as Cahill should know better Other things irked me Particularly the comparison of the barbarian hordes that Pandoras Planet destroyed Rome to the Mexicans Haitians and otherispossessed peoples seeking illegal entry to the United States It s a point he repeats at the end and seemed all the ironic considering Cahill s condemnation of the prejudice their
fellow Catholics the Irish experienced in America It s not that there weren t interesting points in book Catholics the Irish experienced in America It s not there weren t interesting points in the book Is It Bedtime Wibbly Pig? d like to read about Such as the case for Augustine s Confessions as the first real autobiography and story of a soul and the indomitable Brigid of Kildare an abbess with the power of a bishop Cahill might even be right in his take on history but Iidn t find the case presented in
HIS BOOK CONVINCING THOUGH NOT EXACTLYbook convincing Though not exactly to anyone who went to school in Ireland Cahill seems to have an Irish American readership as his target audience particularly given away by his repeated and annoying generalizations about the Irish Spirit and such like what How To Win At Casino Gambling does he mean Jameson or Bushmills this nevertheless has lots of good stuff in it and the overall argument is strongI particularly liked the early material contrasting the moribund writing of Roman Gallic poet Ausonias with St Augustine and the philospohical and literary revolution ushered in by his Confessions It reads as a great argument in a nutshell for theecline of the Roman Empire and the notion that the artistic output of a given culture can be a true reflection of its inner health or otherwise It is also hard not to share his enjoyment of the lusty heros and heroines of early Celtic Irish literature And finally his escriptions of the bustling worldly monastic centers that were translating and transcribing not only the key texts of Christianity but the epic literature of their native country and the canons of Classical antiuity are remarkable and inspiring This is the kind of book where the title really seems to over commit to an idea and overstate the reality of history I went into this book thinking that Cahill was surely using hyperbole to say that the Irish saved civilization He may be but this is still a remarkable and relevant history This is a great great book that eserves the wide readership it has receivedThe book begins with a retelling of the fall of Rome Cahill When Not to Build does this to show the peril in which Western Civilizati This was awful Many reviews say things like charming and pleasant but I thought it was tedious and meandering Not all history has to be chronological there s interesting stuff in here but it s too long withetails of Roman society Also the author writes like a blow hard and interjects things like Alas and Dear Reader and It is up to the reader to ecide That kind of stuff irritates me to no endSearching for info online I found references that refute much of what the author posits including info about St Patrick Granted the author in tedious and blow harded notes acknowledges that no one can say exactly what happened but he s isguising mythology and folklore as truth Mind numbingly written building up to a nearly inconseuential conclusion on how Irish monks might have helped preserve some of Europe s classic literature I m escended from the Irish and was looking forward to a little nationalist pride but this failed by underdelivering from its title and being Culture were replanted on the European continent it was from Ireland that they were germinatedIn 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 civilizationPaperback New Arrives sealed ready to gift or add to home library Fulfilled by Prime Shipping eligibl. Nts come from the hand of a good God who loves human beings and wishes them success And though that success is of an ultimate kind and therefore oes not preclude suffering all nature indeed the whole of the created universe conspires to mankind s good teaching succoring and saving was such that enthusiasm for these early works extended to pagan classics and other ancient culture Irish monks became archivists for the ancient West at a time when Roman civilization could no longer be bothered by its own history its own legacy Simply archiving history wouldn t save civilization of course And the Irish historically were not known for sitting around all An Eye for an Eye day Irish folk history told compellingly by Cahill is lusty and brazen sometimes violent and always earthy painting a portrait of a culture consumed with life Such virility informs monasticism in uniue ways and the Green Martyrs eventually created an outlet for Irish wanderlust with White Martyrdom self surrender that involved taking to sea and going where the waves took you White Martyrs went everywhere some undoubtedly to theireath and some of them wound up in Europe where they reintroduced Europe s classics to itself Not only Western civilization s culture was restored but a culture of being cultured was introduced the love of learning and the life of the mind and ethical responsibility that flows from it can be traced back to the missionary efforts of these White Martyrs Thomas Cahill made me want to be Irish not less His writing is elegant and exhilarating you assume the truth of his absurdist claim that a tiny island in the North Atlantic known mostly for famine fantasy and fatalism gave Western civilization its life and soul back I m struck by the lessons from Cahill s take on European history for people today invested in the mission of the church There are plenty of parallels between late antiuity and the modern Still Side by Side day from the comparableominance and moral vulnerability of ancient Rome and the contemporary United States to the increasing cultural irrelevance of the Christian church Cahill Oriori No Uta does a great job of noting theifferent worldviews of the two great Confessors of the era Bishop Augustine of Hippo and Patrick of Ireland one who Four Word Film Reviews developed an intricate and complex theology that over time proved oppressive and confining the other whose theology was informed by and responsive to the people who surrounded it Patrick s Christianity focused as it is on God s goodesire for his creation is welcoming than Augustine s which emphasized the fall from grace and led to an emphasis on human Keep Calm, Alice Is Here Affirmations Workbook Positive Affirmations Workbook Includes depravity and eternal conscious punishment If the church wants to win some it could stand to learn from Patrick s winsome approach From the last paragraph of Cahill s bookPerhaps history isivided into Romans and Catholics or better catholics The Romans are the rich and powerful who run things their way and must always accrue because they instinctively believe that there will never be enough to go around the catholics as their name implies instinctively believe that all humanity makes one family that every human being is an eual child of God and that God will provide If our civilization is to be saved forget about our civilization which as Patrick would say may pass in a moment like a cloud or smoke that is scattered by the wind if we are to be saved it will not be by Romans but by saints As the Roman Empire crumbled so too id literacy and libraries suffer By the seventh century however Patrick had
Converted Enough Men Intoenough men into Christians and scribes that many ancient Greek and Roman books were preserved in Ireland even as the originals crumbled elsewhere The preservation of ancient texts is a fascinating theme upon which to relate a history but alas the majority of the book concerns how awesome Plato is Seriously there
a three page uote from Plato followed by a fifty page igression about what all that philosophy means First off I You Owe Me One don t much like Plato his logic is fuzzy and his arguments are based on premises that are easily proven false So telling me that the Irish saved some Plato textsoesn t impress me all that much Plus it seems like many of these texts were saved elsewhere anyway so its not like we would have no ancient philosophy at all without Irish monasteries Second two thirds of this book is a recounting of Greek and Roman philosophy and ways of thinking one third has to Debbie Browns Dream Wedding Cakes do with the conversion of the Irish to Christianity and about three pages actually address scriptoriums and scribes and all the rest of that good stuff Not as advertised I assumed we get at least a few pages on how copying out manuscripts actually worked with maybe a little information about early monasteries but Cahill is too busy endlessly telling us how super cool Greek philosophers are to recount any actual scholarship This is particularly frustrating because the little tidbits Cahill oes share about early Irish scholars are fascinating the punny poems in margins of manuscripts the fights with European Christians over everything from tonsures to orthodoxy the melding of pagan and Christian ways of thinking into something new and uniue We only getIs A Three Page Uote From Plato Followed By A
About A Sentence On Eacha sentence on each these things though and then the book abruptly ends I ve noticed that history books on Goodreads are often given lower star ratings by people who are upset to find that the author was using information to present a cohesive thesis rather than providing an unbiased account Although it is right to bring up slant in evaluating the truth of a thesis it s somewhat sad to see these complaints for Cahill s efense of pre Joycean Irish civilization when one of Cahill s major arguments is that biased English historians prevented any appreciation of Irish civilization in the past I haven t read enough on Irish history to know if Cahill s United States of Americana desire to show an unblemished era of Irish greatness allows him to present Ireland entirely falsely but I can t help thinking that even if itoes it s about time that the early Christian Irish get a book slanted towards themAnd though I o get why this book on How the Irish Saved Civilization was a bestseller Not only is it the perfect gift for St Patrick s Day it is entertaining and readable But I also found it superficial and not reliable It may be the contrast with some really Ved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era Without Ireland the transition could not have taken place Not only id 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 uniuely Irish world view to the taskAs Cahill Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire - The Sunday Times Bestseller delightfully illustrates so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland When the seeds of.