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

How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
How the Irish Saved Civilization The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
Author: Thomas Cahill
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ISBN-13: 9780553478099
ISBN-10: 0553478095
Publication Date: 2/3/1997
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 5

3.8 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Random House Audio
Book Type: Audio Cassette
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24 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 569 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Fascinating and interesting book that brings out the contribution of the early Medieval Irish to preserving the classical period of Greek and Rome. A great read for anyone interested in history and presented in an open clear fashion. Has a number of new ideas at least as far as I am concerned and I have studied the middle ages for decades.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 60 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A wonderful telling of Ireland's part in keeping the writings of antiquity from disappearing, from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the middle ages. The first of the "Hinges of History" series, makes me wish my history teachers had been as captivating as Cahill.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Very easy and informative read. Raised catholic of irish heritage, even in my religious wanderings I have had a sense of grounding and pride in those roots. Now I know why. The information ties celtic myth to religious practices of today, and provides insight into the why deep multi layered old sacred tradition survives in Ireland today.
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Helpful Score: 2
A high quality paperback, very interesting. Cahill proposes that much of the thought and writings foundational to Western civilization were saved from extinction during the dark ages by the dedication of monks, primarily Irish.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you love the Irish you will thrill at the reading of this book.Its a treasure!
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting story...if you like Irish history you may find this to be an interesting read.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 3 more book reviews
Thomas Cahill takes us to the "island of saints and scholars," the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, monks and scribes laboriously, lovingly, even playfully preserved the West's written treasury. With the return of stability in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 192 more book reviews
A very good read, hard to put down. I really enjoyed this book and found it very informative. It's a must read if you're just a bit Irish.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on
I don't know how this book became a national bestseller because it is terrible!! The author is not easy to read and the story does not flow well. I would not recommend this book!!
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 33 more book reviews
A popular treatment of the Irish contribution to the history of Europe in the dark ages. Cahill makes the case that the Irish monastic system preserved much of Roman and Greek learning.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 3352 more book reviews
Definitely in the genre of popular history.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 29 more book reviews
As with all historical research you cannot rely on one source of information and it is important to look in the back of the book to see just how many sources the author used as well as what sort of sources.
Having said that, I found value in this book because it filled in gaps for me about the thousand years after Christ and traced the growth and development of the Christian church and European civilization. I have always been fascinated with how Europe went from being barbaric tribes to the sort of people who wrote Arthurian romances that embodied the ideal of manners, behaviors, and values so very much more sophisticated and merciful than the warring tribes that once populated (terrorized?) the continent.
Enter Thomas Cahill: According to him it was the Irish who started the ball rolling. How did they do this? By converting to Christianity, thanks to St Patrick.
Cahill actually starts back with the Roman Empire and how the church grew even as the empire declined but he contends that the Catholic church in Rome was not responsible for the advancement of European culture. Instead, this occurred after Ireland started sending out missionaries across the continent.
Cahill gives a thorough history of St Patrick's life and missionary work among the people who once enslaved him. I now feel I know a lot more about this early missionary than I had previously.
I suppose there is a fair dose of Irish snobbery in Cahill's pronouncement that it was the Irish who delivered Europe out of the dark ages but he does go into detail as to what monks went where, what the condition of the continental kingdom was prior to the Irish missionaries as well as after and also describes the ineffectualness of the Roman missionaries in the same areas. (I'm merely describing what he wrote not necessarily my opinion, I would need other sources to read first.)
Finally, Cahill has what I would describe as a typical Irish sense of humour which can border on the irreverant if not outright bawdy. Depending on who you are you'll either enjoy or be offended by it.
As I said, I wouldn't rely on this book as a sole source of early European history but it is certainly worth reading for those who are interested in that epoch of time, as I am.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 9 more book reviews
This books gives a necessary and fascinating account of the role of ireland including St. Patrick in our preservation of culture and learning through the middle ages. It's a "must read" for anyone interested in literature and history.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 181 more book reviews
Fascinating, well-written history.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 459 more book reviews
FROM THE PUBLISHER

From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagnethe "dark ages"learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of western civilizationfrom the Greek and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian workswould have been utterly lost were it not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland. 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 treasures. With the return of stability in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning. Thus the Irish not only were conservators of civilization, but became shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on western culture.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 21 more book reviews
"The untold story of Ireland's herois role from the fall of Rome to the rise of medieval Europe"
If you are a history buff you'll enjoy Thomas Cahill's exploration of this pivital time. Had it not been for the Irish monks, toiling away in solitude in desolate places, most of the ancient books we have today would have been lost.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 87 more book reviews
the untold story of Ireland's heroic role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of medieval Europe. a delectable voyage
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 129 more book reviews
Fabulous history of Ireland...a must for anyone of Irish heritage.
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It was recommended by a tour guide while I was in Ireland...I ennjoyed the content as it filled out many of the points touched on by said cuide. To quote Arte Johnson: "Interesting...very interesting."
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 6 more book reviews
Great book about Irish history.
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This is a great book that we are circulating through our evangelism team at our church.
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Subtitled: "The untold story of Ireland's heroic role from the fall of Rome to the rise of Medieval Europe"
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 70 more book reviews
From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagne-the "dark ages"- learning, scholarship, and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great hertiage 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 the unconquered Ireland.
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. With the return of stability in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning. Thus the Irish not only were conservators of civilization, but became shapers of the medival mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture.
reviewed How the Irish Saved Civilization : The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe on + 6 more book reviews
An okay read.