The untold story of Ireland's role, from the fall of Rome to the rise of medieval Europe.
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 ont he continent were lost forever. Bringing the past and its characters to life, Cahill captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilisation.
HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILISATION is a shamelessly engaging, effortlessly scholarly, utterly refreshing history of the origins of the Irish soul and its huge contribution to Western culture ... For its portrait of St Patrick alone, it will resonate in the memory. - Thomas Keneally
Lyrical, playful, penetrating and serious ... an entirely engaging, delectable voyage into the distant past, a small treasure - Richard Bernstein in the New York Times
This sweepingly confident overview is more entertainingly told than any previous account ... An elegant book - P.J. Kavanagh in the Sunday Telegraph