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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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Previous Monthly Reads > November Read: How The Irish Save Civilization

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This is the thread for those reading participating in the November monthly read.


Roberta | 78 comments I read this a long time ago and will look forward to a reread.


Susan | 4707 comments When I read this I was surprised by the story. We never studied anything like this and I am wondering if Irish students were aware their country saved civilization?


J.S. Dunn (httpwwwjsdunnbookscom) | 335 comments Same as Roberta -- looking forward to second read.

Cahill's entire series is worthwhile, a notable achievement.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Right, I'm getting my copy today, come hell or high-water. It sounds like a book that I should have all ready read.


message 6: by Mo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mo | 81 comments I read it a couple of years ago, too. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing everyone else's comments.


message 7: by Laura (last edited Nov 22, 2011 04:50PM) (new)

Laura | 258 comments This will be my second read but I am not sure if I will get through by the end of the month since I read the quarterly book first. It is a book well worth reading. I tend to recycle my books but this is a keeper.


J.S. Dunn (httpwwwjsdunnbookscom) | 335 comments Laura wrote: "This will be my second read but I am not sure if I will get through by the end of the month since I read the quarterly book first. It is a book well worth reading. I tend to recycle my books but ..."

Yes, a title one def. wants to keep and return to. It's a slog to get past St. Augustine (: is there anything worse than a reformed hedonist? ) but when the reader gets to Ireland the magic begins.

This work contains so many fascinating tidbits, in addition to having an overall perspective on the Land Of Saints And Scholars. For me this title and the next, The Gifts of the Jews, were Cahill's best in the series for breaking fresh ground.


message 9: by Laura (new)

Laura | 258 comments Really liked that one as well. I think I have read most all of the series. Now if I could just keep it all in my head.

I'm quite sure that even folks who have had a decent education don't realize what a pivotal role Ireland played.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I got my copy this morning. I'm surprised at how little there is about Ireland in the initial chapters. I had reached page 70 by the time there was any real information about Ireland, and then it was comparing Ireland's bardic story telling to Classical and Latin storytelling. Although, I must say, I did enjoy that.

Halfway through, and I'm only getting to the chapters relevant to the title.


Susan | 4707 comments Declan wrote: "I got my copy this morning. I'm surprised at how little there is about Ireland in the initial chapters. I had reached page 70 by the time there was any real information about Ireland, and then it w..."

Don't worry, Declan. It's worth the wait.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

On beginning this book I was hoping for a read that would reveal some, until now, great fact that was unbeknownst to me. I wasn't completely satisifed, i must admit, but I still really enjoyed it.

I learned about the fall of Rome in more detail, but that wasn't what I was looking for. I felt that I would have enjoyed it more if it remained truer to its title and concentrated on the Irish aspects. Although I did enjoy the comparison of ancient Ireland's bardic story-telling to Classical an Latin literature.

One subject I would have liked Thomas Cahill to expand on was the life of John Scotu Eriugena. He elaborated on Augustine of Hippo's life ad nauseum. I can appreciate that he needed to offer a comparison of Catholic Ireland to Catholic Rome, but I would have gladly accepted his word with one or two supporting lines or quotes.

One thing that stands to this book is that I really began to warm to the author.I don't know what it does to you, dear reader, but the unlikely survival of an irish codex in the gnarled hands of a Kerry fisherman sends shivers up my spine. Who could not like this man?

Before I sign off, I have to say, if there was one was revelation that will be forever with me from this book, (view spoiler)

@Susan. It really was worth the wait. :)


Susan | 4707 comments Declan wrote: "On beginning this book I was hoping for a read that would reveal some, until now, great fact that was unbeknownst to me. I wasn't completely satisifed, i must admit, but I still really enjoyed it.
..."

I can appreciate it was not eye opening to you but it was to me. I learned nothing about Irish History in school (we Californians have a hard time with our history which is not as extensive as Irish). I have slowly been catching up. I have been so inspired to discover that Ireland had so many woman priests. It changed my perspective that in some senses Ireland was isolated. Catholism was very different in Ireland than Rome (thank goodness). It's isolation, except from Britain, is what saved what we know of Western Civilization and the line about the Kerry fisherman did send shivers up my spine.


message 14: by J.S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.S. Dunn (httpwwwjsdunnbookscom) | 335 comments The sailors would have been paying tribute as if Patrick were a tribal lord...(view spoiler)


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

J.S. wrote: "The sailors would have been paying tribute as if Patrick were a tribal lord... There are bog bodies which appear to be "ritual sacrifices" and show mutilation of the nipples, so that the deceased ..."

I hate the thought of knowledge being suppressed just because of someone's delicate sensibilities. As for The Sheela-na-gigs. Ugh! They creep the hell out of me. I'm OK with just looking at photos of those.


message 16: by J.S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.S. Dunn (httpwwwjsdunnbookscom) | 335 comments Great youtube clip with a Sligo man interpreting some of the pagan imagery (too bad St. Patrick began the process of suppressing the old wisdom );

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1tV1_...

"Ireland is a woman..."


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 02, 2011 07:28AM) (new)

J.S. wrote: "Great youtube clip with a Sligo man interpreting some of the pagan imagery (too bad St. Patrick began the process of suppressing the old wisdom );
"


Thanks for the share, J.S.


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