Picture of author.

Thomas Cahill (1940–2022)

Autor(a) de How the Irish Saved Civilization

13+ Works 15,299 Membros 210 Reviews 30 Favorited

About the Author


Obras de Thomas Cahill

Associated Works

The Key to The Name of the Rose: Including Translations of All Non-English Passages (1987) — Prefácio, algumas edições495 cópias
The Gospel According to Luke (1909) — Introdução, algumas edições156 cópias
Holy Lands: One Place, Three Faiths (2002) — Introdução; Introdução — 126 cópias
The Swiftly Tilting Worlds of Madeleine L'Engle (1998) — Contribuinte — 60 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



Book Title does not match Heretics and Heroes em Bug Collectors (Outubro 2013)


Titles are important. They just are, and if you don't get it just right, entire books can be ruined. The title sets the mood and creates expectations for a reader. If you're going to lay down a title as bold as this book's, the text had better deliver. In the end, I think Cahill falls well short. There is really only one chapter--the last--which gets the job done. It is the only part of the book which tells the story I was expecting to read, which I had been waiting for for far too long. The section on St. Patrick (mid-way through the book) was interesting, but still left me with questions. Cahill only briefly touches on Patrick's visions, which, as I understand it, were a central part of his mission. Surrounding that section was a lengthy discussion of Europe after the fall of Rome. While I understand that knowing what was lost can enhance the reader's appreciation for what was saved, I did not pick up this book to read about Rome. There is a rich history and tradition in the Celtic past, and I was disappointed that a book which had been so loudly heralded spent so little time on its titular topic.… (mais)
Library_Guard | outras 94 resenhas | Jun 17, 2024 |
Book five in The Hinges of History series, this is an interesting examination of the development of Western thought, especially as it has been influenced by Christianity. Using words that sent me screaming into my dictionary right next to contemporary slang, Cahill pens an enjoyably readable history book. The illustrations and pictures included throughout also make it a visually attractive book. Even though there is some bias in favor of Christianity (but away from the Catholic church), I didn’t find it so powerful as to be distracting. He also wrote How the Irish Saved Civilization, which was the first book in the series.
… (mais)
Library_Guard | outras 25 resenhas | Jun 17, 2024 |
The purpose of this book is to rectify a wrong, the wrong being leaving Irish history in the fringes and not providing the Irish the credit it deserves for preserving civilization. A social and religious history of Ireland. As (Western) Rome fell, Europe saw many libraries destroyed and people become illiterate. Intellectual life in Europe ground to a halt, but fortunately, many works survived via Ireland. When Patrick turned the Irish towards Christianity, the monks gathered and transcribed as many books as they could. As the monks traveled and expanded their reach, they brought their knowledge with them. In this way the Irish saved civilization because otherwise, many foundational ideas would have been forgotten.

The fall of Rome had precipitated in destruction of its social and intellectual standards. Libraries burned and no opportunities to learn. Roman law survived the destruction of its civilization as bishops remained. With the fall of intellectual standards, the people became more illiterate but desired the lost peace provided by a rule of law. Bishops were used to read and write the laws. The kings were educated by bishops in diplomatic elements of justice.

Although Rome’s civilization fell, many works escaped destruction. The surviving works preserved many intellectual topics. Patrick managed to convert many Irish to Christianity by transmuting Irish virtues to Christian equivalents. Loyalty, courage and generosity turned into faith, hope, and charity. Many Irish wanted to be Romanized and saw that becoming Christian conferred its privileges.

As membership and monks grew, the monks started to gather and teach. Soon after, students came from all over to Ireland to learn. The monks turned no one away due to the Irish virtue of hospitality. Tolerant of people and ideas. Rather unlike the orthodox tradition of uniformity, the monks tried to obtain as many books into their libraries. Monks began to set up libraries in different communities which brought even more students to Ireland. As the monks expanded their reach, they brought their learning with them. Illiterate Europe was reconnected with its own past via scribal Ireland.

This book tries to rectify a wrong, that the Irish are generally left out of history of civilizations, but this book only briefly discusses the Irish and gives more prevalence to other societies. For a book on Irish history, there is not much Irish history in it. Although the Irish should get credit for their part in preserving intellectual thoughts, it is wrong to give them all the credit as the empire of Islam did the same and more. Pretentious credit is a wrong as much as not giving enough credit. It is generally true that intellectual life was difficult in Europe after Rome’s fall it is not true that there was no learning. There were trends to learn and gain knowledge that did not come from the Irish books, such as from underground philosophical movements. Another reason for the fall of intellectual life was not Rome’s fall, but because Christian communities banned opposing ideas.

The story does need more Irish history but what it does tell is a story of intellectual life. That tolerance to different people and ideas is very effective in convincing change. Knowledge and information are tenuous and fragile as by not passing them on, they are lost. The transmission of knowledge and information to the future is paramount to the progression of the human intellect and civilization.
… (mais)
Eugene_Kernes | outras 94 resenhas | Jun 4, 2024 |
I just couldn't stay focused on hardly any of this.
Tytania | outras 94 resenhas | May 20, 2024 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by
½ 3.7

Tabelas & Gráficos