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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 (Hinges of History) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Thomas Cahill
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1. Februar 1996 Hinges of History (Buch 1)
The perfect St. Patrick's Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history -- the untold story of Ireland's role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.

Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" -- and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.

In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did 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 uniquely Irish world-view to the task.

As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.

In 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 civilization.

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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 (Hinges of History) + Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels (Hinges of History) + Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter (Hinges of History)
Preis für alle drei: EUR 35,07

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  • Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
  • Verlag: Anchor; Auflage: Anchor Books ed (1. Februar 1996)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0385418493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385418492
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 1,4 x 20,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.4 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (96 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 93.444 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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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. When stability returned in Europe, these Irish scholars were instrumental in spreading learning, becoming not only the conservators of civilization, but also the shapers of the medieval mind, putting their unique stamp on Western culture.


"Charming and entirely engaging, delectable voyage into th edistant past, a small treasure." —The New York Times

"A lovely and engrossing tale . . . Graceful and instructive." —Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times

"Cahill's lively prose breathes life into a 1,600-year-old history." —The Boston Globe

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
On the last, cold day of December in the dying year we count as 406, the river Rhine froze solid, providing the natural bridge that hundreds of thousands of hungry men, women, and children had been waiting for. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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3.0 von 5 Sternen A Disorganized Rendering of an Inspiring Tale 2. Januar 2002
Von Ein Kunde
"How The Irish Saved Civilization" is the tale of how Irish Monks preserved the culture of the Roman Empire during the roughly century and a half after the Fall of The Roman Empire in the West.
The basic premise of the book is that at the same time that the barbarian hordes were destroying the culture of Rome, classical civilization was first being introduced to Ireland, where it would be preserved beyond the reach of the invading marauders.
The Irish monks spent centuries copying books, thereby preserving classical texts which had ceased to exist on the continent. Ultimately, the successors of these Irish Monks would emigrate to the continent. By carrying their books to their newly established continental monasteries they restored the basis of classical civilization and thereby enabled the evolution of Medieval Civilization.
Cahill devotes much of the early part of the book to describing what was lost. He does this by focusing on, perhaps, the last classical man, St. Augustine. He then contrasts the classical civilization of St. Augustine with the barbaric culture of Celtic Ireland.
Much of the book is devoted to the lives of two contemporary giants who probably never heard of each other, Sts. Augustine and Patrick. Whereas Augustine represented a dying culture in need of preservation, Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, where it took root and, beyond the reach of the Invading Barbarians, was preserved for future generations.
For over a century, Christianity survived by clinging to rocks such as Skellig Michael off the Coast of Ireland. During this time Christianity was reshaped by its Hibernian exile.
As interested as I am in Irish History, I found this book to be a bit disappointing. The extensive writing on St. Augustine and St.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen truth? 3. Juli 2000
Von mg
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Several of my peers repeatedly told me that I should read this book. I've already done some considerable study in Irish literature in my graduate work, so I thought it was about time that I got around to reading this best-seller. Cayhill is a clever word-smith. However, I was sorely disappointed in the book. As a scholar, Cayhill is irresponsible and sloppy. He includes many details -- such as his description of a river running through Jerusalem in Jesus' time (Jerusalem doesn't have a river, only a spring) and his account of the Morrigan -- which are either inaccurate or misleading. His condescending tone and attitudes toward other ethnic groups, namely the Chinese and Mexicans, are also troubling. All of these problems lead me to distrust all his scholarship and writing.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen About as historically accurate as a conspiracy theory 21. September 1997
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I do not disagree with the author's central premise, that in the dark ages, much of Western Europe's literary and historical heritage would have been lost without the assistance of Irish monks. HOWEVER, the author's historical research is painful. He refers to theories about Ireland's pre-history and early history that have been questioned, if not completely discredited. He never cites a dissenting view, most probably because of his inadequate research. Few (if any) scholars consider the Book of Invasions a historical document. (To those who have never heard of it, it's like believing in Atlantis) Many scholars argue with the idea that Patrick had ever been to the continent, let alone to Rome. The authors biases against pagan literature and history are offensive. He doesn't miss a chance to cite pagan sources that refer to sexual or bodily functions and his "analysis" of these sources constantly refer to them as lustful and unintelligent. The discerning should be able to recognize bad scholarship, even if they are not familiar with the subject matter. If you read this book and believe its contents, you will know less about Ireland than when you started
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Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Cahill fails to cite almost any sources for his historical "facts," and the few he does cite are either mistranslated or misquoted. The gist of the book is that the way in which the Irish saved civilization was by embracing Christianity. His definition of civilization is any Christian society; the surrounding Pagan cultures are referred to as barbarian hordes living in darkness till the light of God is thrust upon them. His point seems to be that Christianity took hold of Europe and the rest of the world largely because it managed to take hold of Ireland, but he fails to understand or tell us that Christianity was repeatedly rejected by the Irish, and that the older Pagan ways continued on for a VERY long time underneath a thin cover of Christian rule. In short, he Pagan-bashes like crazy and has the WORST historical methods I have seen in years of study
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1.0 von 5 Sternen sloppily done in every way 30. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
This is one of the worst books I ever read. It is inaccurate, poorly documented, racist, and calculated to appeal to ethnic pride alone. He even compares "hordes of unwashed barbarians" to Mexican immigrants! He denies to give many sources, saying they are all in his head "like radiation from the big bang." He compares Confucius' lack of personalization to "a Chinese fortune cookie." He says without the Irish we would have "a world without books"! This book does a disservice to the Irish, whose contribution to Western culture is considerable, by its exaggerations, sloppy documentation, condescension and outrageous statements. This is not a history. He mixes legend and fact and opinion, without making clear which is which. One star is too high a rating.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An illuminating document
Thomas Cahill has undertaken the project of identifying what he considers to be 'hinge civilisations' or 'hinge event' -- he is planning a series of seven books that focus on... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 19. Dezember 2005 von FrKurt Messick
5.0 von 5 Sternen How Thomas Cahill Saved History
In my studies of western history, I've always found it frustrating the way many texts jump from 5th Century to 9th without more than a nominal reference to the 400 odd years that... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 30. Juli 2000 von "skeane74"
4.0 von 5 Sternen good history
As I read How the Irish saved Civilization, I realized that a big part of history is left out of education in general. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 6. Juli 2000 von H Lobbezoo
2.0 von 5 Sternen Repeating Others Warnings
The first half of the book doesn't even concern itself with the book's title subject. Then, the evidence presented is flimsy at best. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 12. Juni 2000 von Josef8
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good for what it is
As long as the reader remembers that Cahill is more of a journalistic or narrative writer than a historian, this book is a good choice. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 5. Juni 2000 von Courtney Dahlke
1.0 von 5 Sternen One Star is too many
Cahill is indeed attempting to rewrite history, his appeal can only be to those who have never read a non-fiction account of the past 2000 years. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. Mai 2000 von Craig McHaffie
5.0 von 5 Sternen Mallowcups for my man, Mr. Cahill.
Mr. Cahill, I'm not sure you realize what disservice you have done to the history book industry. See, I'm headed to Ireland in June and several months ago purchased your "How... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 15. Mai 2000 von Tracy Groot
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Glorious Read; An Insightful History!
That Thomas Cahill has succeeded in making history readable and illuminating offends the snobbish, but I loved this book. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 14. Mai 2000 von Kathleen
5.0 von 5 Sternen More than just history - a work of love.
To read Cahill's account of the the Irish conversion to Christianity and the saving of early manuscripts through the darkest ages of European history is to gain a new understanding... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 8. Mai 2000 von Bodie Thoene
4.0 von 5 Sternen An enjoyable book
How the Irish Saved Civilization is a very well written history for anyone who is not an historian by training. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 26. April 2000 von Jason
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