Reddit Reddit reviews How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History)

We found 41 Reddit comments about How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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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 (The Hinges of History)
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41 Reddit comments about How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History):

u/wdr1 · 30 pointsr/todayilearned

> anyone who is bigoted towards islam almost certainly doesn't realize they are essentially the only reason we still have access to the knowledge of the greeks.

That's really, really reaching.

And at least give some credit to the Irish too.

u/jony4real · 27 pointsr/badhistory

There's no kind of history I would never read or never put on my bookshelf, but I tend to be turned off by history that believes in Progress^TM or History^TM itself as more of a force within history rather than just a way to describe the past. Especially if it's dumbed down and aimed at the public, like that one book How the Irish Saved Civilization. That doesn't mean people who believe in Progress are stupid or even wrong, it's just personally I don't like hearing about it in my history. Why put your energy into learning about this vaguely-defined, self-centered idea when you could be learning tons of details about people and eras you'd never thought were important before, like in this book which I love?

u/neonoir · 11 pointsr/ShitPoliticsSays

Anyone who wants a fairly short, fun-to-read book about how the Church kept literacy and the written heritage of Greece and Rome alive during the Dark Ages should read "How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe". It's a tremendously inspiring and uplifting true story about people persevering as their world collapsed around them - great for these black-pilled times. There's an Audible version, too.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Irish-Saved-Civilization-Irelands/dp/0385418493

u/jimbotheconflictor · 10 pointsr/NetflixBestOf

One of my favorite animated movies. Folks who enjoy this might also enjoy Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization which explores the impact of Irish monastic traditions on the preservation of knowledge through the dark ages. You also get some cool background on St Patrick and his struggle with the cult of Crom Cruach a prominently featured character in The Secret of Kells.

How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History) https://www.amazon.com/dp/0385418493/ref=cm_sw_r_other_awd_SGyQwb42Q7S0S

u/GoAskAlice · 9 pointsr/fatpeoplestories

I seriously went to my actual computer to look this up, you beat me to posting the link.

It kind of makes sense, but if you're gonna believe shit like that, then why not go one step further and realize that dating systems are all arbitrary to begin with? The current year is based off some bullshit from the Nicean Council, who had no idea when Christ was born. The Chinese have a different system entirely.

To say that centuries just didn't happen, how ridiculous. I want to whack Meatball upside the head with a copy of "How the Irish Saved Civilization".

u/JustinJamm · 9 pointsr/dadjokes

Also low literacy rates across Europa in general.

Irish monk missionaries going back through Europe establishing monasteries to teach people to read is basically what got Europe back out of that.

Here's how the Irish saved civilization.

u/Trexdacy · 7 pointsr/history

How the Irish Saved Civilization is a good read for a look at Ireland from roughly the fall of the Western Roman Empire through the so-called "Dark Ages".

The Tain (or Tain Bo Cualnge) is an ancient Irish myth about a battle that came about as a result of a cattle raid. It's talked about a fair amount in How the Irish Saved Civilization.

One side note: I've read How the Irish Saved Civilization, but I have not read the linked version of The Tain.

u/bitter_cynical_angry · 6 pointsr/science

Check out How the Irish Saved Civilization, about this very subject. Very interesting book.

u/ohgobwhatisthis · 6 pointsr/badhistory
u/exjentric · 4 pointsr/IrishHistory

If you want some basic Medieval Irish history, How the Irish Saved Civilization is a great starting off point. Seamus MacManus' Story of the Irish Race is a tad dull, but it delves into the mythology, legends, and folktales.

u/brokenearth02 · 3 pointsr/history

Link to Cahill's book, from which this is taken: [Here](http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Saved-Civilization-Hinges-History/dp/0385418493 "I enjoyed it.")

u/LegalAction · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

You're thinking of this book, How the Irish Saved Civilization? I read it a long time ago, and while I liked it then (I was going through my Irish American phase), I'm not thrilled with it now. It's very Western centered.

First of all, plenty of people following Peter Brown challenge the notion of a collapse of the Western Empire. The "barbarian" states often had strong connections to the Emperor in Constantinople (the Vandals in N. Africa are a good example, minting coins in the name of the emperor - of course this was probably a convenient fiction for both sides, but still, plenty of Roman culture continued on for quite a while)

Second, they did a terrible job of saving a lot of it. Greek became almost extinct in the west. I think the first school of Greek in Italy popped up only in the 1300s? And a lot of Greek texts were preserved in Constantinople. I don't think they had any Plato in the west, and only Aristotle through Arabic translations done in Spain. As for Latin, there were important libraries in the Vatican, Paris... I just grabbed my edition of Livy and I see manuscripts from Verona, Oxford, Rome, Leiden. Admittedly many of these are 9th and 10th century copies, but even if the archetype did only survive in Ireland, a lot of people in Europe after just a couple hundred years were interested in collecting ancient texts, had the ability on some level to read them, and the technical skill to copy them.

u/MaxChaplin · 3 pointsr/RedditDayOf

Though the day is over, here's some of the folklore in the film. (source: TV Tropes)

  • Pangur Bán is named after the oldest surviving poem in the Irish language. Written by... a young monk in the margins of his study, about his pet cat.
  • "Aisling" (pronounced like "Ashley", which is a modernized version) is an Irish girl's name meaning "dream" or "vision", but it's also the name of a genre of Irish poetry. In these poems, a woman appears as the Anthropomorphic Personification of Ireland and speaks about the country's troubles, followed by a prediction of a better future. The writers for the movie decided to play with the concept by making the female figure a mischievous little girl instead of a serious older woman.
  • Aisling's opening monologue is based on another very old Irish poem called "The Song of Tuan Mac Cairill", one of the Tuatha De Danann who survived among humans by taking on the forms of a salmon, a deer and a wolf, rather like we see Aisling doing.
  • Aisling didn't enter the tower on herself because, according to old folk stories, fairies, demons and other ungodly beings are unable to enter churches.
  • The presence of the international monks in Kells might be an allusion to the hypothesis that the Irish have saved civilization in the middle ages.
u/madman1969 · 3 pointsr/politics
u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/reddit.com

Perhaps you would like to read this

u/MoonChild02 · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

It's How the Scots Invented the Modern World. Similar titles include How the Irish Saved Civilization, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, and Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America. None of them are by the same author, but they're all interesting historical books with similar titles (How some great culture did great things that built what we have now), none the less.

I would love to find similar titles about other countries, cultures, and civilizations. They're always so interesting!

u/eoinnll · 2 pointsr/Gunners

Here you go. It was a BBC documentary. That documentary took a lot from the RTE radio series. There is a great book on the same subject.

The documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfWiigAoDfs There are 2 parts an hour each.

The radio series

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upY54ZtgNsM there are 12 parts half hour each.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Irish-Saved-Civilization-Irelands/dp/0385418493 The book. All highly recommended. I love a bit of history me. Makes me pissed off I did economics first time round, but we follow the money!

u/YesYesLibertarians · 2 pointsr/Anarcho_Capitalism

> Don't tell me what I believe, thanks.

That's not a contradiction or refutation. I take it then that you consider the statement accurate? I guess I'm just confused why you would be so hesitant to admit to the exclusivity of Christian theology. In my opinion this exclusivity is an asset, not a liability.

> Go back to the OT and try to tell me that OT wasn't just as if not more fucking brutal than Islam.

Torah applies itself to a particular ethnic group and geographic area. Christian tradition says that virtually all of it is subsumed by the teachings of Christ, which are the exact opposite of brutal. If there is an equivalent in Muslim theology that mitigates the imperative to unconditional world conquest, please enlighten me.

This rising anger you feel could be a sign that somewhere in your mind you know that your position has an extremely poor defense, but you've invested too much in it to allow yourself to admit to any errors.

> I already [differentiate between a religion and a state populated by their adherents], thank you.

Yet you lay every atrocity of the Middle Ages at the feet of "Christianity" and not the various human institutions that ordered them. This is inconsistent. Besides, these guardians of civilization you speak of were responsible for possibly the bloodiest killing spree in history. We're talking "mountains made out of skulls" here, without such labor saving devices as machine guns or nerve gas. I don't think you appreciate what role Christian Irish monks had in preserving civilization. It's not as though Europe reawakened speaking Arabic and praying to Allah.

I'll ask you again to look at what fruit is borne by civilizations informed by the two religions, even assuming that the bloodlust of states is totally separate from religious motivations for both sides. Why is it that predominantly Christian nations were first to project themselves across the globe, bless humanity with industrialization, and put men on the Moon? I get that the modern middle east would not be nearly the mess it is without chaos raining down from the heavens in the form of American bombs, and yet in US-allied, prosperous and comparatively safe Saudi Arabia, they still publicly stone adulteresses.

u/Girfex · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
  1. I pick picking my nose. I'd just pull a pillowcase over my head, and tell everyone I lost a silly bet.

  2. Crocs. I hate crocs, and I want my imaginary friend to not be perfect. Perfect is creepy.

  3. I don't have a smart phone. Or a phone.

  4. Quesadillas from Taco Bell. Chicken ones.

  5. I would curse my enemies with constatly-itchy-butthole.

  6. A few different places. They must be boring, because I'm not there.

  7. "Must be willing to share your address. Write a doctoral dissertation on a subject. You have an hour. Winner gets an STD of my choosing."

  8. The museum.

  9. Flying an apache helicopter.

  10. Read this!

  11. I am a stay-at-home father. I can teach you the important fact that diapers have a failure rate, and it's above the single digits. Prepare yourself.

  12. "Well you see, pocket sand!"

  13. If you could fight any dead person, who would it be? Note: The dead person can and will fight back.

  14. Christmas carols. Especially in August.

  15. Morning kisses from wife and child.

  16. "Away, you bottle-ale rascal, you filthy bung, away!"

  17. Chicken-Moose, Barky, and Doctor Herbert Meninger

  18. At home, watching my wife get ready for work.

  19. A serial killer.

  20. Yes. FOR SAXON.
u/silouan · 2 pointsr/scifi

Wasn't it the Christian monks that preserved the tradition of literacy, languages, classics and philosophy? Details: How the Irish Saved Civilization

u/nufosmatic · 2 pointsr/The_Donald

The Irish fiercely defended their island against all invaders. Then Saint Patrick appeared on the scene and pacified the island. And then the same people who are being conquered by the Muslim invasion today took over their little island.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Irish-Saved-Civilization-Irelands/dp/0385418493

u/KindaRight · 1 pointr/bestof

Relevant: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0385418493
I read a bit of it once, seemed a little...exaggerated, but it was interesting.

u/Nabiiy · 1 pointr/languagelearning

>lyric poetry 30% (mainly symbolism)
art history 25% (mainly Renaissance and symbolism)
Russian literature 15%
epic poetry 10%
philosophy 10% (mainly Greeks, Spinoza, Camus, etc.)
linguistics 5%
religions 5% (mainly Christianity)

I know you didn't express any interest in it in your post, but I'm going to give my case for Irish Gaelic.

It has a solid quantity of lyric poetry, epic poetry, symbolic art history, and historical Christian documents. I believe it would engage a full 75% of your interests.

How the Irish Saved Civilisation by Thomas Cahill is a book about the Christian monks of 5th-11th century Ireland. These monks are hailed as having maintained a beacon of literacy in Dark Age Europe with their religious and historical writings.

https://www.amazon.com/How-Irish-Saved-Civilization-Irelands/dp/0385418493

Gaelic is also super interesting linguistically. Mordern Irish is nearly mutually intelligable with Old Irish. Far from being archaic or traditional, Gaelic is a punk rocker on the linguistics scene. It doesn't fit into your language's rat race of 'patterns', and 'rules'. Gaelic is simultaneously a graffiti language and an instrument of poetry. Ireland's poetic tradition is long and in both English and Irish.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_poetry

Celtic art has quite a rich and ancient tradition. It's not the Mona Lisa or the Sistine Chapel, but prehistoric through dark age Irish/Pictish art has many subtle secrets to appreciate. We didn't really understand the knotwork until the 20th century. The symbolic meaning of carvings in pre-historic Scotland are still shrouded in mystery today.

https://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Art-Methods-Construction-Instruction/dp/0486229238/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=2NIOFHDXK0R0P&keywords=george+bain+celtic+art&qid=1554692813&s=gateway&sprefix=george+bain&sr=8-1

Irish is in a revival, Ireland is beautiful, and most importantly, Irish is on Duolingo.

u/CedarWolf · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/pentad67 · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

Not everyone agrees with Goffart, his methodology or his conclusions, but everyone has to take them into account. I personally think he is great (and I think most historians fall on the positive side), but even if I disagreed, his book would still be on my "must-read" list.

Being able to distinguish a real history book from one for a general audience is something too many academics take for granted and we forget that it's really not an obvious distinction to many people. General guidelines, definitely not to be followed 100%: is the author a working academic or is he more of a journalist looking for a good story? If not an academic, has he or she written on this area before or do they write on topics all over the map? Is the press known for academic books or popular books? (Sadly) is the book very expensive or is it actually affordable?! Mention it to an actual academic and see if he turns his nose up at it and sneers condescendingly (I'm waiting for someone to ask me about this book so I can give that response. I've been practicing my sneer in the mirror). Or, better yet, ask reddit!

u/SporkOfThor · 1 pointr/atheism

This is a good read on how Irish monasteries kept and copied books after the fall of Rome, to be later introduced. Keep in mind many civilizations suppressed information and destroyed knowledge and the knowledgeable for political and religious reasons both, including the Chinese emperor and the Cambodians. The main goal of any society which wants to advance learning should be to not inhibit free expression, no matter how offensive, ignorant, politically incorrect, unpopular, irreligious, blasphemous, unscientific, etc. The only restraint being practices dangerous to others.

u/Doparoo · 1 pointr/pics

There's a fun book called "How The Irish Saved Civilization" https://www.amazon.com/dp/0385418493

I wonder if this is placeable in the book.

u/ThisIsDave · 1 pointr/politics

In response to the headline, I thought I'd note that it's not the first time, at least according to this guy

>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.

I've heard it's actually a very good book, but I haven't read it and don't know enough history to judge one way or the other.

u/ModusMan · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Actually, according the the book "How the Irish Saved Civilisation" he was an exiled/kidnapped Welsh Prince. http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Saved-Civilization-Hinges-History/dp/0385418493

u/SanFransicko · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I'm Irish, and although my family strongly identifies with our Irish roots, I've always been a bit embarrassed by the way we celebrate our alcoholism. I like my drinks too, but jokes like,
"Why did God invent whiskey?"
"So the Irish wouldn't rule the world"

It's always embarrassed me a bit. Then I read "How the Irish Saved Civilization" and it made me proud to know that the Irish really had a big role in saving western civilization from losing more of our accumulated knowledge than we already had at the end of the dark ages.

Now I love the joke:
"Do you know what I'd be if I wasn't Irish?"
"Bloody ashamed of me-self."

u/DanielMcLaury · 1 pointr/news

Please tell me you're kidding.

If not, let's start you out here:

http://www.amazon.com/How-Irish-Saved-Civilization-Irelands/dp/0385418493

u/boomboomroom · 1 pointr/politics

Actually you have to thank the Irish.

u/mwt2 · 0 pointsr/atheism

Check this out: Scientific Discoveries. There are several religious men there. Or check out Science in the Middle Ages. The book How the Irish saved civilization overstates things a bit but you can see the importance of those monastic orders there.

I don't understand the problem with accepting that religious people contributed to science and that their inspiration was drawn by what they saw as being God's creation. For them, their science was discovering the true nature of God.

If you're arguing that there was something in the Bible equivalent to F=ma then you're not going to find it but also, and do not diminish the environment and and inspiration that religion gave these men.

As I point out, it's really the fake scientists and the liars such as Comfort that reject truth.

u/ShakaUVM · 0 pointsr/DebateReligion

>This reminded me of the book How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. It explains Ireland's (Christianity's) role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.

It's a fun book, even though it probably overstated the case a bit.

>He believes that without the Christians, the transition of Europe evolving from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era could not have taken place.

Maybe. But it's not like the Roman Empire suddenly ceased to exist. Constantinople didn't fall until much, much later.

>Irish monks and scribes maintained the very record of Western civilization – copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers (both secular and Christian) while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost.

Part of the continent. Constantinople was on the European continent.

And various Islamic states over the years did a lot to preserve writings of the ancients.

>I suspect this was also the case with monasteries and Christian universities in Europe during the medieval era.

Sure. The Church was intimately involved in education for centuries, to everyone's benefit.

>No one's saying the Medieval Church didn't persecute the science/scientists that came from their own institutions and universities

Who are you referring to?

u/OutsiderInArt · 0 pointsr/DebateReligion

This reminded me of the book How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill. It explains Ireland's (Christianity's) role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.


Cahill writes that St. Patrick not only brought Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians. He believes that without the Christians, the transition of Europe evolving from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era could not have taken place. Irish monks and scribes maintained the very record of Western civilization – copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers (both secular and Christian) while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost.


I suspect this was also the case with monasteries and Christian universities in Europe during the medieval era. No one's saying the Medieval Church didn't persecute the science/scientists that came from their own institutions and universities, but yet modern science may or may not be what it is today without these institutions. It's certainly worth discussion.

u/AKeeneyedguy · -5 pointsr/todayilearned

Oh, my goodness. That article is terrible.

The snakes are an allegorical reference to illiteracy and the ability to write.

For a GOOD resource, please read How the Irish Saved Civilization.

Basically the TL;DR version is this:

St. Patrick was a slave that escaped his captors and brought reading and writing to Ireland. The Irish, having a voracious appetite for this new learning, begin making copies of every book they can get there hands on. Which turned out to be a good thing as the rest of Europe was on a huge book burning kick at the time.

u/xoites · -7 pointsr/skeptic