How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill
Submitted by Lynn M.
I'm not sure how many non-historians in the west realize that nearly all that survives of the great literary Roman and Greek civilizations does so because while Europe was falling into chaos and darkness, medieval Irish monks learned to read and write (in Latin and Greek as well as Gaelic), and then compulsively copied everything they could get their hands on. Not only that, but the copies they made are masterpieces of illumination, art that is still displayed in museums and reproduced on prints and carvings and jewelry: Cahill calls them “the most spectacular, magical books the world had ever seen.”
This is the story of these beautiful books, how they came to be, and why they are largely responsible for survival of our intellectual heritage. (Adult Non-Fiction)