How the Irish Saved Civilization

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Critical Book Review How the Irish Saved Civilization, written by Thomas Cahill, informs the reader about a previous civilization in which all the teachings and ideas of the past were saved. Throughout, How the Irish Saved Civilization, St. Augustine and St. Patrick are referred to numerous times as well as their teachings. Cahill is successful integrating the Saints into his thesis supporting many of his arguments. Augustine's achievements and literary style are what pull Cahill in, and attract Cahill to Augustine.

Saint Augustine and Saint Patrick are important roles throughout, How the Irish Saved Civilization. Saint Augustine for his literary work and teachings, " For Augustine is the first human being to say "I" and to mean what we mean today." Saint Patrick for his ideas, " Patrick is beyond dispute: the first human being in the history of the world to speak out unequivocally against slavery."

Augustine was there to see the end of the Roman Empire and Patrick was there to see the preservation of the Christian beliefs and writings through Irish Monks.

Augustine and Patrick are integrated throughout Cahill's argument as important roles in civilization that helped with the preservation of history. " For it was Patrick's Christian mission that nurtured Irish scholarship in to blossom." It was also St. Patrick that realized that literacy was needed. "And so the first Irish Christians also became the first Irish literates." St. Augustine's literature and teachings had a huge effect on life and the way people thought. " With Augustine human consciousness takes a quantum leap forward. " This all taking place around the fall of Rome.

Cahill writes about Augustine throughout How the Irish Saved Civilization mainly drawn to Augustine's literary genius. " His Latin has a refinement and piquancy that few could match in any period of antiquity." It's also Augustine's love for literature that draws Cahill to him. " Augustine gives us the world's first description of how a child may fall hopelessly in love with literature." Not to mention Augustine's mentality, " Augustine for all his greatness, has become in old age …. Full of mercy for those that fear him, full of seeing contempt for those who dare to oppose him."