It turned out to be a serious book of history, but written with a good deal of wit, cleverness and a strong dose of insouciance, all of which I enjoyed.
He also had a sense of humor. No matter of the structure.
The Center of the Roman Empire was the Mediterranean sea of middle earth for 11 centuries. What were they thinking about? Suggested Reading 1.This intellectual and ecclesiastical renaissance brought many of the things that had once been lost during the fall of Rome. Christ had died once for all. The ancients were a vicious lot--violently demonic in truth. In this series, The Hinges of History, I mean to retell the story of the Western world as the story of the great gift-givers, those who entrusted to our keeping one or another of the singular treasures that make up the patrimony of the West. How did they get there? But we turn our backs on such unpleasantness and contemplate the happier prospects of our technological dreams. That is how Ireland saved civilization. But, protested the hysterical envoys, what will that leave us? People sometimes think that civilisation consists in fine sensibilities and good conversation and all that. Perhaps nothing would have distressed the Romans as much as the way these monks shrugged off he great Roman virtue of Order. Anchor Books,
This distinction is significant, as it left Irish Christianity to be more heavily influenced by Irish culture and language than anywhere else on the continent where the Romans held sway. They copied manuscripts and handed them down through generations when they'd been lost on the continent.
I think his thesis is sound, for this is the way of God--he humbles the proud and exalts the humble. Between the Sack of Rome by Alaric in and the death of the last western emperor inthe Imperium became increasingly unstable.
We can scarcely even imagine the truth of this today, for it is so unimaginable as to be thought fictitious.Discuss isolation as a protective force, and a contributor to the idea that as Roman lands went from "peace to chaos," Ireland went from "chaos to peace" [p. He ends the slave trade, decreases murder and intertribal warfare, but makes little headway with sexual mores. Prior to retiring recently to write full-time, he was Director of Religious Publishing at Doubleday for six years. And our own world would never have come to be. How does this choice strengthen his premise? Another factor of Roman civilization that was lost was the sort of blending of Christianity and paganism. It may simply be that Patrick, in his zeal to baptize — to wash clean — Irish imagination, was not as sex-obsessed as his continental brethren and felt little need to stress these matters. Chapter 3.
We find the answer in the life of Augustine of Hippo, almost the last great classical man — and very nearly the first medieval man.