From the fall of Rome to the rise of Charlemagne-'the dark ages'- learning, scholarship and culture disappeared from the European continent. The great heritage of western civilization-from the Greeks and Roman classics to Jewish and Christian works-would have been completely lost were it not for the holy men and women of unconquered Ireland.
This enlightening book examines a crucial aspect of history. The author invites us into 'the island ogf saints and scholars,' the Ireland of St. Patrick and the Book of Kells. Here, far from the barbarian destruction of the continent, monks and scribes laboriously even playfully preserved the West's written treasury. When Europe stabilised, Irish scholars re-introduced learning and scholarship.
The Irish conserved civilization, shaping the medieval mind and directly influencing Western culture.