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 Post subject: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:39 pm 
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Love it. An incredibly fun read. History lessons are not boring with this author.
Had no idea how brutal and ruthless the Celts were compared to other barbarians.

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 Post subject: Re: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:17 pm 
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Like most pop history books, this one has a kernel of truth exaggerated to epic proportions, take it all with not a grain but a full pound of salt and it can be a fun read.

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 Post subject: Re: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 8:04 am 
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I’m seeing what you’re saying. Cahill can get pretty out there at times. He goes from being very poetic to the greatness of Augustine to saying that he’s the first to give license to all inquisitions of the Church.

Then there’s this weird shot at Augustine and the Virgin Mary:
“Mary, mother of celibate clerics who have turned their backs on human love, would have presented Augustine with the perfect heavenly projection of his own domineering mother.”

Whaaaaaa????

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 Post subject: Re: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:54 am 
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At one point Cahill is lionizing (St) Augustine. Especially against the backdrop of the Romans. When Cahill contrasts Augustine to Ausonius he's pouring on the praise of Augustine.

But, he eventually puts Augustine in the position of Ausonius (receiver of harsh criticism) when contrasting Augustine to St. Patrick.

When talking about the prurient tendencies of the Irish pre-Patrick (heck, even post-Patrick), Cahill comes across as pretty smug saying things like (paraphrased) 'the snobby, haughty Roman views of Augustine would have scorned this.' Uh, any sensible Catholic would have scorned things like the Clan Conaill practice of "(mating) a new king with a mare."

When talking about Brigid of Kildare, Cahill takes particular enjoyment in rubbing it into 'Roman Catholic' sensibilities that she was (paraphrased) "more than likely a bishop" and (not paraphrased), "who almost certainly heard confession, probably ordained clergy, and may have celebrated Mass".

Nothing more convincing than a argument held together by the binding forces of "Almost certainly! Probabaly! MAY HAVE!!".

I still enjoy the book - but your advice was very helpful, Doom.

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 Post subject: Re: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:10 am 
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Another doozy from Cahill:

“It is a shame that private confession is one of the few Irish innovations that passed into the universal church. How different might Catholicism be today if it had taken over the easy Irish sympathy between churchman and laymen, and the easy Irish attitude towards diversity, authority, the role of women, in the relative on importance of sexual mores.”

I don’t think Cahill is a very observant fella. We do have an idea of what that type of ‘Catholicism’ would look like.

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 Post subject: Re: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:16 am 
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Keeps getting better. There’s a section in this book where Cahill quotes from Cogitosus in which it’s pretty clear Brigid of Kildare performed an abortion. It’s retold with Cahill’s approval.

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 Post subject: Re: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:07 pm 
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Cahill is a Modernist, and I don't mean that as a joke.

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Need something to read?


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 Post subject: Re: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2021 3:18 pm 
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Cahill is a hoot. He starts the book talking about how the barbarian inundations aided in destroying the Roman Empire (west)…. And ends the book using that to warn us about overpopulation and “the wrath to come” because of unchecked birth rate.

Makes sense why he applauded Brigid’s ability to make children in utero painlessly disappear.

The book is meh

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 Post subject: Re: How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:37 pm 
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p.falk wrote:
Cahill is a hoot. He starts the book talking about how the barbarian inundations aided in destroying the Roman Empire (west)…. And ends the book using that to warn us about overpopulation and “the wrath to come” because of unchecked birth rate.

Makes sense why he applauded Brigid’s ability to make children in utero painlessly disappear.

The book is meh



Ah, the old myth of 'the fall of the Roman empire', isn't it kind of a funny 'fall' if the people who lived through it weren't aware it happened? I mean yes, the line of emperors ends in 476, but so what? The empire didn't begin and end with the position of emperor. Fully 100 years after the supposed 'fall' people still talked as if the empire was still a thing. I mean, when Charlemagne wanted to claim absolute power, he called himself' 'emperor of the Romans', lots of people disputed his claim, but no one said 'you can't call yourself Roman emperor because the empire no longer exists', they said 'your claim to be emperor is not legitimate because there are better candidates', which is a really weird line of argument if everyone knew the empire 'fell' centuries earlier. The odd thing about the Roman empire is it's insane longevity, there were still men calling themselves "Roman emperor" until 1806, meaning that something resembling remnants of the Roman empire existed for over 1800 years, but the only thing anyone can talk about is the ''fall', people make comparisons all the time of modern America to the Roman empire, but they always mean 'we are going to fall" when realistically what they should mean is 'we're so awesome we are going to still be around 1500 years from how's. I'm pretty sure no one ever talked about the 'fall' of Rome before Gibbon.
M

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