How The Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe is a non-fiction historical book written by Thomas Cahill.
Cahill argues a case for the Irish people‘s critical role in preserving Western Civilization from utter destruction by the Huns and the Germanic tribes (Visigoths, Franks, Angles, Saxons, Ostrogoths, etc.). The book presents Western history from the collapse of the Roman Empire and the pivotal role played by members of the clergy at the time. A particular focus is placed upon Saint Patrick. The book details his early struggles through slavery, mirroring much of the content in The Confession of Saint Patrick. Initial portions of the book examine Ireland before the arrivals of Patrick and Saint Augustine of Canterbury. Particular focus is placed upon Saint Columba, the monks he trained, and the monasteries he set up in the Hiberno-Scottish mission. These holy men, according to Cahill, “single-handedly refounded European civilization throughout the continent.” (p. 4)