According to Thomas Cahill’s New York Times opinion piece today, “Turning Green With Literacy”:
“Patrick’s converts . . . put down their weapons and took up their pens. They copied out the great Greco-Roman books, many of which they didn’t really understand, thus saving in its purest form most of the classical library. The Irish fanned out across Europe, salvaging books wherever they could, making copies, reassembling libraries and teaching the newly settled barbarians of the continent to read and write.”
Cahill asks, “Why celebrate the Irish? Because they saved Western civilization’s books.”
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.