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By Bil Franks

Thomas Cahill, in his well known book How the Irish Saved Civilization, in a way provided a foundation for our friend Erin O’Quinn’s Dawn of Ireland series, although she admits that she did not read Cahill until her books were already at the publisher.

romans:boat jHow did the Irish save civilization? The premise of the Caylith sagas The Twilight of Magic is that three fictional groups from England fled the encroaching Saxons and made a new home in Ireland. First were the Romans from the Saxon shore, along the east coast, who did not return to play the succession games that occurred right before the fall that caused the dark ages.

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Second were the half-Celtic and half-Roman stock from the Deva area (modern Liverpool). These renta-soldiers are described most tellingly in Children of the Dust.

The last group were the few native Welsh, the barbarians allied with both the Roman and half-Roman factions.

These groups, along with Saint Patrick and his gang of merry monks, saved the idea of book production (and, just as important to Caylith, plumbing and running water).

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No libraries survived the dark ages intact from Roman times. All burned either accidentally or because the looters of the day respected neither literacy or bathing.

In any case, smelly illiterates ruled the bones of the Roman Empire from roughly the fifth until the twelfth century.

Books thought to be lost forever suddenly reappeared. Some were saved in the Levant by the Arab Caliphs, but most made their way back from Ireland as the monasteries spread eastward from Ireland. Saint Patrick may not have driven the snakes from Ireland, but the abbeys founded by him became the publishing industry behind the Renaissance.bk of kellsj250

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Thus one of St. Patrick’s most important legacies was the gift of book publishing. It takes several not so easily learned skills to produce hand copied books–not to mention the ability to produce a tub that will hold water long enough for a decent bath.

Please take a moment to browse and consider a purchase of our first three sagas of The Twilight of Magic. The fourth and final saga arrives in July 2013.

Running Over Rainbows on MuseItUp
Running Over Rainbows on Amazon
Running Over Rainbows on ask.David
Hidden by the Rose on MuseItUp Bookstore
Hidden by the Rose on Amazon
Children of the Dust pre-order
Where Wild Ponies Ran
from MuseItUp in July 2013