Irish Monks In European Universities 🌍: Irish monks were mostly known to have accomplished some of the most noteworthy feats, but maybe none greater than saving the European civilisation itself. We highly encourage you to continue reading the blog to learn more.


Through some of our past blogs, we have already talked about the capabilities of Irish monks. What they have achieved for the world are some of the most unimaginable, ridiculous and really just amazing feats I have ever heard in my life.

Trí chuid de na blaganna a bhí againn roimhe seo, tá caint déanta againn cheana féin ar chumais na manach Éireannach. Is é an méid atá bainte amach acu ar fud an domhain ná cuid de na héachtaí is dochreidte, is ridiciúla agus is iontach a chuala mé riamh i mo shaol.


For example, did you know that Irish monks had something to do with the Latin language’s vast improvement? Most notably, they turned the tightly-knit, barely-readable Latin language into something that we still study to this day – they implemented word spacing into it. That alone shows the brilliance of the Irish monks. Not only did they have the confidence and charisma to spread Catholicism, but they also had the brains to do so.


And speaking of Catholicism, did you know that the Irish monks we know and deeply respect had a major hand in helping save the European civilisation? Irish monks mostly established universities in European countries in an attempt to not only promote the Irish culture and Catholic religion but to also save Europe from the fall of Rome and up until the Medieval times in Europe (i.e., simply Medieval Europe.)


Below, discover more as we traverse into the topic of Irish monks saving European civilisation. Read on to learn more.

Anseo thíos, faigh amach níos mó agus muid ag trasnú na manaigh Éireannacha ag sábháil sibhialtacht na hEorpa. Léigh ar aghaidh chun tuilleadh a fhoghlaim.



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How Irish monks in European universities saved the European civilisation


There are Irish universities scattered all across Europe, an example of which is the Irish Franciscan College of St. Anthony at Louvain (Leuven). Mícheál Ó Cléirigh and his associates, in particular, had nothing but praises for this university as it had association with such famous scholars as Juan Vives, Erasmus, and Justus Lipsius.


Irish universities like the Irish College of St. Anthony, as mentioned above, certainly promoted the Irish culture and Catholic religion, mainly through the initiatives of the Irish monks. But aside from that, they also had a hand in saving the European civilisation, which might surprise many.


When the Dark Ages settled on Europe in the fifth century, Ireland, as you may not expect, played the main role in continuing – even continuously improving – European culture. A non-fiction book called ‘How the Irish Saved Civilization’ (American English of civilisation) written by Thomas Cahill perfectly tells how the Irish people, more specifically the Irish monks, saved the European civilisation through preservation.


The Irish monks’ role


The Irish preserved Europe’s civilisation from being wiped off the face of the Earth by the Huns and the Germanic tribes which includes the Visigoths, Franks, Angles, Saxons, Ostrogoths and more. The book we mentioned above stated the point of view of Europe coming off of the collapse of the Roman Empire and how religious leaders and missionaries, most notably Saint Patrick, helped.


Patrick, however, provided “a living alternative.” He was a serene man who slept well without drink, a man “in whom the sharp fear of death has been smoothed away.” The Christianity he proposed to the Irish succeeded because it took away the dread from the magical world that was Ireland. And once they were Christianized, the Irish founded the monastic movement, copying the books being destroyed elsewhere by Germanic invaders, eventually bringing them back to the places from which the books had come.

“And that,” Mr. Cahill concludes with typically wry unabashedness, “is how the Irish saved civilization.”

The New York Times


Irish monks in universities: Hiberno-Scottish mission


Amongst those discussed in the book was the Hiberno-Scottish mission. To give you a brief background, this mission, led by both the Irish and Scottish Monks, aimed and succeeded to spread Christianity and set up abbeys in places such as Great Britain and continental Europe during the Middle Ages.


This mission itself was not done in unison, but there were scattered missions spearheaded by the Irish and Scottish monks. The Hiberno-Scottish mission originated in as early as  563 with the foundation of Iona by the Irish monk Saint Columba. In addition, it was initially concerned with ministering to the Gaels of Dál Riata and converting the Picts.


The centuries that followed saw the mission grow in power and influence, which of course, resulted in it spreading Anglo-Saxon England and the Frankish Empire.

Tháinig méadú ar chumhacht agus ar thionchar an mhisin sna céadta bliain ina dhiaidh sin, rud a d’fhág ar ndóigh gur scaipeadh Sasana Angla-Shacsanach agus Impireacht na bhFrancach.


The early mission is often associated with the Christian practice known as Celtic Christianity, which was distinguished by its organizations around monasteries rather than dioceses and certain ideosyncratic traditions, but the later mission was more continental in character.


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Now that we have shared with you the major contributions of Irish monks, not just in establishing universities in European countries but also saving the civilisation itself, we also want to discuss with you how we can help you in everything Irish-related.


ba mhaith linn plé leat freisin conas is féidir linn cabhrú leat i ngach rud a bhaineann leis an nGaeilge.


If you can understand simple Irish, you will want to improve. FluentIrish is here for you. Listen every day to get on with Irish.

Má tá tú ábalta Gaeilge shimplí a thuiscint – beidh tú ag iarraidh biseach a dhéanamh. Tá Fluentirish anseo faoi do choinne. Bí ag éisteacht gach aon lá chun a bheith ag gabháil ar aghaidh i nGaeilge.

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