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Thomas Cahill ☆ 3 summary

Ieval artists and writers too invented the Western tradition of realism On visits to the great cities of Europe monumental Rome; the intellectually explosive Paris of Peter Abelard and Thomas Auinas; the hotbed of scientific study that was Oxford; and the incomparable Florence of Dante and Giotto Cahill brilliantly captures the spirit of experimentation the colorful pageantry and the passionate pursuit of knowledge that built the foundations for the modern world Bursting with stunning four color art Mysteries of the Middle Aages is the ultimate Christmas gift boo. Cahill argues that those terrible dark ages actually sparked movements that elevated women and anticipated science Cahill is always worth reading He is very interesting and is a good writer He brings up many topics that modern academics ignore The bad parts1 While he gets the general overview of history correct his specific analyses are usually wrong and wrong by a long shot For example he said that the Greek Orthodox were not as concerned with the Incarnation as the Romans This is just silly 2 He can t stay on topic for than two pages While he is supposed to be examing x topic from the Middle Ages he will then start complaining about 21st century right wing politics 3 He has this weird obsession with sex I feel like I need a moral bath after I read himthe good parts1 for all of his faults Cahill really really loves the Middle Ages And he tries to interpret the Middle Ages on the Middle Ages terms This makes him definitionally better than most scholars on the Middle Ages2 His chapter on alchemy while fundamentally wrong by about 100 years and it is debatable whether Transubstantiation necessarily led to alchemy in Europe is very fascinating 3 His exposition of Roger Bacon gives the reader one of those wow moments 4 He is one of the few medievalists who raises the issue of multiple dimensions within reality eg the area where angels demons faeiries etc live Whether this is theological viable today is beside the point The medievals believed in this and Cahill unlike tenured academics today isn t embarrassed by the pointCahill is certainly worth reading and always interesting But one needs a good grasp on the history beforehand His facts are almost always wrong or at least warped Mary gave women a valuable role he says Further discussions on the Eucharist would later lead to scientific reasoning Now on one level Cahill s argument is just plain bad and would fail any theology exam But on another levelTransubstantiaion in its crass formulations says that the bread and wine become the body and blood really Medieval reasoning allowed thinkers to see how fluid matter could be While absurd at one level this is exactly what nano technology is today It also let modern theologians like Catherine Pickstock and John Milbank show the relation between the Eucharist and ontology Life In Pieces A realism On visits to the great cities of Europe monumental Rome; the intellectually explosive Paris of Peter Abelard and Thomas Auinas; the hotbed of scientific study that was Oxford; and the incomparable Florence of Dante and Giotto Cahill brilliantly captures the spirit of experimentation the colorful pageantry and the passionate pursuit of knowledge that built the foundations for the modern world Bursting with stunning four color art Mysteries of the Middle Aages is the ultimate Christmas gift boo. Cahill argues that those terrible dark ages actually sparked movements that elevated women and anticipated science Cahill is always worth Ready To Die reading He is very interesting and is a good writer He brings up many topics that modern academics ignore The bad parts1 While he gets the general overview of history correct his specific analyses are usually wrong and wrong by a long shot For example he said that the Greek Orthodox were not as concerned with the Incarnation as the Romans This is just silly 2 He can t stay on topic for than two pages While he is supposed to be examing x topic from the Middle Ages he will then start complaining about 21st century The Barons Lady right wing politics 3 He has this weird obsession with sex I feel like I need a moral bath after I Niv Archaeological Study Bible read himthe good parts1 for all of his faults Cahill Q really Vagina really loves the Middle Ages And he tries to interpret the Middle Ages on the Middle Ages terms This makes him definitionally better than most scholars on the Middle Ages2 His chapter on alchemy while fundamentally wrong by about 100 years and it is debatable whether Transubstantiation necessarily led to alchemy in Europe is very fascinating 3 His exposition of Roger Bacon gives the A History Of Irish Economic Thought reader one of those wow moments 4 He is one of the few medievalists who Fetal Alcohol Syndrome raises the issue of multiple dimensions within reality eg the area where angels demons faeiries etc live Whether this is theological viable today is beside the point The medievals believed in this and Cahill unlike tenured academics today isn t embarrassed by the pointCahill is certainly worth Understanding Action Learning reading and always interesting But one needs a good grasp on the history beforehand His facts are almost always wrong or at least warped Mary gave women a valuable Master Cleanse role he says Further discussions on the Eucharist would later lead to scientific Star Wars reasoning Now on one level Cahill s argument is just plain bad and would fail any theology exam But on another levelTransubstantiaion in its crass formulations says that the bread and wine become the body and blood Une Adolescence really Medieval Taken By The Alien reasoning allowed thinkers to see how fluid matter could be While absurd at one level this is exactly what nano technology is today It also let modern theologians like Catherine Pickstock and John Milbank show the Ratu Bergaun Hitam relation between the Eucharist and ontology

review Mysteries of the Middle Ages The Rise of Feminism Science and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe

Mysteries of the Middle Ages The Rise of Feminism Science and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe

O be the body of Jesus encouraged the formulation of new uestions in philosophy Could reality be so fluid that one substance could be transformed into another Could ordinary bread become a holy reality Could mud become gold as the alchemists believed These new uestions pushed the minds of medieval thinkers toward what would become modern science Artists began to ask themselves similar uestions How can we depict human anatomy so that it looks real to the viewer How can we depict motion in a composition that never moves How can two dimensions appear to be three Med. Cahill is determined to redeem the Middle Ages from the likes of William Manchester A World Lit Only By Fire and Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur s Court On the contrary Cahill writes The reputation of the Middle Ages for thuggish cruelty is largely if not wholly undeservedwhich I find a bit of a relief since I much prefer the Middle Ages of Brother Cafael to the Middle Ages of Toruemada When Cahill cites Hildegarde of Bingen as proof of the rise of feminism in the Middle Ages you might raise a skeptical eyebrow When Cahill then proceeds to point out that Heloise and Eleanor of Auitaine were contemporaries of Hildegarde you begin to wonder if perhaps he might be onto something It s easy to jam all these centuries together and label them as brutal ignorant misogynist and diseased see any high school history course but then Cahill rightly points out how do you explain Hildegarde Heloise and Eleanor Giotto Dante Roger Bacon ChartresLively prose and a wealth of contextual savvy combine to make this a uick read There is lots of detail about life as it was then lived The insoluble medieval problem in the face of such a company was sanitation Plumbing was unknown and the tradition of public bathing though as much a part of the Greco Roman heritage as plumbing had been had perished beyond Byzantium Because individual bathing in a copper basin in a drafty castle could lead so easily to chill then to fever and death kings and ueens seldom bathed than once a month those with neither washerwoman nor ewerer at their command scarcely than once or twice a yearSaint he might have been you could smell Francis of Assisi coming long before you saw him Cahill isn t shy about using the present to illustrate the past either Yes the BushBlair invasion of Ira was an immense blunder engineered by adolescent fantasists ignorant of cultural realities But no one whether Bush or bin Laden has the right to blow up innocent civiliansIslam began as a warrior religion bent on worldly conuestWhen Francis of Assisi joins the Fifth Crusade the Mediterranean had become in fact a Muslim sea its African and Asian coasts entirely dominated by the CrescentFrancis in fact meets in person with Sultan al Malik al Kamil nephew of Saladin himself he who booted Richard the Lionheart out of Palestine once and for all The saint proselytizes the sultan to no avail and Francis takes his admiration for the five times daily Islamic call to prayer back to Europe where it becomes the three times daily recitation of the Angelus Who knewI particularly enjoyed the footnotes which are in this case sidenotes with illustrated letters For example imagine an illustrated lower case b here In the ancient world women never addressed large crowds not only because their opinions were unsought but because there were no public address systems and the unaided casting of the voice to a large crowd especially in the open air present insurmountable difficulties to most womenThe late Romanesue and Gothic cathedrals of the Middles Ages because they were echoing sound boxes gave women their first opportunity to address large meetingsAgain who knewIn the next to the last chapter Cahill parallels Dante s Inferno to our own time with startling aptness but the last chapter is reserved for a polemic against the Catholic Church in its present pedophilic incarnation although said polemic feels heartbroken than accusatory From the Scrovegni Chapel to the Ryan Report lo how the mighty have fallen The Barons Lady reality be so fluid that one substance could be transformed into another Could ordinary bread become a holy Niv Archaeological Study Bible reality Could mud become gold as the alchemists believed These new uestions pushed the minds of medieval thinkers toward what would become modern science Artists began to ask themselves similar uestions How can we depict human anatomy so that it looks Q real to the viewer How can we depict motion in a composition that never moves How can two dimensions appear to be three Med. Cahill is determined to Vagina redeem the Middle Ages from the likes of William Manchester A World Lit Only By Fire and Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur s Court On the contrary Cahill writes The A History Of Irish Economic Thought reputation of the Middle Ages for thuggish cruelty is largely if not wholly undeservedwhich I find a bit of a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome relief since I much prefer the Middle Ages of Brother Cafael to the Middle Ages of Toruemada When Cahill cites Hildegarde of Bingen as proof of the rise of feminism in the Middle Ages you might Understanding Action Learning raise a skeptical eyebrow When Cahill then proceeds to point out that Heloise and Eleanor of Auitaine were contemporaries of Hildegarde you begin to wonder if perhaps he might be onto something It s easy to jam all these centuries together and label them as brutal ignorant misogynist and diseased see any high school history course but then Cahill Master Cleanse rightly points out how do you explain Hildegarde Heloise and Eleanor Giotto Dante Roger Bacon ChartresLively prose and a wealth of contextual savvy combine to make this a uick Star Wars read There is lots of detail about life as it was then lived The insoluble medieval problem in the face of such a company was sanitation Plumbing was unknown and the tradition of public bathing though as much a part of the Greco Roman heritage as plumbing had been had perished beyond Byzantium Because individual bathing in a copper basin in a drafty castle could lead so easily to chill then to fever and death kings and ueens seldom bathed than once a month those with neither washerwoman nor ewerer at their command scarcely than once or twice a yearSaint he might have been you could smell Francis of Assisi coming long before you saw him Cahill isn t shy about using the present to illustrate the past either Yes the BushBlair invasion of Ira was an immense blunder engineered by adolescent fantasists ignorant of cultural Une Adolescence realities But no one whether Bush or bin Laden has the Taken By The Alien right to blow up innocent civiliansIslam began as a warrior Ratu Bergaun Hitam religion bent on worldly conuestWhen Francis of Assisi joins the Fifth Crusade the Mediterranean had become in fact a Muslim sea its African and Asian coasts entirely dominated by the CrescentFrancis in fact meets in person with Sultan al Malik al Kamil nephew of Saladin himself he who booted Richard the Lionheart out of Palestine once and for all The saint proselytizes the sultan to no avail and Francis takes his admiration for the five times daily Islamic call to prayer back to Europe where it becomes the three times daily Alcohol recitation of the Angelus Who knewI particularly enjoyed the footnotes which are in this case sidenotes with illustrated letters For example imagine an illustrated lower case b here In the ancient world women never addressed large crowds not only because their opinions were unsought but because there were no public address systems and the unaided casting of the voice to a large crowd especially in the open air present insurmountable difficulties to most womenThe late Romanesue and Gothic cathedrals of the Middles Ages because they were echoing sound boxes gave women their first opportunity to address large meetingsAgain who knewIn the next to the last chapter Cahill parallels Dante s Inferno to our own time with startling aptness but the last chapter is The Book Of Robert E Howard reserved for a polemic against the Catholic Church in its present pedophilic incarnation although said polemic feels heartbroken than accusatory From the Scrovegni Chapel to the Ryan Report lo how the mighty have fallen

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After the long period of cultural decline known as the Dark Ages Europe experienced a rebirth of scholarship art literature philosophy and science and began to develop a vision of Western society that remains at the heart of Western civilization todayBy placing the image of the Virgin Mary at the center of their churches and their lives medieval people exalted womanhood to a level unknown in any previous society For the first time men began to treat women with dignity and women took up professions that had always been closed to them The communion bread believed t. Mysteries of the Middle Ages is history told through biography and anecdote While it covers grand themes as the title implies it does so in an immediate small scale way that makes the transitions of time accessible to lay readers ie meI picked Mysteries up somewhat by chance I was reading Ken Follett s Pillars of the Earth and wanted to supplement my meager knowledge of the period Originally I passed this over because it was too expensive at my local Borders it has full color illustrations on nearly every other page but I m happy to say I found a copy at a uarter of the price at a used shop Not that this has much bearing on the uality of the book but I thought that the event was fortunate so it contributed to my interest in itLucky for those of us not well versed in the slow crawl or backslide of history from the relative enlightenment of ancient times to the Dark Ages Cahill starts with early Greek thinkers and progresses through the ages with representative figures to illustrate each shift in thought From Aristotle and Plato he moves on to the grand Medieval figures like Hildegard Eleanor of Auitaine and Thomas Auinas sprinkled liberally with famous stories like that of Heloise and Abelard Cahill writes in a conversational style that suits the nature of the book in many ways it s not intended to be comprehensive but it skims over the relevant figures and movements to paint a large scale portrait of several hundred years of tumultuous history I doubt there are many other history books that manage to name drop Saint Francis of Assisi and Sex and the City within the same 300 pages but at the same time some of his references to modern pop culture and politics are jarring rather than helpful Cahill is not the most objective historian I have ever encountered sometimes he can be surprisingly snarky in his observations particularly those concerning religion Speaking of religion this book was very useful in clarifying a few historical concepts of Catholicism that have always bothered me Very early Christianity was a nihilistic religion everything relied on the swift approach of Judgment Day and the Church s philosophies show this uite clearly I have always wondered when the shift occurred between the End Times religion of early believers and the much worldly concerns of the later incarnation of the Church Cahill uses various people and their writings to illuminate the progression of thought that generated a shift in perspective from a philosophy of negativity the Earth is an evil disgusting place to one positive the Earth is not perfect but we must improve it for the time we are hereCahill follows the progress of science by tracing the presence of Aristotelian thought through the ages pointing out the works in which it emerges and proving that despite our conceptions of Medieval thinking and religious fanaticism observational and secular thinking was always lurking below the surface emerging into the light from time to time in the works of people like Roger Bacon While Cahill can be accused of belittling religious thought from time to time he is at least fair when considering points like how our misconception that Europe in the Middle Ages was populated by crazy flat Earth believers is inaccurateArt on the other hand seems to follow an opposite path from science becoming expressive because of religion rather than in spite of it Cimabue and Giotto are Cahill s primary examples and their work contrasts strikingly with the stiff ikons of Byzantine art which were descendants of Greek formalism I also learned an interesting tidbit in the section on art I never knew that the word iconoclast comes from the destruction of religious icons by a cult of religious fanatics that believed the Muslim practice of non representative art was the foundation of their military success As far as tracing art and science through the ages the book is very good Feminism is a little sketchier just because two prominent female figures emerged near the same time doesn t mean feminism suddenly took root At the same time some women have always fought against the constraints of their time so it s really hard to say where feminism as we know it really emerged and the examples here are as good as anySo there was a fairly even blend of good information and pointless proselytizing in this Cahill could have written a much better book had he decided to omit his tangential tirades concerning modern day events and his personal take on religious thinking They aren t terribly long but they disorient the reader from the narrative and cause you to uestion his objectivity as a historian which in turn makes you doubt the validity of his observations concerning the actual subject at handI have been working on this review throughout my progress in the book and have been impatient to post it so I will be adding once I see what conclusions Cahill draws to tie everything together


10 thoughts on “Mysteries of the Middle Ages The Rise of Feminism Science and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe

  1. says:

    ARGH This book1 The author does not reveal his semi thesis until the conclusion of the book and fails to make his arguments when he has an argument conform to the thesis throughout the book2 The first thing they teach you when you do graduate work in history is that history is not inevitable Because something h

  2. says:

    I'll say this for Cahill he holds nothing backLet's start with the book proper because I'm a medievalist and an editor so I

  3. says:

    Mysteries of the Middle Ages is history told through biography and anecdote While it covers grand themes as the title implies it does so in an immediate small scale way that makes the transitions of time accessible to lay readers ie meI picked Mysteries up somewhat by chance; I was reading Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth and

  4. says:

    This is the first book in a long time that I've stopped reading mid way through I appreciated the pictures I like pictures But they could not compensate for the otherwise amateur composition of this bookThe freuent plugs for Cahill's other books in the text are arrogant but understandable The idiot friendly comparisons between medieval troubadors and the Rolling Stones are annoying but tolerable But the fact that he makes judgments which a

  5. says:

    Cahill is determined to redeem the Middle Ages from the likes of William Manchester A World Lit Only By Fire and Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court On the contrary Cahill writes The reputation of the Middle Ages for thuggish cruelty is largely if not wholly undeservedwhich I find a bit of a relief since

  6. says:

    I have the audio book abridged which I've listened to through the state of Nevada a state in which to listen to audio booksI picked up the book thinking that I didn't know much about the Middle Ages but as I listened Cahill reintroduced me to some of my favorite historical figures Hildegard Eleanor of Auitaine Roger Bacon

  7. says:

    Cahill argues that those terrible dark ages actually sparked movements that elevated women and anticipated science Cahill is always worth reading He is very interesting and is a good writer He brings up many topics that mode

  8. says:

    This is the Reader's Digest take on history Like any good digest Cahill draws on the Middle Ages' most interesting topics and presents said topics very accessibly Despite being disappointingly low on cults and mysteries false advertising this book was a great introduction to religious art and philosophy Never before have I found the two to be accessibly presented However the whimsical illustrations not the photos but the gargoyl

  9. says:

    I put this down pretty much exactly halfway through when the author leaves the Middle Ages and goes on an unnece

  10. says:

    Far from comprehensive but very readable Cahill covers Hildegard Eleanor of Auitaine Thomas Auinas Dante and Roger Bacon along with many other famous figures of the time Cahill traces art and science throughout th

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