Thursday, March 17, 2016

March Classic of the Month: Life of St. Patrick and His Place in History

Today is Saint Patrick's Day and in honor of this Christian holiday we at Cosimo are celebrating by reading our classic of the month: Life of St. Patrick and His Place in History by J.B. Bury.

This renowned biography of the great Catholic saint, famous for converting Ireland to Christianity, is also a stunningly vivid portrait of life in the British Isles in the fifth century. Born in Britain as a Roman citizen and kidnapped by raiders to Ireland as a teenager, where he remained to do his holy work, Patrick's life encapsulates the themes of the era, as the new religion won out of paganism as the Roman Empire fell. Almost as valuable as the biography itself are Bury's complex appendices, which comprise more than half the book, and include such important scholarly details as the author's notes on Patrick's own writings, the memoirs of the saint by other writers including Tírechán and Muirchu, an examination of other Irish source materials, and a look at the historical evidence for such events as the dates of Patrick's birth and captivity, his possible visit to Rome in 432, his consecration, the location of his burial, and much more.
About the Author:
British historian John Bagnell Bury (1861-1927) was professor of modern history at Cambridge. His writings, known for a readability combined with a scholarly depth, include History of the Later Roman Empire (1889), History of Greece (1900), and Idea of Progress (1920). 

Life of St. Patrick and His Place in History is available on Amazon (hardcover and paperback), at Barnes & Noble (hardcover and paperback), and at your favorite bookstores.

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