I love this book. How close our world came to NOT becoming enlightened. We might have been in the dark ages still. But we're not, and it's a miracle. We should count our blessings every day that we are literate! It's also a cautionary tale against all those who don't value critical thinking and higher learning.
In a class by itself.
Such a beautiful and sensuous reader of English and Italian.
There are some stand-out historical events and characters that will leave you thinking: how come I never knew about this?!
Yes. Anyone interested in history, science and relegion should enjoy this book.
Can't think of one.
I enjoyed learning about the important position of a Scribe during those times.
Learning about the philosophy of Epicuras as it pertains to this world and after death.
This book purports to be a discussion of how the rediscovery of one of Lucretius' works ignited the Renaissance. It falls somewhat short of this lofty goal, but manages nonetheless to be a really interesting and well-researched representation of European culture during the time of the Western Schism of the Roman Catholic Church. The lives of popes and anti-popes of the period, their backstories, their political alliances, and the lot of everyday people is graphically discussed.
Yes, and I will. His thoughts are complex but one can follow.
I really don't think there is a comparable book....perhaps Haidt.
There are not scenes in this book, really.
No. It's a little dense for one sitting, but I would gladly listen to it repeatedly.
More from Greenblatt. Students and scholars benefit greatly from his writings!
Love that Texas weather!
To say that I had no idea is to put it mildly. Greenblatt, in his thorough and inimitable style, tells of the world in Classical Greek and Roman times, how the growing Christian Church changed society and also preserved (despite themselves, seemingly) the "pagan" early writings, and how Petrarch inspired Poggio to (eventually) discover Lucretius's long poem, "On the Nature of Things." I have learned of the invention of beautiful handwriting, how books--codices-- existed in Greek and Roman times (it was not all scrolls), and that monks in the dark ages were required to know how to read, and to read daily for extended periods of time. I have learned so much; I am eager to re-read this book to fill in what I have missed in all the amazing disclosures. My long fascination with the Middle Ages and my complete ignorance of Classical Greek and Roman times are being amply rewarded with details and images of how it must have been.
The realization of how deeply and extensively the ethic "Christian guilt and sin" quashed curiosity and learning.
Language is speech; I appreciate hearing the words as well as reading the text. I am both listening and reading this book.
This book introduces the reader to very exciting concepts and helps to connect modern times to ancient times. We are not so very different, except for the overlay of the Christian ethic. People and societies are so real in Greenblatt's telling. I can't wait to finish the book and read it again, making notes the second time.
I love this book!
If you are someone interested in the process of discovery of medieval books from ancient monasteries - this is the book for you. I am not one of these people but even I could make out that this book is erudite and smart in that field. My problem with this was just that. Drawn in by the blurb, by Prof Greenblatt's Charlie Rose interview where he described Lucretius as the "honey on the lip of a cup of bitter medicine" - I was disappointed that this book did not have enough of Lucretius for me. For almost 5/6th of the book it is clever writing about Europe (or even more specifically Italy) in Middle Ages. It may be that I misled myself, but I would've liked a lot more discussion on Lucretius instead, right from the beginning, and a closer examination of the ramification of the discovery of "On the nature of things" not just the finding of it.
Fascinating account of books, learning and society in middle ages. First half was a page turner but it slowed down in the second half. Still not to be missed.
The historical details and the narrator. The voice reminded me of my Italian Lit professor in college reading Dante to us in Italian. Wish there was more in Italian, but in English (99% of the book) the tone and pacing were very enticing and enjoyable as well. I liked the specific-ness of the locations and the idea of following this one individual who often was at odds with his times. Seemed analogous to a modern person who suddenly finds himself laid off mid-career due to politics or downturns... and now what?
stop trying to make the poem the crux of the Renascence -- it wasn't.
Pronunciation, timbre, pacing, warmth.
hard to stop listening to this one.
actually, faintly reminiscent of "The Hare with the Amber Eyes" as it was a wonderful narration by same talented individual and a story of broad implications made personal by telling an individual's story.
I was happy to have it on Audible as I might have been frozen in time reading a book I found hard to "put down".
This narrator is magically adept at bringing the author's personal touches to life in this book as well as in "The Hare with the Amber Eyes" . Both of these books as well as Hillary Mantel's transcendental novels literally left a void in my life at the end of each book.
Brilliant, talented writers and narrators bringing these works of art to life.
The road to modernity
somewhat disconnected in spots, but overall an excellent book
there's only one character in the book
his voice carries a good sense of suspense where this is useful
no, I found it to be easy to read in small bits.
one of my friends , raised a catholic and Jesuit educated, found it compelling but depressing by making him seriously question his previously strong faith in a life after death.