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Program Information
 
 
 Commentary
 Tom Allen
 Thomas Allen  
 For non-profit use only.
St. Patrick's day is celebrated in America with green beer, a celtic band at the pub or a green sweater at work. Legend has it that Patrick rid the Emerald Isle if snakes. But thanks to author Thomas Cahill he's now celebrated for much more.
Originally broadcast the day before St. Patrick's Day 2006, this would appropriate any year. Celtic music breaks.

In the early 5th century the Rine river froze and the germanic tribesmen overran the Roman border. By 420 the Roman Garrison had decamped England and by the 450s little secular government remained in Europe having been replaced by The Church. Even the Catholic monistaries fell prey to warlords. Books were burned, Roman and Catholic building raised for their building stone and chaos reigned.

But the rot of Rome began well before the Rine froze. Corrupt tax policies exempted the welthy from taxation and ruined the middle class. Much of the wealth of Rome was removed to Constantinople and the remains left to the common folk. There are unsettling parallels for our time.

Through St. Patrick's efforts, Irish monasteries became islands of learning as monks brought manuscripts from Europe for safe keeping.

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00:06:11 English 2006-03-16
 Seattle, WA
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