No. of Recommendations: 1
Don't have any stake in this argument,
but for an excellent read on the subject, check out
Thomas Cahill's
"How the Irish Saved Civilization".

Cahill's thesis is that Irish monks and their scribes dutifully preserved a great deal of accumulated knowledge going into the European dark ages.
Thereby, saving it for a time when Europe would emerge from chaos.

Just thought I'd add my two cents.
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