A World Lit Only By Fire by William Manchester was truly a fascinating read. His delightful insight to the medieval world and so much more was indeed captivating. Manchester's account of Magellan's trip was amazing, down to the last detail. Though brief, "The Medieval Mind" was still informative and enlightening. Overall, Manchester's book was, in my opinion, brilliantly written.
I believe there were many points to be discovered throughout Manchester's book. However, I think there are three significant ones that should be addressed and focused on: the deterioration of civilization, the church's corruption, and the accomplishments of many sailors despite the hardships that lay ahead for them.
The first chapter, "The Medieval Mind", basically covered my first point, the deterioration of civilization. Throughout the entire first chapter, Manchester gave many examples of how the civilization deteriorated. For example, Manchester wrote about how the literacy rate had fallen, numerous wars took place, epidemics struck, the drainage was poor, farmers had poor quality tools, and deaths occurred more easily and frequently. Even in other chapters of the book, Manchester cites many examples, such as the corrupted church, another main point of his book, apathy among citizens, said to be the main cause of Rome's fall, and also the decline of knighthood and manners. All this and more led to what is known as "The Dark Ages".
"The Shattering" chiefly covered my second point, but the corruption of the church could be noted throughout the entire book. The church was corrupted in many ways. For example, church officials and common citizens were said to practice atrocious sexual behaviors, even in public. What was even more shocking was the lack of obedience and regard for God among the church itself, including the nuns, monks, and even the priests themselves. Another example of the church's corruption was the belief that it was always right.