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The Ancient Celts Paperback – March 1, 2000
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Given the paucity of Celtic written records, Cunliffe begins with a early archaeological efforts and snippets of Greco-Roman observations. What the Celts thought of themselves must remain a mystery. Those observing them found a warrior society, highly sophisticated in that realm from both aggressive and defensive standpoints. Highly mobile, the Celts established societies from Western Asia to the British Isles. In their settlements, which became increasingly organized and administered over the centuries, they laid the foundations of many modern communities. Cunliffe's accounts of these settlements, particularly those in the Iberian peninsula is likely to offer fresh information for many students.
Cunliffe gives us overviews of the "barbarian" migrations and their impact on European society. The most important result of Celtic movements, of course, was the counter expansion of Rome. Celtic domination of the trans-Alpine region drew Rome into Europe proper.Read more ›
I would very much recommend this as a first text for those who are interested in the archaeology of the Celts. It's very well-written, and the illustrations are highly evocative.
However, as with any single-author account covering such a wide geographic area over such a span of time, there are disagreements over some aspects of Cunliffe's interpretations. Because of this, I would suggest that 'The Ancient Celts' is probably best read in conjuntion with either of the two books mentioned above.
Since you persist, you will find "The Ancient Celts" to be a thorough going introduction to most aspects of Celtic research and history. Cunliffe gives a broad overview of previous Celtic study, the sources and the different influences and prejudices that have wormed their way into the sources and works through history. This provides an excellent back-drop to Cunliffe's own book, and puts it into an historical context of scholarship.
For the Celts themselves, the book presents broad overviews of different aspects of Celtic society, culture, art and so on. This is necessarily brief and focuses on those Celtic peoples who are amply attested to. For those others who dwelt more on the fringes of Celtic territory, Cunliffe is rightly more cautious in the few conclusions he draws. Despite this, the treatment is reasonably detailed and will certainly give you enough to go further should you wish to do so.
This might sound a bit puerile, but another bonus for me was the ample supply of photos, pictures and diagrams that helped put a more visual facet on the text. One might think that this is a pretty banal comment, but I found it a real boon to be able to see the artifacts that Cunliffe refered to, and appreciate them for myself. The Celtic art was a classic example of this.
For those with little geographical knowledge of Europe, I have only one quibble about the book: the paucity of maps.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Being a history buff, I can't get enough books about different cultures and regions of the world. Presently there is
an informal debate within UK as to whether Britain was... Read more
The information given at the beginning of the book that Barry Cunliffe is a professor or European archaeology at Oxford University should set the bar very high in the reader's... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michael
Dry but overall good source book for Celtic history. I do not agree with certain suggestions and conclusions by the author, but none the less this is a fine book on an amazing... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Chekk
A non-fiction book that is better than fiction. It certainly kept me entertained as I was receiving informationPublished 24 months ago by Ruth Ann Hixson