The Celts: A History
Uncovering one of Europe's greatest civilizations
For centuries the Celts held sway in Europe. Even after their conquest by the Romans, their culture remained vigorous, ensuring that much of it endured to feed an endless fascination with Celtic history and myths, artwork and treasures.
Peter Berresford Ellis, a foremost authority on the Celtic peoples and their culture, pr...more
Ellis is a master of his subject, and clearly a Celtophile. The only reason the book isn't 5-stars is because of his naked effort to lionize Celtic legacy. While he does much to rectify the bigoted and ignorant testimony of Greek and Roman historians (pretty much the only textual evidence we have ...more
how unsophisticated they are. The second category includes the people who wrote to show what a great society they were and how misunderstood they were and those include both modern and
classical writers. And the third and final category is the writers who were somewhat unbiased and these are very few. The author of ...more
At the start of the first millennium BC, a civilisation which had developed from its Indo-European roots around the headwaters of t ...more
From written history to archaeology, to language and laws, even their religion and beliefs are thoroughly introduced. There is also discussion about the Celts' Proto-Indo-European root (which I found quite edifying).
The author took pains explaining academic consensus on each topic. For a book geared toward popular audience, t ...more
Ellis presents a great deal of information in a short book without being overwhelming. Pleasantly packaged in a manner that is neither too dry or lacking in dignity.
There is a lot to chew on that I had not considered. The sheer scope of the celtic world is simply amazing (while most of us only think in terms of insular celts and Asterix).
My only misgivings about the information in the book is that the author gives SO much credit, and SO much defense to the celtic side of is ...more
Concise and informative look at the early Celts. It is fact- rather than narrative-based history but the facts are often fascinating and (for me) surprising. Especially surprising to me were the links he showed between the Celts and South Asian cultures—both Indo-European, of course. Some other interesting facts that I learned—Roman roads were usually built on earlier Celtic roads which because they were constructed using wood, did not last the test of archaeological time. The Celts also began m ...more
It was a good jumping-off point. Thanks to this book I've been reading more in depth about the history of the Celts.