Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English” as Want to Read:
In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  316 ratings  ·  23 reviews
This engaging book traces the history, archaeology, and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C., when nomadic hunter-gatherers appeared in Ireland at the end of the last Ice Age to 1167 A.D., when a Norman invasion brought the country under control of the English crown for the first time. So much of what people today accept as ancient Irish history Celtic invaders from E ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 11th 2003 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published October 1st 2002)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In Search of Ancient Ireland, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In Search of Ancient Ireland

The Road by Cormac McCarthyRebecca by Daphne du MaurierOnce Upon a Road Trip by Angela N. BlountThe Girl She Used to Be by David CristofanoDeath In Holy Orders by P.D. James
The Long and Winding Road
86th out of 105 books — 47 voters
Ancient Aliens and the Lost Islands by Lars BergenPolitics of Illusion by Henry PattersonMcCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthyAngela's Ashes by Frank McCourtDeclan's Cross by Carla Neggers
Irish interest
8th out of 97 books — 19 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,435)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This work provides lots of information. I learned quite a bit about the kind of Catholicism that initially flourished in Ireland. The Irish became Catholic but kept married priests. Abbots, not bishops, ruled the Irish church. As one of the only Catholic countries not conquered by Rome, it preserved Western culture. Irish monks preserved, studied and copied many Greek and Latin manuscripts. Irish priests, trained in Irish monasteries, were sought after all over Europe during Medieval times. But ...more
Tim Gannon
It deals with the history of Ireland from neolithic times to the coming of the English. I am primarily Irish in heritage. I was curious to learn about the people and see if I could note any influence of my cultural past in the paths that I have chosen across my life. Plus I wanted to read what was available on the history of Druids. Apparently this book was written based on current knowledge of some notable Irish archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians who appeared to go to great lengths ...more
Could not put it down. Factual, written by artcheologlists. We are ordering one to keep in our collection.
Jenny T
The Good: The authors' anecdotes from modern-day visits to ancient sites in Ireland really brought a personal touch to what might have been dry otherwise. Their passion for antiquity and for pointing out humorous quirks of various historical 'characters' (e.g. a particular king at Cashel, who went around raiding a nearby monastery and was rumored to have been poked in the rear by the staff of said monastery's angered patron Saint Ciaran, and henceforth died of the flux.) Common misconceptions ab ...more
In Search of Ancient Ireland is a book designed around a PBS Series. The authors decided to write the book because there have been many new discoveries made in the last 100 years about the history and pre-history of Ireland. These discoveries have been made in the fields of archeology and vernacular records. I think also, that the increased interest in anything Celtic is another reason this book and series were made.

The book deals with the history of Ireland before the 12th century CE, which is
For someone who is only removed genealogically from Ireland by three generations I often find myself feeling ignorant of much of Ireland's history. I know the typical events - the potatoe famine that decimated the population, St. Patrick's Christianizing the country, and th Book of Kells' illumination - but I was unaware of many of the more subtle historical themes. Unlike much of Europe, Ireland never developed a tradition of inherited high-kingship (instead opting for smaller regional tribes l ...more
I should have paid more attention, because I didn't realize this was a PBS tie-in and I would have liked something a bit more scholarly. No complaints aside from that, because it did provide the thorough background and context for early Irish history and was written in an enjoyable, storytelling-yet-factually-accountable style that worked for me. Although there were no footnotes, I still have plenty of sources to further explore.

And between this and the ordination book a few reads ago, I now hav
Timothy Donovan
awesome read to learn how the people of Ireland originated. a lot of folklore mixed in as well to possibly account for missing periods. good jumping off point if you want a quick read on the originations of the Irish people up until the English invasion
A great intro to Ancient Ireland. Learned a lot of stuff!
quite enjoyed it but am not overkeen on history books. Glad I read it all the same - very interesting to get history of Ireland without the current political situation being the topic!
As a history buff and one especially interested in my own Celtic history, I've always had an affinity for the history of Ireland. This book does not disappoint. It is well written, and very approachable for the history layman. It covers Ireland from the Neolithic through the English invasion, the history of the development of the High-King and of the Irish Church and monasticism. One will find that Irish monasteries were not like the European monasteries usually envisioned.
I was really looking forward to this book, so it's a major disappointment. It's disjointed, repetitive and inconsistent. I realize the book is based on the PBS show, so I'm going to check out YouTube and see if the show is any better. What a disappointment.
Gene Cummins
This book filled in some of the gaps in my knowledge of early Irish history. It was very interesting, especially in tying together some of the loose ends from Caesar's histories and some of the Celtic lore. Of course a relatively short volume of work attempting to cover thousands of years of time can't read like an exciting novel, but it was nevertheless enjoyable.
It was a very good... overview and primer. Perfect starting point for someone who doesn't want to get too academic but wants a through introduction to Irish Pre-history and early Christian history in Western Europe, or early Irish Pagan beliefs and practices.
The first half was really engaging, focused on the people and their traditions and their lives. The second half focused on kings and their battles for control. The first half was more of what I was looking for.
Rebekah Dressel
While not the most in depth read, it creates a fascinating picture of Ireland through the ages, it is easy to follow and enjoyable as well as educating.
Kevin Buckley
Mar 06, 2012 Kevin Buckley marked it as to-read
Caught some of this subject on a recent tv show -- decided it sounded pretty interesting - we'll see...not my normal type of read
Joshua Spotts
This was a very informative, scholarly, well-written book exploring Ireland throughout its early history.
Love it History spectrum of Ireland, love the way it is written, it makes it relaxing yet interesting to read
Excellent overview of the information currently available.
Monica Perez
sucked so much i couldn't read very much of it.
Dry, but very educational.
Cory Franz
Cory Franz marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
Mike marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
JENNIFER JONES marked it as to-read
May 21, 2015
Kali marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
DetDet marked it as to-read
May 20, 2015
Jb3 marked it as to-read
May 17, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 47 48 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Wars of the Irish Kings: A Thousand Years of Struggle, from the Age of Myth through the Reign of Queen Elizabeth I
  • The Celts: A History
  • The Story of the Irish Race: A Popular History of Ireland
  • Pagan Celtic Ireland: The Enigma of the Irish Iron Age
  • Malachy McCourt's History of Ireland
  • Pagan Celtic Britain
  • Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred
  • The Oxford History of Ireland
  • The Course of Irish History
  • The Ancient Celts
  • Celtic Heritage
  • The World of the Druids
  • The Great Hunger: Ireland: 1845-1849
  • The World of the Celts
  • Michael Collins: The Man Who Made Ireland
  • Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions
  • The Red-Haired Girl from the Bog: The Landscape of Celtic Myth and Spirit
  • Rebels: The Irish Rising of 1916
In Search of Ireland's Heroes: The Story of the Irish from the English Invasion to the Present Day In Search of Ireland's Heroes: The Story of the Irish from the English Invasion to the Present Day

Share This Book