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The Celtic Revolution: How Europe Was Turned Upside Down from the Early Romans to King Arthur
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The Celtic Revolution: How Europe Was Turned Upside Down from the Early Romans to King Arthur (Paperback)

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Synopsis

From the Iron Age to the High Middle Ages, the ancient Celts were an engine of change for the whole of Europe. Here, Simon Young travels back in time to the moments when this ancient people defined indelibly the ancient, medieval and modern world. On this entertaining voyage, the reader will visit the hills of ancient Rome in the company of violent mohicaned warbands, pass into Dark-Age Christendom and witness Celtic monks' peculiar customs of curses and talking to animals. And move on to later medieval France, Germany and England where the ruthless vagabond-hero Arthur was to cast his spell over Britain's and Europe's aristocracy. While modern Celtic culture is an eighteenth-century invention, Simon Young shows that the real Celts turned upside down an area from the New World to Turkey and beyond. Leaving their mark on history, they were no less important than the Romans, Greeks and Etruscans.

History & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean historyLanguages with Grant & CutlerAll Other LanguagesWelshReaders
Language: Welsh
Publisher: Gibson Square Books Ltd Publication Date: 09/06/2011 ISBN-13: 9781906142421  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Simon Young was awarded a starred first in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University, as well as the Chadwick Prize for Celtic Studies. He recently received his doctorate summa cum laude from the University of Florence. Researching this book, he has lived in Spain, Ireland and Italy. He is the author of bestselling books such as 500 AD and Farewell to Britannia, as well as of many academic publications.He lives with his wife and young daughter in Santa Brigida, just outside Florence.

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Staff Choice

As our Editor in Chief has previously observed (Reviews, CA 242), the Celts are out of fashion. Simon Young’s book is an impassioned response to the ‘Celt-deniers’, insisting the Celtic civilisation is as important as that of the Greeks and Romans.

The word ‘Celt’ means different things to different people: archaeologists, linguists, art historians, classicists, neo-pagans, Gaelic speakers and even Cornish nationalists all have different responses. Young addresses this divisiveness, as well as the relatively recent archaeological attitude that the Celts never existed. For Young, there are 2,000 years of
history to prove the existence of a vibrant and influential culture; albeit one in terminal decline by the dawn of the Middle Ages.

The book is written in an accessible, conversational style. Divided into three parts, the ancient Celts and their pre-Roman dominance are closely examined, as is the explosion of Christianity; the final third of the book is devoted to analysis of Celtic legend and an in-depth discussion of King Arthur, provocatively labeled a ‘genocidal warlord’. Whether you believe the Celts existed or not, this is an authoritative and informative read.

Reprinted with permission by www.archaeology.co.uk

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 22/02/2011

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