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. A foremost authority on the Celtic peoples and their culture, Peter Berresford Ellis presents an invigoration overview of their world. With his gift for making the scholarly accessible, he discusses the Celts' mysterious origins and early history and investigates their rich and complex society. His use of recently uncovered firnds brings fascinating insights into Celtic kings and chieftains, architecture and arts, medicine and religions, myths and legends, making this esesntial reading for any search for Europe's ancient past.… (more)
At the start of the first millennium BC, a civilisation which had developed from its Indo-European roots around the headwaters of the Rhine, the Rhône and the Danube suddenly erupted in all directions through Europe.
1 The Origins Of The Celts
When the merchant-explorers of Greece first started to encounter the people they came to refer to as Keltoi, at the start of the sixth century BC, the Celtic peoples were already widely spread throughout Europe and still rapidly expanding.
Today, the Celtic world has dwindled to the sixteen millions dwelling in the north-west periphery of Europe, of which only two-and-a-half millions still speaka Celtic language. These are the lineal descendants of the once extensive civilisation of the ancient Celts, the inheritors of 3000 years of a unique and rich cultural continuum.