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The Celts: A Very Short Introduction [Format Kindle]

Barry Cunliffe

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Savage and bloodthirsty, or civilized and peaceable? The Celts have long been a subject of enormous fascination, speculation, and misunderstanding. From the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, using an impressive range of evidence, and exploring subjects such as trade, migration, and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Along the way, he exposes the way in which societys needs have shaped our visions of the Celts, and examines such colourful characters as St Patrick, Cú Chulainn, and Boudica.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Biographie de l'auteur

Barry Cunliffe is Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford. He has excavated widely in Western Europe and is currently working in Spain, Brittany, and Wessex. His research interests have recently focussed especially on the importance of the Atlantic sea routes to European prehistory and history. His books include The Celtic World, The Ancient Celts, Prehistoric Europe, Facing the Ocean, and The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek. He is a Trustee of the British Museum.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 989 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 176 pages
  • Editeur : OUP Oxford; Édition : 1 (26 juin 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000SHU2VM
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°183.409 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Commentaires en ligne

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Amazon.com: 3.6 étoiles sur 5  16 commentaires
41 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 What it means to be Celtic 18 décembre 2006
Par Peter Reeve - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
The Celts have had a long and complex journey, both through history and myth, and this entry in the excellent Very Short Introduction series is a great place to start tracing that journey. Some historians question whether 'Celtic' is even a meaningful or useful term. Is it a modern invention? Who were, or are, these people or peoples we call 'Celts'? Cunliffe warns at the outset that finding reliable answers will not be easy, then proceeds to make it as easy as possible.

He views the subject from various angles - linguistic, archeological, Classical (the Roman and Greek accounts), ethnological - and gradually builds a coherent picture. His bias reflects the current orthodoxy that cultural influence spreads without the mass migrations that used to be assumed -- ideas and customs spread, not necessarily people. He encourages us to take a view from the Atlantic, and see the Celts as European peoples who traded along that seaboard. Some readers might wish for more detailed maps -- the author or publisher seems to assume that you will know which rivers are the Marne, Danube, etc.

This is an authoritative and accurate work, although I did spot one surprising blunder: On page 137, the ceremony of All Souls is described as taking place on October 31, preceding All Saints. In fact it follows All Saints, on November 2.

Cunliffe's prose is very readable, except that he has a fondness for litotes ("It is not unreasonable to suppose..." "It is not unlikely that..."). This can get not unirritating after a while.

A great deal of misinformation surrounds Celticism. It has become a tool for propagandists and nationalists. There is a certain amount of healthy debunking in this book, but the Celts emerge alive and well. Before I read it, I thought I was of Celtic descent on my mother's side. After reading it, I still do, but now I have some idea of what that means. If you want to know about the Celts, then you need to choose your sources with care, because - as Cunliffe hints - there are many 'lunatic fringe' publications out there. This is a safe place to start.
30 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Exceptional ! 23 mai 2005
Par Hallstatt Prince - Publié sur Amazon.com
For someone who wants a quick and dirty introduction yet up to date book on the ancient Celts I cannot recommend a better book. Although it is quite a short book it is highly superior to books havigng the three times the number of pages this book contains.

Although one may sometimes shy away from short books on complex topics like the Celts take heart for by placing yourself in the hands of Barry Cunliffe you are putting yourself in the hands of a master.

A winner!

High recommended.
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Based on scholarship - but... 7 mai 2012
Par R. McCoy - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Finally, an introduction to the Celts based on scholarship and not wishful thinking. Popular books make the Celts out to be either the greatest heroes or the worst villains of Europe. This intro relies on archeology, linguistics (philology) and historical sources to tease out who the Celts were (and even IF they were). Origins, culture, migrations, art, and movements are covered. Modern treatment of the Celts is also covered, and how a new mythology has grown up around them. This overview provides a departure point for interested students to begin their studies with some solid grounding.

The reason for 4 stars vs 5 is the lack of comment on genetic studies. The author is clearly aware of research in this field but makes no real mention of it. For example, I look at a distribution map of haplogroup R1b and I see it apparently mirroring the present day distribution of "Celts". But I also recognize my inexpert tendency to draw these conclusions may not be scientifically warrantied. I would love to have read the author's comments on genetic investigations, and recommendations for further study. Genetic studies have something to offer, but how does it overlap the other disciplines?

Otherwise, great little book. Highly recommended.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent Introduction 14 août 2010
Par FJT - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Barry Cunliffe is one of the finest scholars and researchers in this field. This is an excellent introduction to a field that is often littered with junk created by those trying to cash in on "Celtomania."

I highly recommend any work by this author, who has long been a source of inspiration to me.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Celts - More An Idea Than Ancient People or Nation 8 juillet 2012
Par M. Hallisey - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Kudos to the 4 reviewers who have preceded me - they covered many of the points I was planning to make. So let me make the following two observations and leave it there.

First, I commend Mr. Cunliffe on the book's clever organization. Knowing pretty much from the start that we continue to know very little about the Celts, I wondered why I should not just put the book down. But I am a fan of Cunliffe and thus decided to work my way through the book and if I was disappointed, so be it - after all, it is a volume in the "Very Short Introductions" series. But by building block by block, layer upon layer, Cunliffe walks the reader through a solid methodology that helps the reader to understand why, at the end of the book, there is really very little to say about the Celts and that we shouldn't be too disappointed.

Why? Because I was pleased to be reminded that "Celt" is really more a modern term of association in the face of oppression (Irish, Scots, Welsh versus English; Bretons versus French, etc.) than an appellation which accurately describes a major people (or peoples) in mid-Europe from the 6th Millenium BCE forward.

Worth the money and time spent.
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