Ancient Europe – Celts – History of Prehistoric Britain


The History of Ancient Europe, Prehistoric Britain, Celts, Celtic Myths, Druids, Ancient Iberians, Roman invasion of Britain, Norse myths, Roman Gaul, Scandinavian Mythology, Lombards

 

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Ancient Celts Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Celts”. Be patient as the page loads.

Celtic Scotland

Armit, Ian
Batsford 1997 Dewey Dec. 930

“Written in a style designed to appeal to general as well as academic readers, this book examines the nature of Celticness and, through the evidence of ancient monuments, objects and written accounts, explores the essence of prehistoric Scotland. It traces the development of society in Scotland, from fragmented Iron Age tribes, into Picts, Scots and Britons, and uses reconstruction drawings and photographs to illustrate what Celtic life was like.” -Publisher

Contents: Celtic Scotland? – Ancestral lands – Warring Celts – ‘Celtic cowboys’ and the myth of Caledon – Identity and power – Death and belief – The clash with Rome – Epilogue

Also see our collections of Articles on Ancient History and Podcasts & Videos on Ancient History & Archaeology

The Iberians

Arribas, Antonio
Thames & Hudson 1964        Dewey Dec.   936

Vol. 36 in the series “Ancient Peoples and Places”. The Iberians were not a single civilization but rather a variety of diverse groups residing in the geographical area we identify as the Iberian peninsula. This volume is well-illustrated with drawings and photos.

Contents: Identifying the Iberians – The land – Formation of the Iberian peoples – The people – Habitation sites and houses – Social life, trade and economy – Religion and ritual – Iberian art – Pottery – Tartessian-Iberian jewellery

A History of the Ostrogoths

Burns, Thomas S.
Indiana University 1984        Dewey Dec.   936

The Ostrogoths were the eastern branch of the older ‘Goths’. They traced their origins to the Greutungi – a branch of the Goths who had migrated southward from the Baltic Sea and established a kingdom north of the Black Sea during the 3rd and 4th centuries. The Ostrogoths briefly had a highly developed trade with the Romans, until their kingdom was invaded and annexed by the Huns in about 370. Their history was then obscure for about 80 years, when they are found to have migrated westward. Under their king Theodoric the Great they established a kingdom in Italy in 492. -Extraction from Wikipedia

Contents: Rome and the Northern Barbarians – The Presettlement Phase – Bondage and Struggle – Theodoric’s Kingdom Surveyed – The Metamorphosis of Ostrogothic Society – Religion – Leadership and Government – Warriors and the Military System – The End of the Ostrogothic Kingdom – Epilogue

Caesar’s Gallic War

Caesar, Julius, Coolidge, Olivia E.
Houghton Mifflin 1961        Dewey Dec.   936

A modern companion to Caesar’s account of the Gallic wars from 58 to 60 B.C., as written by an imaginary officer who accompanied Caesar on the campaigns.

The Lombards: The Ancient Longobards

Christie, Neil
Blackwell 1998        Dewey Dec.   936

“The Lombards, also known as the Longobards, were a Germanic tribe whose fabled origins lay in the barbarian realm of Scandinavia. After centuries of obscurity during the long period of Roman domination in Europe, the Lombards began a concerted migration south-eastwards, coming to prominence immediately after the fall of Rome. Pushing across the Danube to occupy Hungary, the tribe emerged as a powerful protagonist in the former heartland of the Empire in the early sixth century AD. The Lombards subsequently invaded Italy in AD 568—9, where they successfully countered the Byzantines and established a kingdom based on the fertile north Italian plains. This endured for more than two centuries before its conquest by Charlemagne, and even after this defeat, a Lombard state continued to exist in southern Italy until the eleventh century. In this book, the author combines many sources, archaeological and historical, to offer a fresh and vividly detailed picture of Lombard society — its people, settlements, material and spiritual culture — and its evolution from martial ‘barbarian’ tribe to complex urbanized state.” -Book cover

Contents: Longobard Origins – Longobards in Pannonia – The Longobards and Italy – Economy and Society – Settlement and Defence in Longobard Italy – Religion, Architecture and Art – Benevento and beyond: Longobard Heritage?

Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend

Green, Miranda J.
Thames & Hudson 1997        Dewey Dec.   936

“Warlike, exuberant and superstitious, the ancient Celts saw divinities in every facet of life and nature, venerating deities of the sun, thunder, water, war, healing, hunting, fertility and death. They possessed a complicated array of concepts and rituals, a powerful priesthood – the Druids – and a pantheon which included the goddess-queen Medb and the Morrigan, a sinister war-goddess. This dictionary contains entries on aspects of Celtic myth, religion and folklore in Britain and Europe between 500 BC and AD 400. Archaeological research, classical writers and earliest recorded oral traditions provide the reader with an overview of Celtic Lore.” -Publisher

Collected books on Ancient Rome

Stonehenge Decoded: An Astronomer Examines One of the Great Puzzles of the Ancient World

Hawkins, Gerald S.
Dorset 1987 Dewey Dec. 930

“Dr. Hawkins recreates the dramatic discovery of Stonehenge–a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived astronomical observatory used by three different groups of people over a 400-year period beginning around 2000 B.C.; tells of the mythology that surrounds it and of the remarkable techniques that were employed to bring the stones across 100 miles of sea and land to their site of construction on Salisbury Plain in southern England” -Publisher

Contents: The legends – The people – History – The method – Others – First thoughts – The machine – The response – Eclipses – The numbers game – Last thought

Atlas of the Celtic World

Haywood, John
Thames & Hudson 2001        Dewey Dec.   936

With 214 illustrations, 180 in colour, including 54 maps. Covers the history of the Celts over 3,000 years and spans the whole of Europe. “Taking into account the latest research and academic controversies over the historical identity of the Celts, the atlas examines the Continental Celts, the Atlantic Celts (Britain and Ireland) and the Celtic identity in the modern world.” -Book jacket

The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy

Hutton, Ronald
Blackwell 1991        Dewey Dec.   936

“This is the first survey of religious beliefs in the British Isles from the Old Stone Age to the coming of Christianity, one of the least familiar periods in Britain’s history. Ronald Hutton draws upon a wealth of new data, much of it archaeological, that has transformed interpretation over the past decade. Giving more or less equal weight to all periods, from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages, he examines a fascinating range of evidence for Celtic and Romano-British paganism, from burial sites, cairns, megaliths and causeways, to carvings, figurines, jewellery, weapons, votive objects, literary texts and folklore.” -Publisher

Roman Gaul and Germany

King, Anthony
University of California 1990        Dewey Dec.   936

“Drawing on many recent excavations throughout Gaul and Germany, this generously illustrated book–co-published with the British Museum–brings a wealth of archaeological findings to bear upon a crucial period in Roman history. The Roman provinces of Gaul and Germany cover present-day France, Belgium, and the Rhineland, together with parts of Switzerland and the Netherlands. Distinguished by their rich Celtic and Germanic heritage, they formed an important part of the Roman Empire.” -Publisher

Contents: Greeks and Celts – The Roman conquest – The urban landscape – Rural life – Markets and merchandise – Romano-Celtic and other religions – The frontier land – Breakdown and revival – Churches and the Church – From Gaul to France – Gazetteer of sites to visit

The Roman and the Teuton: A Series of Lectures Delivered before the University of Cambridge

Kingsley, Charles
MacMillan 1891        Dewey Dec.   936

Contents: The Forest children – The dying empire – The human deluge – The Gothic civilizer – Dietrich’s end – The nemesis of the Goths – Paulus Diaconus – The clergy and the heathen – The monk a civilizer – The Lombard laws – The popes and the Lombards – The strategy of providence

Art of the Celts

Laing, Lloyd R.
Thames and Hudson 1992        Dewey Dec.   936

“The entire spectrum of Celtic art, with all its vibrancy, power, intricate pattern and ambiguity, is revealed here — from the rich treasures found throughout Iron Age Europe, through the flowering of metalwork, sculpture and manuscript illumination during the Dark Ages, to the revivals and “druidomania” which carry the story up to the present. There is not one single, unbroken tradition but many diverse strands of development which interweave to create the magnificent works we term Celtic art. Both the language of Celtic art and its virtuosity speak directly to the modern artist and to a wide public.” -Book cover

Contents: Introduction — The beginnings of Celtic art — La Tène art in Europe — Art in Iron Age Britain and Ireland — The renaissance of Celtic art, c.400-1200 — Celtic revivals

The Celts

Lassieur, Allison
Lucent 2001        Dewey Dec.   936

A concise, popular and well-illustrated history of the Celts, from the ‘Lost Civilizations’ series.

Contents: The first Europeans — Tribes and chieftains — Masters of science and technology — Religion, myth, and the Druids — The golden age of Celtic art — Warfare and blood — The long defeat

Atlas of Prehistoric Britain

Manley, John
Oxford University 1989        Dewey Dec.   936

“Megalithic cairns, ancient earthworks, Bronze Age burial chambers, Stonehenge–these mysterious, awe-inspiring monuments in their remote British settings have long exercised a powerful hold on people’s imagination. In this lavishly illustrated atlas, John Manley provides a beautiful and highly informative account of prehistoric British culture, revealing how the evidence of monuments, excavations and artefacts sheds light on the technological development, social organization, military exploits, and religious practices of these long-departed peoples.” -Publisher

Contents: The gathering bands, c500,000-5,000 BC — Tribes and tombs, c5,000-2,500 BC — Sunset over Stonehenge, c2,500-1,100 BC — Homes of the heroes, c1,100 BC-AD 43

The Provinces of the Roman Empire: The European Provinces

Selections from ‘The History of Rome’, vol 5, Book 8

Mommsen, Theodor
University of Chicago 1968        Dewey Dec.   936

Contents: The northern frontier of Italy – Spain – The Gallic provinces – Roman Germany and the free Germans – Britain – The Danubian lands and the wars on the Danube – Greek Europe

Ancient Spaniards

Nicolini, Gerard
Saxon House 1975        Dewey Dec.   936

“Long before the Greeks and Romans produced their sculptors and their architects whose work for centuries has dominated the curiosity of archaeologists and the avidity of collectors, the ancient Iberians created a ‘barbaric’ culture which only now is coming to light. Here is a fascinating description of primitive Spanish civilization, which is almost unknown to the cultivated world. The book clearly evaluates the impact of classical and other influences on the Iberian civilization and the primitive and indigenous vigour of temperament which formed it.” -Book jacket

Contents: Iberian remains in Spanish soil – Iberia in antiquity: a legendary Far West – Iberian civilization: the exploration of the land – Iberian civilization: political and social structures – Towns and architecture – Sculpture: the creative genius of Iberia – Iberian painted pottery – Metalwork and jewellery

Collected books on Military History

Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story. The Surprising Roots of the English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh

Oppenheimer, Stephen
Carroll & Graf 2006        Dewey Dec.   936

“History has long maintained that the Anglo-Saxon overtaking of the Iron Age Celts was the origin of the British people. Celtic Britain reconstructs the peopling of Britain — through a study of genetics, climatology, archaeology, language, culture, and history — and overturns that myth and others. The Anglo-Saxons, who supposedly conquered the Celts, contributed only five to ten percent of the British gene pool. The “Atlantic Celts,” long believed to have migrated to Britain from Central Europe around 300 BC during the Iron Age, can be linked genetically to the people of Basque country. And linguistic evidence suggests that, besides Celtic languages, a Germanic-type language similar to Norse was also spoken in Britain long before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. In this groundbreaking study, Stephen Oppenheimer explaines the surprising roots of the present-day cultural identities of the English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh.” -Publisher

Invasion: The Roman Conquest of Britain

Peddie, John
St. Martin’s 1987        Dewey Dec.   936

“The story of the Claudian Conquest of Britain was only partly recorded by ancient historians. Tacitus’ Annals break off at the death of Tiberius and his pages dealing with the events of the vital invasion years are missing. The narrative of Cassius Dio survives only as a collection of selected pieces… ‘Invasion’ is a military appraisal of the Claudian invasion; it takes a fresh look at the known facts and explores several new ideas. It should appeal to a wide readership interested in archaeological, historical and military matters.” -Book jacket

Contents: 1. Caesar’s British legacy — 2. The Roman army and its logistics — 3. The landings in Kent — 4. The battle on the Medway — 5. The fall of Colchester — 6. Caratacus’ fighting withdrawal — 7. The campaign in the west — 8. Defeat for Caratacus — 9. The Protagonists

The Druids

Piggott, Stuart
Praeger 1968        Dewey Dec.   936

Volume 63 in the series “Ancient Peoples and Places”. “Druid: member of the learned class among the ancient Celts. They seem to have requented oak forests and acted as priests, teachers, and judges. The earliest known records of the Druids come from the 3rd century BCE.” – Encyclopedia Britannica

Contents: The problems and the sources – The Celtic world of the Druids – The Druids in the classical and vernacular texts – The romantic image – Epilogue

Roman Britain: A Very Short Introduction

Salway, Peter
Oxford University 2000        Dewey Dec.   936

“Britain was within the orbit of Graeco-Roman civilization for at least half a millennium, and for over 350 years part of the political union created by the Roman Empire that encompassed most of Europe and all the countries of the Mediterranean. First published as part of the best-selling ‘Oxford Illustrated History of Britain’, Peter Salway’s ‘Very Short Introduction to Roman Britain’ weaves together the results of archaeological investigation and historical scholarship in a rounded and highly readable concise account. He charts the history of Britain from first invasion under Julius Caesar to the final collapse of the Romano-British way of life in the 5th century AD.” -Book jacket

Contents: I. The first Roman contacts. The British background — The expeditions of Caesar — From Caesar to Claudius. II. The Roman conquest. The Claudian invasion — Resistance and revolt — Recovery and advance — Hadrianic Britain — The Antonines. III. Imperial crisis and recovery. Civil war and its aftermath — From Caracalla to Diocletian — The Tetrarchy — Constantine the Great — The middle of the fourth century — The restoration of order. IV. Roman Britain and the fifth century world. The collapse of imperial rule — Britain, the end of the western empire, and the successor states. V. Britain under Roman rule. The assimilation of Britain — The historical geography of Roman Britain — Town and country — The economy — Religion and society.

Exploring Prehistoric Europe

Scarre, Christopher
Oxford University 1998        Dewey Dec.   936

“Part travel guide, part survey of Europe’s prehistory, Exploring Prehistoric Europe delves into fifteen of the most famous, most important, and most exciting archaeological sites in Europe. The first volume in the Places in Time series, this beautiful book takes us to locales both famous and obscure, from Ireland to Poland to Malta, ranging chronologically from Terra Amata, a site in southern France occupied some 380,000 years ago, to Borremose, a Danish settlement that dates to Roman times. For each location, the author conducts a careful tour of the existing remains, describes the history of its excavation, and then interprets how the site might have been built, used, or occupied.” -Publisher

Romans and Barbarians: The Decline of the Western Empire

Thompson, E.A.
University of Wisconsin 1982        Dewey Dec.   936

“In this collection of 12 essays, E.A. Thompson examines the fall of the Roman Empire in the West from the barbarian perspective and experience. Standard interpretations of the decline of the Roman empire in the West view the barbarian invaders as destroyers. Thompson, however, argues that the relationship between the invaders and the invaded was far more complex…” -Book jacket

Contents: Gaul – Italy – Noricum – Spain

Roman Britain

Wacher, John S.
Dent & Sons 1978        Dewey Dec.   936

“This book is an attempt to collect together the great mass of evidence, accumulated down to the end of 1976, relating to the Roman period of British history and to present it in a form which will be of use to the widest possible range of readers. The material has been gathered in an essentially non-historical way, although a broad outline of chronological development has been followed within each topic selected for discussion. Emphasis has been placed on the activities of the population; consequently the core of the book deals with their work and leisure.” -Author’s Preface

Contents: Britain before the Romans — Warfare and its consequences — Cities, towns and minor settlements — Farms and gardens — Organization and management — Work — Superstitions and beliefs — Leisure — And after the Romans?

Romans and Barbarians: Four Views from the Empire’s Edge

Williams, Derek
St. Martin’s 1999        Dewey Dec.   936

“From 27 B.C. to A.D. 117, the Roman dreams of boundless empire began to falter. The very size of their conquests made them hard to manage, and the caesars also had to accept the scale and intractability of the problems posed by the barbarians. The period covered by the book is one of great change and the opening of a new era. For the once mighty Romans this was a time when power was passing; for the barbarians it was the late Iron Age: a time of transition when internal stresses and fear of Roman aggression were creating dangerous shifts in the tribal equilibrium. Romans and Barbarians presents a vivid picture of two contrasting worlds; of history and prehistory, cheek-by-jowl, mutually uncomprehending, yet strangely unable to do without each other.” -Publisher

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