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Exploring The World Of , " The Celts " : Paperback – 12 Sep 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; 1st. Paperback Edition edition (12 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500279985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500279984
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 0.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 496,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a British archaeologist, and work as a university teacher in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester in the English Midlands. In addition to my academic research and teaching, I also write books for non-specialist audiences, both adults and children, and like to create my own illustrations, with pen, camera and computer.

My main areas of interest are the Romans and the societies they encountered, especially the peoples of Iron Age Europe, and those of the Middle East (including the Parthian and Sasanian empires).

I study how these societies defined, defended and maintained themselves--ancient identity groups, and conflict between and within them. Violence, armed violence and warfare were common experiences, even integral to the nature of past societies--not least, the Roman empire. The sword was central to the history of the era, and I seek to reintregrate its study into general archaeological and historical understandings of the past, which in recent times have often tended to treat it as peripheral.

Product Description

Review

"Richly illustrated... sheds a strong light on the art and life of a gifted people."

About the Author

Simon James read archaeology at the London Institute of Archaeology, where he also took his PhD. He has been a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Leicester since 2000.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Nov. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Simon James' overview of the Celtic Iron Age is a good read, and a solid 'first book' to read about the Celts. Better than Cunliffe's Ancient Celts, but I would always say that Collis' European Iron Age is the best overview out there.
However, James' book is an easy read and has lots of illustrations. Just don't make this the only book you ever read on the Celts, because you'll only get part of the story!
As an aside, James' book on the Atlantic Celts is another great title, and far surpasses this earlier effort.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 May 2001
Format: Paperback
An absolute must for all students of the "Celtic" world of the Iron Age as a starting point. It leads the reader from the end of the Bronze Age to the Roman Conquest and beyond, giving possible explanations for the changes, but leaving room for further developments. The subtlties of the subject are introduced without swamping the reader with detail and conflicting ideas. Beautifuly illustrated. This book iluminates all the points that it makes, using maps, drawings and photos, which makes it a far more useful and interesting introductory volume than many others on the departmental reading list.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pawsy Bear on 17 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Think the title says it all. A good introduction to the the Celts covering all aspects of their culture. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested starting to explore the world of the Celts. Plenty of pictures, drawings and maps.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Museum Walk 30 Jun. 2003
By Patricia T. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I read the paperback edition of this book, but this account of the Celtic life and its interaction with the Roman Empire is much like a walk through a prominent museum. The sections are succinct and strike a fair balance between archeological/anthropological fact and general interest. The time frame and breadth of countries are far-reaching. However, I thought the author was adept at linking it all and keeping continuity in a "plot line" that spanned nearly a millenium.
The book is well illustrated and as much time can be invested in addressing the illustrations as reading the text. Essentially the book explains the provenance of those with Western European roots and underscores, again, how markedly the Roman Empire influenced what was to become modern Europe.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The Best Introduction to the Celts Ever! Also for the know it alls. 15 Feb. 2007
By Abeer A. E. Alkhamees - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a lot of books on the Celts, as they happen to be a passion of mine. So when a friend of mine asked me to read this book and tell him how acurrate it is, of course I jumped at the chance.

First off this book is great for both beginners in the field and for people who are not, but want to update their information. It has beautiful pictures accompanied with lots of information and trivia.

It talks about all the new ideas that have been discovered lately and corrects a lot of others that have been going around for years.

I bought my own copy after reading my friends and now I use it as a reference for my students ( I teach Celtic History of the Internet).

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to REALLY learn about the Celts and where they came from, and their beautiful culture.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A good introduction but some blind spots 13 Sept. 2009
By Christopher R. Travers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First the good. This is a fairly good introduction to many elements of the lives of the ancient Celts. (The Celts are properly thought of as a culturo-linguistic grouping rather than a group of ancient nation-states.) The author is obviously an archaeologist and approaches a lot of questions from this perspective. A great deal of emphasis is placed on material culture which, is fascinating in its own right, but leaves us with a rather incomplete picture of Celtic life. (Studies in comparative law, mythology, and ritual structure are also important but largely ignored here.)

The book is fairly useful and worth studying as an introduction to Celtic studies generally, but it doesn't really go beyond the introduction level.

A second issue comes with the focus on material culture. Certain important elements, such as the importance of Celtic tribes raiding eachother, get underemphasized yet these are where the main advancements in Celtic warfare came from including the 4-pommeled stirrup, etc. This may leave the reader with an impression of a more unified Celtic confederation than actually existed.

All in all, this is probably the best introduction to Celtic material culture that is written. It is accessible and wide-ranging, but not quite comprehensive nor without blindspots. On the whole, I would recommend it.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A surprising good little book 2 Jun. 2005
By Hallstatt Prince - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Although someone skimpy on information in places this book is a fairly good introduction and also should have a place in anyone's Celtic library. The illustration depicting the handle assembly of a La Tene sword is alone worth the price of the book for those interested in the archeological artifacts of the Celts.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
An easily accessible reference to celtic history 6 Feb. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
James' book is the best starting point for an overall study of the world of the Celts, with plenty of photographs and illustrations that further enhance his writing. Each section opens up new horizons of study, with an appendix of further reading divided into categories of interest to guide the reader on his or her way.
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