The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Ancient Paths: Discov... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Trade in your item
Get a £0.35
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe Hardcover – 10 Oct 2013

65 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£20.00
£4.90 £3.05
£20.00 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card for your child's school by voting for their favourite book. Learn more.
  • Prepare for the summer with our pick of the best selection for children (ages 0 - 12) across Amazon.co.uk.

Frequently Bought Together

The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe + The Discovery of France
Price For Both: £29.98

One of these items is dispatched sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together


Win a £5,000 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card and 30 Kindle E-readers for your child or pupil's school.
Vote for your child or pupil(s) favourite book(s) here to be in with a chance to win.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (10 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330531506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330531504
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'He is such a warm, gentle and generous writer, with no faux scholarly tosh or solitary ecstasy riffs [and] Robb's own calm eloquence is deeply persuasive . . . If Graham Robb has discovered that Ancient Gaul was arranged as a reflection of the universe, then that amazing discovery, and this heroically courageous publication of it, is a wonder and a marvel.' Adam Nicolson, Evening Standard

‘Presenting one of the most astonishing, significant discoveries in recent memory, Robb, winner of the Duff Cooper Prize and Ondaatje Award for The Discovery of France, upends nearly everything we believe about the history—or, as he calls it, protohistory—of early Europe and its barbarous Celtic tribes and semimythical Druids. Popularly dismissed as superstitious, wizarding hermits, Robb demonstrates how the Druids were perhaps the most intellectually advanced thinkers of their age: scientists and mathematicians who, through an intimate knowledge of solstice lines, organized their towns and cities to mirror the paths of their Sun god, in turn creating the earliest accurate map of the world. In his characteristically approachable yet erudite manner, Robb examines how this network came to be and also how it vanished, trampled over by a belligerent Rome, which has previously received credit for civilizing Europe—though in Robb’s account, Caesar, at the helm, appears dim, unwitting, and frankly lucky, and the (often literally) deeply buried Celtic beliefs and innovations seem more relevant in modern Europe than previously assumed. Like the vast and intricate geographical latticework that Robb has uncovered, the book unfurls its secrets in an eerie, magnificent way—a remarkable, mesmerizing, and bottomless work.' Publishers Weekly, Starred Review and Pick of the Week

an enthralling new history . . . 'Important if true' . . . rings loud in the ears as one reads the latest book by Graham Robb, a biographer and historian of distinction whose new work, if everything in it proves to be correct, will blow apart two millennia of thinking about Iron Age Britain and Europe and put several scientific discoveries back by centuries . . . it presents extraordinary conclusions in a deeply persuasive and uncompromising manner. What surfaces from these elegant pages - if true - is nothing less than a wonder of the ancient world: the first solid evidence of Druidic science and its accomplishments and the earliest accurate map of a continent . . . a book almost indecently stuffed with discoveries . . . suggestions follow thick and fast, backed by a mixture of close reading, mathematical construction and scholarly detective work . . . Robb manages his revelations with a showman's skill, modestly conscious that his book is unfurling a map of Iron Age Europe and Britain that has been inaccessible for millennia. Every page produces new solutions to old mysteries, some of them so audacious that the reader may laugh aloud . . . Beautifully written . . . It's a magnificent piece of historical conjecture, backed by a quizzical scholarly intellect and given a personal twist by experiment . . . watching its conclusions percolate through popular and academic history promises to be thrilling. Reading it is already an electrifying and uncanny experience: there is something gloriously unmodern about seeing a whole new perspective on history so comprehensively birthed in a single book. If true, very important indeed. (Daily Telegraph)

'One certainly has to admire the perseverance Robb has shown, not just researching in libraries and map rooms, but also following trails on the ground. Fifteen thousand miles on a bike, very often to places that no tourist or researcher has ever visited or even inquired about before . . . If you accept Robb's complex arguments, drawn from astronomy, philology, archaeology and history, you do indeed get a new view of an ancient civilisation . . . all those miles on the bike. All those archaeological discoveries pointed out. If nothing else, The Ancient Paths creates a new respect for the ancient Gauls, and the ancient Britons. Whatever Caesar may have said, they weren't all woad and moustaches.' Tom Shippey, Guardian

'remarkable . . . an overarching, wondrous reworking of history rooted in painstaking, if not obsessive, research. And if its fantastical connections and arcane details leave the reader reeling, perhaps that is merely a reflection of the astounding complexity and continuing mystery of a lost civilisation that Graham Robb has restored to its rightful place.' Philip Hoare, Literary Review

'The findings of Graham Robb, a biographer and historian, bring into question two millennia of thinking about Iron Age Britain and Europe and the stereotyped image of Celts as barbarous, superstitious tribes.' Daily Telegraph

'a wonderful writer . . . No one else can make a bike ride through the French countryside so enthralling. No one else so relishes the odd corners of history.' Sunday Times

An ingenious and thoroughly gripping historical and archaeological bolt from the blue (Books of the Year New Statesman)

'The Romans did a good job of writing their predecessors out of history . . . As the conquerors got to write the history, we have to rely on their account of what they found. But as Robb makes clear, they told only part of the story.' Observer

'Robb produces an elaborately detailed account of [Celtic] society and ideas . . . Those who enjoy a mixture of myth and archaeology, who admire a vivid metaphor and a fine turn of phrase, will find much in this book to enjoy.' New Statesman

'How do you make a Celt cross? Build over his road and claim it as Roman.' Daily Mail

Robb brings to life a little-known but fascinating period of history (Nexus)

Book Description

From the award-winning author of THE DISCOVERY OF FRANCE and PARISIANS

The dazzling new book from the bestselling author Graham Robb contains a discovery that will transform your understanding of pre-Roman Europe.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By the macrae on 5 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Reading Graham Robb books is like getting your brain rewired. Exhausting, amazing and no anaesthetic needed. He makes and remakes connections in ways that never cease to astonish me. Remember his book on Paris where a meeting at the Paris Gas company is linked to the survival of alchemy and predictions of nuclear war carved on a doorway of Notre Dame cathedral? Well with this book he is at again. Who is this guy? HIs publishers (wisely or unwisely) made a video of him talking about the book and there he is - a gaunt face, week's growth of pepper and salt beard and that Ancient Mariner glint in his eye warning of the tale he has to tell - he totally looks the part - a dug-up Druid come from your local omphalos to re-initiate us into the learning of our ancestors. Which is what he does in this book. Robb takes great pains to create distance between himself and the old hippy tales of ley lines. He worries about the state of his 'mental equipment' and admits early on that to 'stare at a series of lines on a map, and eventually s pattern will appear as surely as a human destiny in a fortune-teller's teacup'. He wants the subject to be taken seriously and makes this a scholarly endeavour which makes the book hard going at times. The reader tends to get lost and perhaps the author too in keeping it all connected while adding yet more straw to the brick of proof. How on earth do we end up at the battle of Mons Graupius not only described but location discovered. - knowledge that has eluded historians for centuries. There is a risk that you forget why this particular exposition matters - why are we visiting St Pancras station left luggage office?Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nicolas Milne on 21 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like Grahams Robb's books particularly his great biographies of Rimbaud and Balzac. My problem with this stems from the attempt to construct a theory based on scant evidence regarding the Druids. The book .as with all his others, is a very good read but the archaeologist in me isn't convinced and I was reminded of the debate over Ley Lines.
The mixture of some bits of evidence and some speculation lacks the archaeological evidence needed to construct such a rigid theory.
I still enjoyed it however and will continue to buy his books.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. J. O'Brien on 26 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback
Just for fun I’ve been writing the memo that the publisher’s editor should have sent to the author a couple of years ago.

Mr Robb, I have seen far worse from other writers, but I do think you should restructure your text to make the logic of the book easier to follow. I warn you though that by presenting the material more clearly you will then be exposing some awkward weaknesses, which will need further work to repair.
What follows is my three-paragraph summary of the book’s thesis:

The configuration of the main pre-Roman settlements all over Gaul looks as if it was planned in certain very specific ways. Thus, for example, there is as a matter of geography a certain notional straight line, due north and south through Gaul, which is the longest line that is physically possible given the shape of the land; a number of settlements are located exactly on that line. As another example, a number of settlements are located relative to each other on a compass bearing of 57.53 degrees from due north. As a matter of astronomy, on the longest day of the year in Gaul in that epoch the point on the horizon where the sun rose happened to be 57.53 degrees from due north.
The predominance of these and a couple of other analogous relations between settlement locations is so striking that one must assume that the configuration of the whole was consciously designed. It seems that whenever a new settlement was needed its location was carefully chosen to be on a certain standard bearing from other locations. Over the centuries a configuration of settlements developed, that was very rich in cases of this 57.53 degrees bearing and a couple of others.
Why did the Gauls do this? For religious reasons.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Merlin on 9 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading this book on and off for the last few months. I am about half way through it and I must admit that I'm struggling with Robb's 'The Ancient Paths'. I so much wanted it to be true but I find that some of the conclusions drawn are done so without a great deal of supporting factual evidence. This may change as I work through the rest of the book and I sincerely hope that it provides the compelling evidence needed to support his theories.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By mark taylor on 30 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
The front cover illustration features a man standing beside his bicycle, giving the impression this book might be a travelogue - a genial cycling tour of France in search of old and forgotten trackways.

This is NOT THE CASE. The book is, in fact, a densely-written and often turgid history of Gaul, viewed through a highly esoteric lens. The author proposes that pre-Roman France (and Britain) was laid out according to geomantic principles by Druids, based on an interconnecting matrix of dead-straight solstice lines and meridians.

While I acknowledged this and embarked upon the book with eyes wide open, some of the author's conclusions are very hard to swallow. There's no doubt that sites of ancient sanctity were aligned to and along the solstice sunrise / sunset (the Stonehenge complex being the obvious example), but the author's evidence for large-scale Iron Age organisation is dubious; as always in these kinds of books, there's a lot of speculation dressed up as fact.

Graham Robb seems to be a respected scholar, so this book is either a carefully-constructed joke or career suicide. There may be some truth in his hypotheses, but to quote the author, 'it can never be said too often that a straight line drawn between a handful of points is not necessarily significant.'
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback