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Geraldine CM Byrne (dublin Ireland)
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Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature
Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature
by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.44

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 5 Jan 2007
It's not an easy book, but neither is it half so hard, or dry or difficult as you might fear. Don't be put off by the sheer size of this very weighty tome; the style is engaging, and if you have even a passing interest in the subject it will draw you in effortlessly.

The first section discusses and examines just what is "civilization"; thereafter the author takes us on a tour of several amazing civilizations to illustrate his position. This is never less than interesting and at times is extraordinary.

Worth reading, and worth reading slowly; savour and digest it.


Pagan Celtic Ireland: The Enigma of the Irish Iron Age
Pagan Celtic Ireland: The Enigma of the Irish Iron Age
by Barry Raftery
Edition: Paperback

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WIndow on Pagan Celtic Ireland, 26 Feb 2003
This book is both invaluable academically - and an interesting and entertaining read. Raftery has an easy style, and brings the subject to life with a deceptive ease: however the most exacting critic could not fault the academic contribution of this work.
He sets out to sift through the enigma that is the Irish Iron Age
and in the process questions a lot of our popular assumptions, from its links to La Tene culture to the question of a celtic invasion. He provides invaluable insight into various sites (both archaeologically and in terms of their social significance at the time) although for me the chapters on the "invisable people",(ie the ordinary population) and the building of the Bog Road were especial highlights.
He has re-evaluated commonly accepted dates and re-calibrated them with new information yielded by dendrochonology, again challenging assumptions about certain sites. The text is well linked all the way through with the illustrations found on almost every page, making his observations both clear and interesting, and the photographs of sites and finds are excellent. For non-academic readers the initial impression given by the book may be a little daunting but Raftery's style soon draws one in and the book is accessible - with a very little effort - to the amateur.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Celts, Pagan Ireland, prehistory or Iron Age.


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