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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graham Robb Rewires Brains
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...
Published 9 months ago by the macrae

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but unconvincing thesis
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...
Published 13 months ago by Nicolas Milne


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars How to ruin a good premise,, 5 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths (Kindle Edition)
Over written and pseudo scientific, pretending not to be.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new discovery but a complicated read, 13 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (Hardcover)
An interesting book and Robb's theory has possibly a lot going for it and is a few steps up from the ley line ideas but I got the feeling that the proof was possibly beyond the author or least it was very hard to understand and not clearly stated. His contention that the druids organised their celtic landscape to duplicate their religious beliefs was never strongly highlighted and the whole point of his account could be lost if this somewhat hidden statement was missed. I didn't like the way measurements, assumeably made by the Celtic 'surveyors' was expressed in exact modern units i.e. 15 mins. and a way to find true north by scribing arcs at 10am and 2pm when there was no way of knowing when these times were is plainly wrong. this diagram should have been left out. The note reference numbers were not in the text and I had to search for them at the back of the book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Following along nicely from The Discovery of France a very interesting and ..., 9 Sept. 2014
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Amazon Customer (On the wirral, UK. Look it up!) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths (Kindle Edition)
Following along nicely from The Discovery of France a very interesting and inspiring book. I have just made a diversion from a holiday on France to visit Samarabriva and will hopefully check out some other places.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly 'foot on paths' labour of love study and establishment of the Celtic map of Europe, 31 July 2014
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Jerome Whitney (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (Hardcover)
An incredibly 'foot on paths' labour of love study and establishment of the Celtic map of Europe. An incredible reference work to aid future historians rewrite the early history of following the last glacier era.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is it a serious essay?, 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (Hardcover)
There is one thing above all to say about this book: it's far too long.
It's interesting enough for its description of the Celts/Gauls, though I suspect that there's a good deal of imaginative reconstruction when it comes to the Druids. As far as I can see, Robb's authority for the latter is Book VI of de Bello Gallico and not much else, which he expands into an account that anybody with powers of deduction and imagination could have written. It's that sort of expansion which spoils the rest of the book, too.
A lot of people have wondered about the ease with which Caesar moved about Gaul, and have concluded that it wasn't exactly a trackless waste. I grant that the Celts had enough nous to establish networks for trade and communication, and that Caesar was probably aware of much of the detail before he set off to block a migration of the Helvetii. The speed with which the rabble of a quarter of a million was summoned to relieve the siege of Alesia supports this.
But to suggest that the Celts were able to survey over such great distances with the claimed accuracy implies such sophisticated techniques and instrumentation that some record would surely have survived. OK, I know the Druids were supposed to have everything by heart and nothing on paper, but are there no items of survey equipment extant? And how did they keep it all secret from the rest of the human race? And if the system was that good, how come the Romans, those great emulators in so many things, never adopted it?
In fact, and in the absence of magnetic compasses, trig points and the rest of the gubbins, the idea of datum lines based on the summer and winter solstices isn't at all bad, especially if every locality had its own versions ready laid out on that principle; but Robb's development is just too good to be true. Certainly, his idea is a whole lot better than ley-lines (which are too rough and approximate to be much more than a practical joke), but his 'evidence' looks too much like a fit-up. If a bit of really critical mathematical/statistical analysis with a strict assessment of probabilities could back him up, then the story would be different; as it is, all that Robb has so far done is to enormously over-egg a pudding which may have one or two genuinely interesting other ingredients.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New insights into the Druids, 18 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (Hardcover)
The basis of the book is the Druids' astronomy and their alignments along the paths of the summer and winter solstices. Many of Robb's postulates do seem to be borne out by his researches. I did find it rather heavy going at times; there is a vast amount of detail.

I didn't find any reference to the precession of the equinoxes, and I was left wondering whether this would have any effect on the alignments.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still reading, needs concentration., 17 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (Hardcover)
Not yet finished reading, but think will feel bereft when I do. Really enjoyed Robb's 'Discovery of France ' a few years ago . This is more complex but very interesting and worth the effort. His bicycle takes you to strange and intriguing places, so it is a pleasure to travel slowly.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 16 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (Hardcover)
Informative and fascinating, full of background detail and well researched (as you would expect of an award winning historian). I read it in a very short time for such a rich academic work and though some of the detail can be a bit dry, I can't remember when I last read something that stayed with me to such an extent that I feel the need for a sequel and was left wanting more. I shall probably read it again soon and I want to visit some of the places mentioned. This is a 'must have' book, well done Graham.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ancient Paths, 5 Nov. 2013
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Clare Ring (Newport Pagnell, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (Hardcover)
I really appreciate the idea behind this book - but, sorry Graham, I think that you've had trouble stretching the material far enough for a book; I feel as if I'm almost reading the same 'stuff' over and over.........it's hard to explain, but it seems to be the same basic facts dressed up in different language by the time I got to about the fourth chapter; with that stricture, this is interesting
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book shines some light into the "dark ages", 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: The Ancient Paths (Kindle Edition)
What a fascinating and well researched piece of work. Although the subject material seems esoteric, the writer's style makes this an easy read. It is a book that I will go back to and read again in order to fully appreciate the depth of the material. A book for any reader who prefers their historical reading to be researched rather than pure phantasy whilst at the same time, telling an interesting story about the lives of our ancestors.
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The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe
The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe by Graham Robb (Hardcover - 10 Oct. 2013)
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