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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 20 October 2013
I bought this book on the basis of reviews in the national press and was expecting to learn more about the REAL ancient paths of France and Britain. I was sorely disappointed. What is offered is an unscientific rehash of imaginary Ley line mythology. The author talks about solar-based trajectories as if they are backed up by real roads, but the real roads at the time bear no relationship to any imaginary lines that go over mountains and bogs, and where there are still no roads.
The proposal that Boudicca set off to Colchester from Ely is dubious, as there was no good road out from there, and they would have easily been trapped; a good refuge but not a good place to gather people for an attack. No, Boudicca would have come down from Norwich, the Trinovantes from Ebury, and others up the roads from Chelmsford and the west.Likewise they would not have crossed the Thames downriver with thousands of warriors (and families) to attack London from the south. They would have kept to the roads in their state of the art chariots, and trapped the Londoners. The original Thames crossing (ford) was where Watling street met the river at Westminster. The author appears to be ignorant of the fact that the terrain off the main road was almost impassable, and the major long distance transport network was by river and sea. The book is utter and awful tosh.
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on 18 October 2013
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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on 31 July 2014
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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on 17 November 2013
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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on 16 December 2013
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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on 7 November 2013
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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on 7 November 2013
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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on 15 January 2015
Fascinating research in Celtic France. One has the impression that the Publisher said Does some in Britain for UK sale. Agree with Whitchurch centre of UK Centuration for Celts and Romans.

Comments re Romans in Scotland not correct, author following the Establishment`s claims, NOT the evidence on the ground..
Roman towns in Portsoy (Port as port for ships, soy=silk actually equals Asbestos, ex only site in UK. Cullen`s golf course situated in crater generated by Roman iron ore extraction. Lovely amphitheatre nearby. Mons Graupius by Portsoy, Burial sites of Caledonian Freedom fighters have been located..
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on 29 January 2014
I was looking forward to reading this but having done so I am very disappointed. The writing is dense which in itself is not a problem but I did find myself falling into that state of mind which often goes with more "fringe" theories. "Hasn't the author already said that about two chapters ago, Is he not just repackaging what is already said as a new "fact"? The author has seen "alignments" so can we all but that doesn't mean they exist.
The illustrations are poor, the maps often separated some distance from the text which they purport to illustrate, the line drawings eg the figure on celtic coins are poor and their is no explanation of their typology.
All in all it does nothing to convice this "ancient" geographer.
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on 19 May 2015
Fascinating theories about the world of the Celts with ample evidence to back it up. Shows the Celts in a new light and reveals how the Romans got all the credit for knowledge, wisdom and works of the culture they took over.
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