23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Not what you're expecting,
This review is from: The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (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.'
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Initial post: 11 Feb 2014 11:06:38 GMT
Paul Grice says:
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