Celtic Warriors: The Armies of One of the First Great Peoples in Europe by Dáithí Ó hÓgáin
Synopsis: Sometimes touching and sometimes horrifying, here is the definitive guide to the history of Celtic wars and their warriors. 170 photos, maps, and charts.
Review: Not a large book by any means, including the Index it is 128 pages, but an interesting one none the less. It is very well illustrated with photos, maps and charts and obviously very well researched. The author does, of course, admit to the limitations that he had to work with, things like no written history by the Celts and most of what we do know comes from archeology and what other classical writers had written about them.
The author talks about the appearance, fighting styles, and history of these ancient warriors using words that capture the reader’s attention. By telling the history of the warriors of ancient Gaul, Britain, Ireland, Celtiberia, and Galatia, he effectively gives the whole history of these realms as it is known to us from the point of view of the warriors and how they warred. The author reveals, like most books on this topic, the various strengths and weaknesses of the ancient Gauls – tall, strong, and courageous, but also superstitious, undisciplined, and prone to heavy drinking and fighting amongst themselves.
I think the best part of the book apart from the written word and the photos is the Appendix. The Appendix lists all the tribes that have shown a Celtic culture and which region they can be found in. The book is copyrighted to 1999 so as with any history book that is a bit old be sure to check the information with anything current on the same subject (though I think that something that is geared towards only warriors is not available in the same way, if anyone has a book on the subject other than this one please let me know.).
A very enjoyable book added to my library, small enough to be read quickly but still valuable enough to be kept as a reference book.