The Celtic World Edited by Miranda J. Green

Synopsis: The ancient Celts, in their heyday, inhabited much of Europe north of the Alps. This new and exhaustive study examines this fascinating people from the first evidence of Celts in the archaeological and historical record to the early post Roman period. The Celtic World is one of the most comprehensive studies of the Celts in recent years, with new research material from leading Celtic scholars from Europe, Britain and America. The book includes chapters on archaeology, language, literature, warfare, rural life, towns, art, religion and myth, trade and industry, political organization, society and technology. It also looks at the Celts in Italy, Spain, France, Eastern Europe, the Rhineland, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and concludes with a survey of modern Celts and how they view their Celtic identity. The Celtic World will be invaluable for students and academics of Celtic studies, and of interest to anyone fascinated by the Celts.

Review: This book was a surprise for me.  It was recommended to my by a friend and based on this recommendation as soon as I found it I just snapped it up.  When it arrived I just couldn’t figure out why it was so heavy!  So you can imagine my surprise when I opened the package.  I also thought that Miranda J. Green wrote this book but the truth is Miranda J. Green EDITED it.

This book is based on a good historical and archaeological research and it makes for a good reference book for Celtic studies. It covers many different and important topics and is very well written and edited. The book is a collection of essays centered on different topics and written by such names as Daphne Nash Briggs, Jeffery L. Davis, D. Ellis Evans, Proinsias Mac Cana, Ruth and Vincent Megaw, Stuart Piggott, Barry Raftery, David Rankin, Ann Ross, Miranda Green and many others.

This book is copyrighted to 1995 and 1996 so it is a little out of date but not by much I would say.  The information in it was a delight to read, the essays are well thought out and easy to get into.  The information is very interesting and encompasses every aspect of the Celtic culture and life and it looks at all the Celts that lived in Europe. I consider this book a little Encyclopedia (not so little with 839 pages).


14 thoughts on “The Celtic World Edited by Miranda J. Green

  1. I tend to avoid Miranda Green as her reasoning is not well thought out and recently in the Celtic Nation message group someone quoted what she said about Donn in one of her books with the two references.

    I checked one of them, the group owner checked the other out and the references did not bear out what she was saying at all.

    • celticscholar says:

      In most cases, I would agree, but this is edited by her not written by her. The essays are written by giants in their fields. She has like two essays in the whole book which is pretty lengthy. Don’t dismiss a book just because one writer out of twenty is not very reliable, her facts are correct but the conclusions she tends to reach are iffy. She is a lot like Peter Ellis in his prejudices. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t read them just that we should exercise caution when we do.

      • The difference between her and Peter Ellis Beresford is that I get too annoyed with her to finish reading!

        She seems to make Superman-like leaps of logic which leave me riled-up at her.

        I quite like PBE, but take him with a pinch of salt…

        • celticscholar says:

          Again, this book is not written by her just edited by her. This is a book of essays on different subjects. I actually like her writing style but like PBS I take her facts and leave her leaps of logic behind.

  2. ghaois anam says:

    You should always read, study, and observe that which you do not understand or agree with. Even if you don’t find something you think will be of value, you will at the very least strengthen your own opinion by knowing the opposition.

    To me this sounds like a great reference book to keep on the shelf. I will have to look into it.

    • celticscholar says:

      That is how I see it too.

    • So have you read the Bible yet? It’s quite good in places.

      • celticscholar says:

        I can’t be sure of you are being sarcastic or not and I can’t speak for ghaois anam, but I have read the Bible, the Quran and the Torah. I think it is silly to reject a religion before first studying it and knowing what it is all about.

        • Yes, I was being sarcastic. I have a list of around twenty five Irish books to read and I simply don’t have the time to read authors or editors who annoy the hell out of me.

          I’m not going to devote the time to read essays edited by someone who I know to be suspect when I have authors like Nora Chadwick, Anne Ross, Kuno Meyer and texts like The Auraceipt to read.

          I have not enough time and too many books to read.

          • celticscholar says:

            That of course is your prerogative. No one is forcing you to read anything. I am giving my opinions here and this is all it is my views on things. You can take them or leave them.

  3. I just wanted to say that I wasn’t being sarcastic when I said the Bible has good bits in it : I like most of Acts.

  4. ghaois anam says:

    Quercus Robur – Were you being sarcastic or not? One post says you were and another says you were not.

    Celtic Scholar – I have probably 5-6 different copies of the Bible at my home. I have one translated copy of the Quran. I also have the Baghavad Gita, The book of Mormon, and countless other books on religious faith and teachings, including Buddhism, Taosim, Native American spirituality, Paganism, and a vast array of others. I can not say that I have ever sat and read anyone of them from front to back in one sitting, but over time I have probably read all of them pretty thoroughly.

    I may not always agree with your opinion, but I respect it. That is why I read your reviews. I myself don’t have time to read everything I want, but I have elevated some books in my backlog simply based off of your review. Keep it up.

  5. Dafydd says:

    I was lucky enough to order a rather cheap copy of this expensive book this week.I’m looking forward to its arrival. Thank you for the review, as I haven’t seen much info about this book, except that it contained some essays from some well-regarded Celtic scholars.

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