The Celtic Question: Modern Constructs and Ancient Realities


Author: Kim McCone

Publisher: School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Published: 2008

ISBN: 9781855002104

Pages: 56 including References


Review:

This very short book is a modified version of a lecture given by Kim McCone at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies on April 24, 2008. It was for the Myles Dillon Memorial.

McCones’ books are usually a hard read for me because I keep feeling like his anti-nativist attitude colours everything (usually he makes good points, it is just that I always feel like he is talking down to his audience). So, I was steeling myself to read this and keep an open mind. I’m glad I did.

This book can be seen as a rebuttal of the arguments made by Chapman (1992), James (1999) and others that have as the central premise of their books the fact that there is no such thing as Celts, or in the case of James, there is no such thing as Celts in the British Isle.

McCone pretty much refutes all their arguments effectively, using the same sources that they do more effectively. These sources include the classical writer, archaeology and linguistics. Be prepared for a bit of linguistic reconstruction for the word Celtic and be prepared to be wowed.

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