Foundations of the Gaels


Foundation of the Gaels is a course on Udemy given by Tyler Hackworth, historian and storyteller, who has a B.A. in History, a Certificate of Celtic Studies, and a M.A. in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies.

The course is divided into two parts, the first was the ancient Celts and the second was the Celts in the Classical World. All in all there was 13 small lectures, 4 – 7 minutes long, an Introduction video and 2 simple quizzes that check your knowledge of the videos. The lecturer provided a PDF file containing a bibliography and further reading.

The first section had some retellings of Irish myths and a little bit of history. The second section had a very general history of the Celts in the continent and in Britain and their interactions with the Romans, Greeks and the rest of the world.

I think the lecturer fell into some pit falls when he was taking about the history of the Celts which many other scholars fell into in the 1980-1990s, for example; the massive Celtic migrations, which archaeology has not found a lot of evidence for. I also have a few problems with his interpretation of the Irish myths when it comes to Cú Chulainn but then I have these with a lot of people including some of my friends.

Another problem I had, which is my own learning preference and not the lecturers fault, is that it was the lecturer standing there and basically talking. I’m a visual person and I like to have something to read or look at. I found myself zoning out sometimes even though the lectures were pretty short.  If he had had maps up there or some bullet points to look at while he was talking I probably would not have zoned out.

The file containing the bibliography and further reading books contained a lot of good books but they were also a bit old for the most part. Some of them are from Osprey which mostly caters to the re-enactment crowd. They are good books with some good scholarship behind them but they are very simplistic.

I’d give this course a 3.5/5 and wouldn’t recommend it to people with advanced knowledge or ones who want a full historical picture. I would recommend it to people who are interested in a general idea of the beginnings of the Celts but ask that they supplement it with a history book.

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One thought on “Foundations of the Gaels

  1. ristoria says:

    Thanks for the review! I may give the class a shot now!

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