I discovered an interesting book in my search of the university library. This book, The World of The Celts by Simon James, caught my attention because of its many photographs and reconstructions. This popular work combines ancient sources with the latest archaeological discoveries.
The book is divided into eleven chapters, each dealing with an aspect of the Celts. The most interesting chapters to me were The Patterns of Life and Gods and the Afterlife. In the Patterns of Life the author tries to convey how the ancient Celts lived. He deals with farming, housing, medicine, gender roles, and clothing styles. Also, the reconstructions of what a male and female Celt might have looked like are very enjoyable.
In "Gods and the Afterlife" James discusses the religions of the Celts, the most interesting being on the Druids. He states that modern research suggests the Druids were unique to the British Isles and did not start to spread to the other Celtic lands until the fourth Century BCE. Ancient sources would seem to substantiate this theory. For example, Caesar stated that for the best training, novices from Gaul were sent to Britain. If this theory is correct, then more research needs to be done on the religions of Celts from other regions of Europe.
The book contains three appendixes: a Glossary of Terms, a Gazetteer, and a Further Reading List. The Gazetteer lists collections of Celtic materials found in various museums around Europe.
In general the book is very good. The problem I have with it is that the author does provide any modern citations to support his conclusions.
The World of The Celts, Simon James, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1993, ISBN 0-500- 05067-8, Highly Recommended
This material is © Copyright 1996 by the author identified. Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick posts this article on the Internet by permission of the author. It may not be republished or reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the author or Keltria Journal. Links to this page may be established.
This material was first published in Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magic. For a copy of the issue that this article ran in, send $3.95 to Keltria Journal, P.O. Box 1060 Anoka, MN 55303-1060 and request the issue identified at the top of the page. For other subscription and ordering information, see our Order Form.
Back to Keltria Issue 30 Beltaine/Summer 96 Table of Contents