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For two and a half thousand years the Celts have continued to fascinate those who have come into contact with them, yet their origins have remained a mystery and even today are the subject of heated debate among historians and archaeologists.
In this erudite and engaging illustrated history, Professor Cunliffe explores the archaeological reality of these bold warriors and skilled craftsmen of barbarian Europe who inspired fear in the Greeks and Romans. He investigates the texts of the classical writers and contrasts their view of the Celts with current archaeological findings. Tracing the emergence of chiefdoms and the fifth to third century migrations as far as Bosnia and the Czech republic and into Turkey, he assesses the disparity between the traditional and contemporary information on the Celts.
Other aspects of Celtic identity such as the cultural diversity of the tribes, their social and religious systems, art, language and law, are also examined and his account is magnificently illuminated with over two hundred illustrations, including colour and black and white photographs, and numerous maps. From the picture that emerges, Professor Cunliffe is able to distinguish between the original Celts, and tribes which were 'Celtized', thus giving us a new insight into the true identity of this ancient people.
List of Colour Plates
List of Maps
1. Visions of the Celts
2. The Reality of the Celts
3. Barbarian Europe and the Mediterranean: 1300-400 BC
4. The Migrations: 400-200 BC
5. Warfare and Society
6. The Arts of the Migration Period
7. Iberia and the Celtiberians
8. The Communities of the Atlantic Facade
9. The Communities of the Eastern Fringes
10. Religious Systems
11. The Developed Celtic World
12. The Celts in Retreat
13. Celtic Survival
A Guide to Further Reading