The Celts

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Before its decline in the first century B.C., the Celtic world stretched from the British Isles to the Carpathian Mountains and Asia Minor, and the Celts possessed their own vital and highly original civilization, revealed in the rich profusion of ornamental motifs that decorate Celtic weapons and artefacts. Their traditions live on in customs, names, and crafts, and they contributed greatly to the formation of Europe.

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Overview

Before its decline in the first century B.C., the Celtic world stretched from the British Isles to the Carpathian Mountains and Asia Minor, and the Celts possessed their own vital and highly original civilization, revealed in the rich profusion of ornamental motifs that decorate Celtic weapons and artefacts. Their traditions live on in customs, names, and crafts, and they contributed greatly to the formation of Europe.

Archaeological excavations have recovered some of the beautiful treasures of the Celts, as well as much evidence of their social and economic life. This revised paperback edition of the landmark volume that accompanied an exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi takes the reader on a voyage through many eras, places, and themes to rediscover the story of a people still in some ways shrouded in mystery. It reveals the aggressive voyages of the Celts to the shores of foreign civilizations, and evidence of their great sophistication--the Gallic calendar, their advanced agricultural techniques, their craftsmanship and metalwork. Written by scholars in the field, this is the ideal handbook on the Celtic culture.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This massive project--140 essays, nearly 1000 color illustrations, covering 800 pages--is an invaluable compendium that issues a significant corrective to the story of the settling of Western Europe. The Celtic civilization, in the popular mind long identified with the insular peoples of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany, has for a good part of a century been known to have far deeper roots in the heart of Europe. But the Celtic ways--oral traditions without a written literature and a famous druidic secrecy--made substantiation of this fact difficult. Collected here are the fruits of archeological digs of the 20th century, which through comparison dating of carved objects, cemeteries, bogs and ironwork have demonstated conclusively that the Celtic civilization was indeed a major influence in the development of the continent. A rugged people given to warring and mercenary work, located in the northern and eastern Alps circa the sixth century B.C., the Celts moved through France, Italy, Africa and finally to Britannia. One discovers here that not until the 1940s was a specific category of Celtic art in pre-Roman continental Europe identified; a convincing case for the aesthetic vision of the Celtic community is made. Readers should be warned: the texts are not popular history or archeology; they are larded with the presumptions of a close-knit, scholarly audience. Nonetheless, the tremendous scope and comprehensiveness of this volume offers something for everyone interested in the Celtic tradition. There is even a chapter on bogs. Kruta is professor at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris; Frey at Philipps-Universitat, Marburg; Raftery at University College, Dublin; and Szabo at University of Budapest. (Dec.)
Library Journal
This lavishly illustrated volume (1100 illustrations, 975 in color) serves as a worthy companion to a unique, major exhibition (``The Celts, the Origins of Europe,'' Palazzo Grassi, Venice, March-December 1991) involving over 200 European museums. The Celts is composed of more than 100 well-written short articles by various scholars covering all aspects of Celtic civilization including recent studies on specific aspects of Celtic art, history, archaeology, and culture. It begins with the ancient, prehistoric origins of the Celts in Central and Eastern Europe, continues by covering their expansions throughout history as far as the Iberian peninsula and the British Isles, and ends with articles on the modern Celts and the vestiges of the ancient civilization with us today. An excellent coffee-table type book, this is recommended for most libraries.-- Paula I. Nielson, Loyola Marymount Univ. Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847814077
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 6/15/1993
  • Pages: 800
  • Lexile: 1440L (what's this?)

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