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The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (English Edition) von [Robb, Graham]
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The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe (English Edition) Kindle Edition

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'remarkable . . . an overarching, wondrous reworking of history rooted in painstaking, if not obsessive, research. And if its fantastical connections and arcane details leave the reader reeling, perhaps that is merely a reflection of the astounding complexity and continuing mystery of a lost civilisation that Graham Robb has restored to its rightful place.' Philip Hoare, Literary Review

'a wonderful writer . . . No one else can make a bike ride through the French countryside so enthralling. No one else so relishes the odd corners of history.' Sunday Times

'Robb produces an elaborately detailed account of [Celtic] society and ideas . . . Those who enjoy a mixture of myth and archaeology, who admire a vivid metaphor and a fine turn of phrase, will find much in this book to enjoy.' New Statesman

'He is such a warm, gentle and generous writer, with no faux scholarly tosh or solitary ecstasy riffs [and] Robb's own calm eloquence is deeply persuasive . . . If Graham Robb has discovered that Ancient Gaul was arranged as a reflection of the universe, then that amazing discovery, and this heroically courageous publication of it, is a wonder and a marvel.' Adam Nicolson, Evening Standard

'The findings of Graham Robb, a biographer and historian, bring into question two millennia of thinking about Iron Age Britain and Europe and the stereotyped image of Celts as barbarous, superstitious tribes.' Daily Telegraph

‘Presenting one of the most astonishing, significant discoveries in recent memory, Robb, winner of the Duff Cooper Prize and Ondaatje Award for The Discovery of France, upends nearly everything we believe about the history―or, as he calls it, protohistory―of early Europe and its barbarous Celtic tribes and semimythical Druids. Popularly dismissed as superstitious, wizarding hermits, Robb demonstrates how the Druids were perhaps the most intellectually advanced thinkers of their age: scientists and mathematicians who, through an intimate knowledge of solstice lines, organized their towns and cities to mirror the paths of their Sun god, in turn creating the earliest accurate map of the world. In his characteristically approachable yet erudite manner, Robb examines how this network came to be and also how it vanished, trampled over by a belligerent Rome, which has previously received credit for civilizing Europe―though in Robb’s account, Caesar, at the helm, appears dim, unwitting, and frankly lucky, and the (often literally) deeply buried Celtic beliefs and innovations seem more relevant in modern Europe than previously assumed. Like the vast and intricate geographical latticework that Robb has uncovered, the book unfurls its secrets in an eerie, magnificent way―a remarkable, mesmerizing, and bottomless work.' Publishers Weekly, Starred Review and Pick of the Week

'One certainly has to admire the perseverance Robb has shown, not just researching in libraries and map rooms, but also following trails on the ground. Fifteen thousand miles on a bike, very often to places that no tourist or researcher has ever visited or even inquired about before . . . If you accept Robb's complex arguments, drawn from astronomy, philology, archaeology and history, you do indeed get a new view of an ancient civilisation . . . all those miles on the bike. All those archaeological discoveries pointed out. If nothing else, The Ancient Paths creates a new respect for the ancient Gauls, and the ancient Britons. Whatever Caesar may have said, they weren't all woad and moustaches.' Tom Shippey, Guardian

'an enthralling new history . . . 'Important if true' . . . rings loud in the ears as one reads the latest book by Graham Rob, a biographer and historian of distinction whose new work, if everything in it proves to be correct, will blow apart two millennia of thinking about Iron Age Britain and Europe and put several scientific discoveries back by centuries . . . it presents extraordinary conclusions in a deeply persuasive and uncompromising manner. What surfaces from these elegant pages - if true - is nothing less than a wonder of the ancient world: the first solid evidence of Druidic science and its accomplishments and the earliest accurate map of a continent . . . a book almost indecently stuffed with discoveries . . . suggestions follow thick and fast, backed by a mixture of close reading, mathematical construction and scholarly detective work . . . Robb manages his revelations with a showman's skill, modestly conscious that his book is unfurling a map of Iron Age Europe and Britain that has been inaccessible for millennia. Every page produces new solutions to old mysteries, some of them so audacious that the reader may laugh aloud . . . Beautifully written . . . It's a magnificent piece of historical conjecture, backed by a quizzical scholarly intellect and given a personal twist by experiment . . . watching its conclusions percolate through popular and academic history promises to be thrilling. Reading it is already an electrifying and uncanny experience: there is something gloriously unmodern about seeing a whole new perspective on history so comprehensively birthed in a single book. If true, very important indeed.' (Daily Telegraph)

'The Romans did a good job of writing their predecessors out of history . . . As the conquerors got to write the history, we have to rely on their account of what they found. But as Robb makes clear, they told only part of the story.' Observer

An ingenious and thoroughly gripping historical and archaeological bolt from the blue (Books of the Year New Statesman)


From the award-winning author of THE DISCOVERY OF FRANCE and PARISIANS

The dazzling new book from the bestselling author Graham Robb contains a discovery that will transform your understanding of pre-Roman Europe.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 14605 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 400 Seiten
  • Verlag: Picador; Auflage: Reprints (10. Oktober 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1447240499
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447240495
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #67.932 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Das ist ein sehr wichtiges Buch. Die meisten Leser werden die Bedeutung dieser kreativen Dokumentation nicht verstehen, weil noch so Vieles das die Kelten betrifft, besonders die Kulturen in Zentraleuropa, unbekannt geblieben ist. Römer und dann die christlichen Machthaber habe alles unternommen keltische Wertvorstellungen, ihre Kosmologie, ihren Glauben ihr Naturverständnis und ihre großen psychologischen Kenntnisse, die im Druidentum zum Ausdruck gebracht wurden, auszurotten. Es ist Ihnen aber nicht gelungen wie der Autor diese Buches unter Beweis stellt.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.9 von 5 Sternen 10 Rezensionen
17 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen Needs a Good Edit to Tackle Some Awkward Questions 26. März 2015
Von B. J. O'Brien - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
Just for fun I’ve been writing the memo that the publisher’s editor should have sent to the author a couple of years ago.

Mr Robb, I have seen far worse from other writers, but I do think you should restructure your text to make the logic of the book easier to follow. I warn you though that by presenting the material more clearly you will then be exposing some awkward weaknesses, which will need further work to repair.
What follows is my three-paragraph summary of the book’s thesis:

The configuration of the main pre-Roman settlements all over Gaul looks as if it was planned in certain very specific ways. Thus, for example, there is as a matter of geography a certain notional straight line, due north and south through Gaul, which is the longest line that is physically possible given the shape of the land; a number of settlements are located exactly on that line. As another example, a number of settlements are located relative to each other on a compass bearing of 57.53 degrees from due north. As a matter of astronomy, on the longest day of the year in Gaul in that epoch the point on the horizon where the sun rose happened to be 57.53 degrees from due north.
The predominance of these and a couple of other analogous relations between settlement locations is so striking that one must assume that the configuration of the whole was consciously designed. It seems that whenever a new settlement was needed its location was carefully chosen to be on a certain standard bearing from other locations. Over the centuries a configuration of settlements developed, that was very rich in cases of this 57.53 degrees bearing and a couple of others.
Why did the Gauls do this? For religious reasons.

One minimum requirement of any improved draft of this book is that the reader should grasp with absolute clarity that the above is the thesis that the book is conveying. Moreover, the reader should always clearly see which bits of detail in the book serve to support which part of the thesis, and how.
Now once that thesis is expressed in a concise, neutral way a number of fundamental matters will occur to the thoughtful editor helping you make your book as robust as possible. Here are some:

1 Exactly what set of ‘settlements’ in Gaul does the thesis claim to embrace? (Surely not merely those settlements which happen to fit the thesis, while ignoring those that don’t.) Is the claim that every one of the 300 most notable Gaulish settlements fits into the configuration? Or all those of a certain type but none of some other type? Or all those of some defined type but with only a 95% success rate? Or what? This is really a very important point. It is not very respectable to come up with a new theory about the properties of all things of type X and then to be bashful about what things you are counting as being a type- X and what you are not. This matter of the scope of the thesis needs to be cleared up once and for all.

2 What possible geometric relations between settlement locations are needed in order to explain the full configuration: due-north lines and 57.53 degree lines are two of the relations used, as mentioned above, and the maps in the book show a couple more. But what precisely is the minimum set of possible relations that is sufficient to explain the whole configuration? (Plainly the fewer there are the better for the plausibility of the thesis.) Stating that prominently would dispel any impression that the author has used whatever geometric relations he happened to need to fit everything into the configuration.

3 Within the constraints of the possible geometric relations just mentioned, what determines why some particular relations between settlements exist and some others do not? For example, the settlement of Alessia is related to certain other settlements by 57.53 degree lines and to some other settlements by lines at a couple of other angles, but to none does it have a relation in a due north-south or east-west relation; why? Poitiers on the other hand has relatively few relations to other settlements and then only due east-west. Can such things be explained? If so, it would make a richer thesis.

4 With any thesis of this type the null hypothesis is that all or most of the observed regularities arose by chance. I don’t think you’ve done enough yet to take on this awkward objection. People have used statistical techniques to study the validity of the comparable (though of course quite different) case of lay lines. Perhaps you could look into that work and see whether your own thesis can withstand the statistical tests that lay lines, it seems, cannot.

5 How did the Gauls’ beliefs about the sun and gods and heroes lead them to the project of building a configuration of settlements of this general character and specifically this configuration? It isn’t obvious. After all, many other people worshipped the sun without designing configurations of settlements. In the three-paragraph summary of the thesis above I wrote with deliberate lameness that the Gauls did all this for religious reasons, and more than this I couldn’t get out of the book’s text. This aspect I find the the weakest part of the book. There is to be sure some stuff about Celtic mythology but it is so metaphorical and whimsical that it is no use at all in explaining why the Gauls build their settlements in their particular configuration. This part of the thesis is seriously in need of improvement.

6 The book’s thesis entails that the Gauls performed prodigies of skilful surveying, in order, for example, to align one new settlement exactly on a notional line with another far away across some mountains. The current text says very little to justify that ability. Can you do something to strengthen that part of the thesis?

7 How special is this Gaulish phenomenon? Is it the case that these Gauls were complete outliers and no other people in history ever did anything at all similar to the settlement configuration of the Gauls? Probably not. Well then, where do the Gauls stand relative to other cultures that did things that are in any way similar? The reader needs some insight here in order to help him assess the plausibility of the thesis about the Gauls. I realise that such intellectual exploration as this may cause you a lot of extra work.

So, Mr Robb, I’d recommend reorganising the book to make its thesis much clearer, and in so doing to confront explicitly the tricky matters just mentioned and perhaps a few others. This will surely produce a more coherent book. Unfortunately it may not be a more commercially successful one. The very coherence may well make some of the weak points difficult to hide. However, perhaps you already have new material available to repair those weaknesses; I can’t tell.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Long distance trading routes of the Celts. 5. März 2015
Von Nya Murray - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is an excellent exposition and a realistic view of a defining period in European history, as the late Iron Age gave way to the conquest by the Romans of large swathes of the Celtic world. According to Robb, the tribes of the Celtic alliances were the surveyors and the original road builders, in use for centuries by their horse drawn chariots. The Romans, opportunistically, having conquered by force, used the existing routes, paving over the established Celtic roads, using local slave labour, including Celtic engineers. Robb found that Celtic place names lie in abundance along straight lines angled to the summer and winter solstices of the era, across those regions that eventually became France, Britain, northern Italy and Switzerland. So many Celtic places aligned over hundreds of kilometers in straight line trajectories by chance is in the realm of the fantastically improbable. Scores of European place names with a Celtic etymology, scattered far afield, are traceable to the term ‘Mediolanum’, including Milan. Robb's theory is that these places scattered throughout ancient Gaul and Britain were used for solar and astronomical measurements to aid Celtic traders along the proto travel routes of Europe. A great read.
10 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Before you buy 17. Januar 2015
Von Amber Polo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Before you buy...
Note that this is the same book as "The Discovery of Middle Earth." Nowhere in the information is it clear this is the paperback edition of "Discovery of Middle Earth". Perhaps the new title is better but I purchased it after I had already consulted the same book under its first title.
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent 25. Mai 2016
Von Edward G. Anglin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The condition of the book itself, rated by the seller as VG+ was conservative, arrived in excellent condition. The author's style I've enjoyed in another of his works and this 'discover' is just as fun to read and reflect over the graphics & all important maps.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "Lost Civilization" Found 22. März 2015
Von David P. Crews - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
It's amazing how quickly and completely entire massive cultures of humanity can simply disappear from the face of the Earth. Great work bringing this story of early Europe back into the light.
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