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The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts

av Graham Robb

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3691052,219 (2.89)12
Describes a discovery the author made in the Alps, which uncovered a treasure trove of Druid celestial mathematics that mapped out the entire geography of ancient Europe, and discusses the implications of this new information.

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This one took me ages to get through, despite the interesting premise: The Celtic tribes having arranged their settlements following the Via Heraklea (the Heraklean Way). As the description says: a pattern of towns and holy places based on astronomical and geometrical measurements.

Graham Robb took his bicycle for a very long ride and took notes of his findings and compared them with the books and other sources he consulted for this project. It's thus partly a travel book.

The book is divided into four sections, each focusing on a certain theme, like the gods, terminology, the druids, etc. As you can imagine, there are many descriptions and elaborations. You'll also read about several tribes, kings, emperors (especially the Roman ones), battles, and more.

Celtic history is not easy and there are the usual prejudices, like with the Vikings. One has to rely mostly on what others wrote about these people, the battles, and so on. I'm going to direct you to readers who wrote a better review of the book. I have mixed feelings, even if I do want to believe that the Celts were so advanced as to arrange their settlements and alike based on astronomical and geometrical measurements. Again, the original setup looked interesting, how this book turned out to be... pretty boring here and there and not always convincing. Honestly, I skimmed and skipped the last 80 pages.

Bonus points for the maps and pictures, though. Always helpful in a book like this one.

Recommended? It depends on how much you're interested in the Celts, or better, this aspect of the Celts and how critical you are.

Some better, more detailed reviews:
Loring Wirbel
Al Bità
Nikki ( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
The author's theory is that the Druids were ancient geocachers who used meridiens, solstice lines, and equinox lines to construct a mental grid mapping Gaul, Iberia, and Britain, which was then used to site oppida, tribal boundaries and battlefields.

He may be on to something and no doubt the pre-Roman Celts were more advanced than they are often given credit for, but I suspect that if you look at enough scattered points and lines on a map you can find a pattern. I admit my eyes glazed over at times so I may have missed something, but the reasoning did seem to be circular at times: the site must have been here because the theory says so and the fact that the site was here shows the theory is right. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Dec 14, 2020 |
I started reading this book and I believe that all assumptions in it have the basis that the Celtic culture originated in Central Europe.
It´s a theory that has more than two hundred years. And there´s been almost one hundred years that scholars and serious archeologists know otherwise. And now we have DNA evidence (Bryan Sykes - Blood of the Isles).
Are you going to tell us next that the Atlantic Megalithic Culture has it´s origins in Central Europe too, Mr. Robb??
The Celts were a people with their own culture and they spread through Europe. They were warriors, traders, sailors and conquerers. They used copper, in the neolithic, where other peoples were using stone. They had boats capable of transporting more than 5 tons in weight, to place dolmens in islands where no stones were available. And that was during the stone age...
The book has some interesting ideas but it dies from the start because of the wrong assumptions. In the bin! Literally!
Another reviewer said "The west coast of Spain". By the way, the west coast of Spain is not Spain. It´s another country and it´s called PORTUGAL. Maybe he wanted to say the west coast of HISPANIA that was once called LUSITANIA by the romans. And, as a matter of curiosity, that small country, Portugal, it´s eastern borders exactly coincide with that stone age culture so called the Atlantic Megalithic Culture whose cromlechs and dolmens precede Stonehenge in 2000 YEARS! ( )
  Tiago_Machado | May 2, 2020 |
This book is Robb's theory of how the ancient celts organised themselves.

Whilst following the legendary Via Heraklea he concludes that this pre Roman peoples layout of settlements and ritual sites follow a series of solstice lines across Gaul (France). These lines follow a particular angle, from east to west and another angle from west to east. Some of these lines go directly through the centre of these sites, and others pass through at a distance of 1km or so away.

It does have lots of fascinating facts in the book, and some of the details that he brings out as supporting evidence, show that this culture and people were far more sophisticated than was previously though. There is also evidence to suggest that the Romans overlaid their roads and towns on some of the features that the celts had developed.

I am not an expert of the ancient celts of Europe, but it doesn't seem really convincing as an argument, and reminds me rather of ley lines, those mysterious links between features and ancient sites that amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins proposed. As has been demonstrated elsewhere any series of points on a map can be shown to have a link purely down to chance. It is a shame really as I hoped that this would be more than a speculative book, and was going to be more about this fascinating culture. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
What Graham Robb needs is an independent researcher to verify his hypothesis. I can't determine if he is just being optimistic or if he has found proof of a continental wide pre-Roman, Celtic civilization road system. In any case, this book is interesting and provides a fascinating look at Celtic Europe civilization. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
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Describes a discovery the author made in the Alps, which uncovered a treasure trove of Druid celestial mathematics that mapped out the entire geography of ancient Europe, and discusses the implications of this new information.

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