While historians have tended to accord the Celts a place of minor significance in comparison to the Romans, The Celts firmly aligns the Celtic peoples as the primary European precedent to the Greco-Roman hegemony, restoring this culture to its true importance in the development of European civilization. An expert in Celtic studies, Markale regards myth as a branch of histoWhile historians have tended to accord the Celts a place of minor significance in comparison to the Romans, The Celts firmly aligns the Celtic peoples as the primary European precedent to the Greco-Roman hegemony, restoring this culture to its true importance in the development of European civilization. An expert in Celtic studies, Markale regards myth as a branch of history, and explores mythological material to reveal the culture that gave rise to it. The alternative historical vision that emerges is both convincing and exciting.• One of the most comprehensive treatments of Celtic civilization ever written.• A cornerstone of Western civilization and the major source of its social, political, and literary values, Celtic civilization occupied the whole of Western Europe for more than a millennium.• Unlike the Middle Eastern forerunners of the Greco-Roman world, Celtic civilization is still alive today....
|Title||:||The Celts: Uncovering the Mythic and Historic Origins of Western Culture|
|Number of Pages||:||320 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Celts: Uncovering the Mythic and Historic Origins of Western Culture Reviews
A long fascination with both mythology and all things Celtic drew me to this title.Originally written in French by eccentric scholar Jean Bertrand under the 'Markale' nom de plume, this work begins from the premise Celtic origins are shrouded beneath prehistory, bursting out of Jutland into Roman annals knowing only phantasmic fables of their cultural origins. Markale sketches what we know of Celtic expansion across northern Europe, skirting Germans and Gauls before finding a home in the British Isles. He cites contemporary accounts of Classical writers, acknowledging their obvious bias.He is more interested in reconstructing Celtic mythology--the metaphors which shaped their culture--through fragments of their art & literature. He also makes much of linguistic similarities and etymologies to advance his idea that metaphor overrides history in the Celtic mind.Some of Markale's arguments smack of 'History Channel history'--where casual connections become causal and possibilities morph into assumptions--which is why the metaphoric, mythological aspects of the work were more compelling to me.Markale makes a great deal of linguistic connections between Britons and Bretons, between Gaels and Gauls, arguments that are dense and beyond my level of familiarity with the topic.It was Markale's deconstruction of common mythological elements in the various Quest Cycles which fired my imagination. The Arthurian cycles are the most famous, but Markale finds in the stories of Taliesin, Tristan, and Cuchulain a common propensity to find Mythic victory in Historic defeat while carrying the banner of Lost Causes.
A long and difficult book, The Celts: Uncovering the Mythic and Historic Origins of Western Culture is a comprehensive argument for the Celtic underpinnings of European civilization before and after the Romans, whose influence Markale downplays. Recent scholarship in archaeology has revealed that the Dark Ages were really not so dark but the events of those centuries are not written anywhere. This is one of the problems with Markale's title thesis, the Celts were a people with an oral tradition and did not record much so a great deal is presumed and assumed. Also, Americans in particular, unless they're really familiar with European history, may not recognize tribes such as the Cymri, the Fomore and the Tuatha de Danaan although they may recognize the Gauls, the Gaels, the Angles and the Saxons.Markale draws a great deal from documents written hundreds of years after the described events and much of this information is new to me so I cannot address the accuracy of the sources. And she does point out the similarities between language, myths, worship and place names that bolster her argument. Nevertheless, long lists of Welsh and Breton rulers with the same names become confusing and tedious and add little to our understanding.It is clear a tremendous amount of research went into this project but because of its age, it was first published in 1976, and the background in European history required to sort through the tribal histories, I do not recommend it.
Markale's thesis is that Western culture has deeper roots in Celtic mythology and history than in the ancient Greco-Roman world. The author compares and contrasts Celtic stories, poems, and songs containing similar central imagery, then attempts to make symbolic connections to primal experience. Markale also cites Sanskrit roots of English language words and relates these to migration patterns of the Celts from Europe to Asia and back again.I enjoyed the chapters I read but haven't yet finished the book due to more pressing life priorities.
I always love a book about history in someone else's point of view. Markale has recieved some bad reviews for his telling of the Celtic history, but I really came away with a sense of understanding and knowledge of their myths, and the spreading of their myths, and I continue to use his book as a reference to some of my own writing.
Author tends to go off on tangents, but the book does have a lot of information.
A very interesting read but difficult to manage with so many names that I had no idea how to pronounce. This book was a long time coming to the US but worth the wait.