Prepare to have you perceptions changed, and the history of the Celtic world retold through the lens of a new interpretation.
With the advent of DNA technology and the re-examination of old evidence Celtic studies is a subject that is in a constant state of flux as old histories with a basis more in folk tales then archaeological evidence is challenged by new information; as well as, old information being looked at in new ways. Robb seeks to put his oar into this retelling in an account that will lead you turning the pages uttering, “it can't be…”
Graham Robb is a writer, historian, and cycling enthusiast. It was during with one of his long cycling holidays, one where he sought to journey along what is called the Heraclean Way (Via Heraklea), a straight line that runs from the Pillars of Hercules in the South of Spain, following the winter solstice line, (the direction the sun travels on the day of the winter solstice). While en route he noticed the same name showing up all over Western Europe. “Midi”, but what did this mean? Why were so many places marked with this term. So Robb took out a map and began taking note of all these mentions. The pattern which emerged before him was too complex to be believed. So unbelievable in fact that Robb didn't credit his own eyes, and so began an epic journey to prove his idea false, a journey that only proved to further confirm it.
But what is this theory? Essentially what is put forward is that the ancient Celtic druids built all their most important sites along converging lines, and that the science required to carry out this monumental task goes far beyond what we previously believed them capable of.
It has been known for a long time now, that ancient peoples where enamoured by the sun, stars, moon and the respective cycles of these bodies. But, the concept that all there major centres were all constructed, deliberately to match solstice lines, seems to far fetched to consider. But the evidence speaks for itself, and the “magic” of these places is revealed by the epic planing that would have had to be carried out to form these patterns.
With uncomfortable parallels drawn to “Ley Lines” (the occultist theory that there are invisible, mystical lines covering the globe) Robb was unsure whether his research would even be considered, hence he worked non-stop for years, and what he discovered is that all Celtic sites form a pattern, and that this pattern can be applied across Europe to offer insight into some of the major mysteries put forward not only by folk tales that have basis in reality, but also to verify the authenticity of classic accounts from ancient Greece and Rome.
Though written in a lighter tone than most historical books on this subject, Robb#s layman (excuse the pun) methodology allows for a more accessible text than had it been written by a hardcore ancient historian. Likewise he is not influenced by the prejudices that rear up when an academic who has dedicated their lives to a topic is asked to challenge their long hold beliefs based on new evidence.
This is a must have for anyone with more than a passing interest in the ancient world. As well as proving to be a great starter text for someone looking to be immersed in the history for the first time. Robb's book is a challenge. A challenge to academics who might believe that we've learned all we can about these ancient peoples and what they left behind. But also a challenge to every day people who would be shocked to learn that our barbaric, and “uneducated” ancestors might not have been as ignorant as we would like to believe.