Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Researching the Iron Age cultures of Gaul has kept me busy for nearly three years. I'm creating this blog to share information on the Celtic tribes I've learned about, and to post a few questions.

For example: what kind of beds did they sleep on? Beds don't seem to be among the material remains excavated after millennia, for some reason. Did they throw mats and mattresses on the floor? On benches? Maybe they hung hammocks from the ceiling beams?

If you can answer that, I would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, here are the two books I'm currently reading:
  1. Wisdom of the Outlaw by Joseph Falaky Nagy, a professor at UCLA. Since this is based on his PhD dissertation of 20+ years ago, the book is difficult reading, but worth the effort. Unless you are already familiar with the Fenian Tradition of Medieval Ireland, you may wonder all through the first chapter what he's talking about. I had to get through the second chapter to figure it out, then go back and reread the first. OK, maybe I'm dense.
    Basically, Nagy is looking at a class of outlaw poets that survived in Ireland's mythology for centuries. Why did they become outlaws, and could they rejoin society? What does this tell us about ancient Ireland?
  2. War, Women, and Druids: Eyewitness Reports and Early Accounts of the Ancient Celts, by Philip Freeman, a Washington University professor. Slim, easy, and a great resource. All the quotes that other authors use are collected under subject headings (like war, women, and druids). Bits of wisdom and exploitative exaggerations by the likes of Diodorus Siculus, Julius Caesar, Strabo, and Polybius--together at last. Is it comprehensive? Dunno--the only way to find that out would be open up all the volumes by Cunliffe, James, Ellis, Green, Chadwick, and Piggott, to cross check for about five years. But Freeman's book sure is handy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, Vickey!

I am impressed! Your blog is very professional-looking and I love the title! You are just so very clever!!!!

Debbie :-)