The Discovery of Middle Earth
Mapping the Lost World of the Celts
Other Editions of This Title:
A treasure hunt that uncovers the secrets of one of the world’s great civilizations, revealing dramatic proof of the extreme sophistication of the Celts, and their creation of the earliest accurate map of the world.
Fifty generations ago the cultural empire of the Celts stretched from the Black Sea to Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. In six hundred years, the Celts had produced some of the finest artistic and scientific masterpieces of the ancient world. In 58 BC, Julius Caesar marched over the Alps, bringing slavery and genocide to western Europe. Within eight years the Celts of what is now France were utterly annihilated, and in another hundred years the Romans had overrun Britain. It is astonishing how little remains of this great civilization.
While planning a bicycling trip along the Heraklean Way, the ancient route from Portugal to the Alps, Graham Robb discovered a door to that forgotten world—a beautiful and precise pattern of towns and holy places based on astronomical and geometrical measurements: this was the three-dimensional “Middle Earth” of the Celts. As coordinates and coincidences revealed themselves across the continent, a map of the Celtic world emerged as a miraculously preserved archival document.
Robb—“one of the more unusual and appealing historians currently striding the planet” (New York Times)—here reveals the ancient secrets of the Celts, demonstrates the lasting influence of Druid science, and recharts the exploration of the world and the spread of Christianity. A pioneering history grounded in a real-life historical treasure hunt, The Discovery of Middle Earth offers nothing less than an entirely new understanding of the birth of modern Europe.
Praise For The Discovery of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts…
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review and Pick of the Week
[A] daring theory…. thrilling.
— Laura Miller - Salon
Upends nearly everything we believe about the history… of early Europe.
— Gabe Habash - Publishers Weekly
Combines travelogue and historical detective story…. The work of a man to whom the past is vividly present.
— Ian Morris - New York Times Book Review
Fascinating…The historical value of Robb's vivid portrait of Celtic culture is unquestionable.
— Wendy Smith - Los Angeles Times
Raises intriguing questions about the relationship between tribe and empire, local identity and larger superstructure.
— Rachel Donadio - New York Times
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393081633, 416pp.
Publication Date: November 4, 2013