Regular price: $34.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Following the surge of interest and pride in Celtic identity since the 19th century, much of what we thought we knew about the Celts has been radically transformed. From the warriors who nearly defeated Julius Caesar to druids who, contrary to popular opinion, definitely did not worship at Stonehenge, get to know the real Celts.

In The Celtic World, discover the incredible story of the Celtic-speaking peoples, whose art, language, and culture once spread from Ireland to Austria. This series of 24 enlightening lectures explains the traditional historical view of who the Celts were, then contrasts it with brand-new evidence from DNA analysis and archeology that totally changes our perspective on where the Celts came from. European history and culture have been profoundly affected by the Celts, from the myth of King Arthur to the very map of the United Kingdom, where the English confronted the peoples of the "Celtic Fringe."

With a wealth of historical expertise, Professor Jennifer Paxton (PhD Harvard University), Director of the University Honors Program and Clinical Assistant Professor of History at The Catholic University of America, guides you through each topic related to Celtic history with approachability and ease as you unearth what we once thought it meant - and what it may actually mean - to be Celtic. Professor Paxton's engaging, often humorous delivery blends perfectly with the facts about the Celts to uncover surprising historical revelations. The ancient Celts are very much alive in the literary and artistic traditions that their descendants have both preserved and very deliberately revived. All facets of Celtic life, past and present, are addressed by Professor Paxton, who demonstrates a masterful knowledge and carefully separates fact from myth at every turn. Come along for a ride through history to discover your inner Celt.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Teaching Company, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    214
  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    209
  • 4 Stars
    57
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    192
  • 4 Stars
    70
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

It's Celtic

In my most honest assessment, I would have given this course 3 1/2 stars overall if it was possible to do so. Paxton appears to be very knowledgeable on the subject matter, but does meander at times through the material, which can be somewhat distracting for the listener. For those interested in the ancient Celts, particularly those wishing to know more about the regions of Gaul, N. Italy, Switzerland, Germany and even Galatia, this is not the class for you. While it does briefly discuss Caesar's conquest and related topics- these issues remain very underdeveloped. This course focuses on Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Cornwall, with a fair amount of discussion about Galicia (Spain), all of which is interesting, but rather focused on those regions.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I wish this had a different title

I wish this had a different title, maybe "The History of Ireland and Friends". Professor Paxton clearly cares about the subject and reads very clearly, but I had to speed it up a little. The content was good, but not what I was looking for. Based on the title, I was hoping for more immersive daily life as a Celt. I have been to several Celtic historical sites and museums in Austria, but Hallstatt culture is only briefly discussed here. If you want the history of Irish kings and and a comparison of movies with real life, this may be for you. If you want to know more about living in the iron age, skip it. There is little about what regular people ate, wore or did with their typical day. I definitely appreciate the included, illustrated .PDF. Overall, this was okay but I preferred the much more comprehensive book, A Brief History of the Celts, by Peter Berresford Ellis.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I really wanted to enjoy this...

Here's the thing, I don't look to a Great Courses instructor to give me a biased, subjective account of history but that's what I got. Lecture after lecture, I found my blood pressure rising as relevant context was repeatedly omitted, sweeping generalizations and contradictory claims were made, and opinion was passed on as fact. Due to what I now consider a lack of credibility, I'm left after 13 hours of lectures wondering if any of what I "learned" is true.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly informative and entertaining

I am part Scottish and have long been fascinated by the complexities of the ancient Celtic world, as well as the remnants of this ancient culture in the modern British Isles.

This Great Course Lecture series was incredibly illuminating. Beautifully treated by the professor, I can't recommend this enough if you have even a passing interest in the history of the British Isles and/or Celtic/Gaelic culture.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary
  • WESTERLO, NY, United States
  • 04-24-18

I like the subject, like the Prof! Well don!!!

The music is wonderful, the history is enthralling. Many things from literature were made clear. I learned a lot. Thank you!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

First half is dull and pedantic

Prof made potentially interesting info boring in an attempt to impress us how scholarly and academic she is. The last third was interesting when she dropped the pedantic attitude and had fun with the material. I bought the course because I was interested in the early origins and theories regarding Celts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

There was so much information to take in and I can't wait to listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Holy linguistics, Batman!

This course is much less about the “Celtic World,” than it is about tracing the linguistic history of Celtic-speaking people. I love mythology, history, and archeological studies... but I found this course somewhat lacking. No tails of Cuchulain, the Mabinogion, or many other significant cultural historical references. Must say, disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding history lesson

Professor Paxton delivers a walk through the centuries with fascinating details everyone will enjoy about Celtic history. I especially enjoyed the realistic outlook on facts and stories that are uncertain to be fiction. An excellent summary of so many interesting topics. A+

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great comprehensive overview of a facinating topic

Professor Paxton has hit a home run again with this new lecture series. I love how she always tries to get the the point! Will be listening to this one many times!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lea
  • 08-19-18

learning

this has been a brilliant book and i recommended it to all who will give it a go

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Denis Kelleher
  • 09-12-18

Very inaccurate pronunciations

Very interesting but for an "expert" completely murdered pronunciation of Irish words. Spoiled it for me just like the inaccuracies in Bravehart spoiled the movie for the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Watts
  • 09-01-18

One of the best Great Courses!

Not only does Prof Paxton really know her stuff but you can tell she clearly loves it too. Her enthusiasm and knowledge comes through in every lecture. The history of the Celts is fascinating and there are even some twists and turns along the way. Like did they even properly exist? How did they really get to Ireland and the rest of the British Isles? Fab course.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robin Grille, psychologist, author
  • 05-17-18

Delightful and enlightening

I loved every minute of these series. In particular I appreciate the Writer’s staunch refusal to give in to the common tendency to romanticize the Celtic world, thus proving that you can be grounded and realistic and non-grandiose while deeply enthusiastic at the same time. I feel all the more privileged for having enjoyed this level-headed yet thoroughly fun education about Celtic culture(s).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-14-18

worthwhile

an interesting and thorough look at the celtic world in the past and present. would recommend