This book draws on the firsthand observations and early accounts of classical writers to piece together a detailed portrait of the ancient Celtic peoples of Europe and the British Isles. Philip Freeman groups the selections (ranging from short statements to longer treatises) by themes—war, feasting, poetry, religion, women, and the Western Isles. He also presents inscriptions written by the ancient Celts themselves. This wealth of material, introduced and translated by Freeman to be especially accessible to students and general readers, makes this book essential reading for everyone fascinated by the ancient Celts.
In this book, Philip Freeman explores the relations between ancient Ireland and the classical world through a comprehensive survey of all Greek and Latin literary sources that mention Ireland. He analyzes passages (given in both the original language and English) from over thirty authors, including Julius Caesar, Strabo, Tacitus, Ptolemy, and St. Jerome. To amplify the literary sources, he also briefly reviews the archaeological and linguistic evidence for contact between Ireland and the Mediterranean world.
Freeman's analysis of all these sources reveals that Ireland was known to the Greeks and Romans for hundreds of years and that Mediterranean goods and even travelers found their way to Ireland, while the Irish at least occasionally visited, traded, and raided in Roman lands. Everyone interested in ancient Irish history or Classics, whether scholar or enthusiast, will learn much from this pioneering book.
For more than twenty-five centuries, all that the world knew of the poems of Sappho—the first woman writer in literary history—were a few brief quotations preserved by ancient male authors. Yet those meager remains showed such power and genius that they captured the imagination of readers through the ages. But within the last century, dozens of new pieces of her poetry have been found written on crumbling papyrus or carved on broken pottery buried in the sands of Egypt. As recently as 2014, yet another discovery of a missing poem created a media stir around the world.
The poems of Sappho reveal a remarkable woman who lived on the Greek island of Lesbos during the vibrant age of the birth of western science, art, and philosophy. Sappho was the daughter of an aristocratic family, a wife, a devoted mother, a lover of women, and one of the greatest writers of her own or any age. Nonetheless, although most people have heard of Sappho, the story of her lost poems and the lives of the ancient women they celebrate has never been told for a general audience.
Searching for Sappho is the exciting tale of the rediscovery of Sappho’s poetry and of the woman and world they reveal.
The grisly discovery of an elderly sister of Saint Brigid’s monastery strangled, bled dry, and thrown into a bog is just the beginning. Soon a beautiful young nun is found decapitated and hung from a barren tree. It doesn’t take long before the members of the struggling monastic community of Kildare realize that not only are the nuns being hunted by a serial killer, but the murderer is preforming the gruesome slayings in the manner of the ancient druid sacrifices.
Set in the turmoil of sixth-century Ireland, where ruthless tribal kings wage constant war for survival and the powerful religious order of the druids is threatened by the newly-arrived Christian church, the desperate task of finding the killer falls to Sister Deirdre, a young women torn between the world of the monastery and her own druidic heritage. Unless Deirdre can find the killer before the cycle of sacrifices is complete, more of her friends will die, the monastery will face destruction, and the whole of Ireland may be plunged into civil war.