98 books like The World of the Celts

By Simon James,

Here are 98 books that The World of the Celts fans have personally recommended if you like The World of the Celts. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire, 54 BC - AD 409

Simon Elliott Author Of Roman Britain's Missing Legion: What Really Happened to IX Hispana?

From my list on Roman Britain.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Simon Elliott is an award-winning and best-selling historian, archaeologist, author, broadcaster, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent, Trustee of the Council for British Archaeology, Ambassador for Museum of London Archaeology, Guide Lecturer for Andante Travels, and President of the Society of Ancients. He frequently appears on broadcast and social media as a presenter and expert regarding the ancient world, and currently has 12 books on sale on similar themes, with three more due later this year. He is also a PR Week award-winning, highly experienced communications practitioner who has advised a wide variety of clients at a senior level on their interaction with the world of the media and politics. 

Simon's book list on Roman Britain

Simon Elliott Why did Simon love this book?

In my opinion the definative, academic standard account of the Roman occupation of Britain. Professor Mattingly’s book is very well organised, with sections which easily engage the reader on specific aspects of the Roman presence here, for example religion, political organisation, the military, agriculture, and industry. It also explains in great detail the various impacts across Britain of the transition from the Late Iron Age to the Roman period.  

By David Mattingly,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked An Imperial Possession as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Part of the Penguin History of Britain series, An Imperial Possession is the first major narrative history of Roman Britain for a generation. David Mattingly draws on a wealth of new findings and knowledge to cut through the myths and misunderstandings that so commonly surround our beliefs about this period. From the rebellious chiefs and druids who led native British resistance, to the experiences of the Roman military leaders in this remote, dangerous outpost of Europe, this book explores the reality of life in occupied Britain within the context of the shifting fortunes of the Roman Empire.


Book cover of Roman Sussex

Sheila Finch Author Of A Villa Far From Rome

From my list on Roman Britain and the Celts.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sheila Finch is best known as a Nebula-winning author of science fiction, but on a visit back to her first alma mater in Chichester, UK, she encountered a mystery that wouldn’t let her go. Who built the nearby magnificent Roman palace that was just now being excavated at Fishbourne, and why? Months of research later, she came up with a possible explanation that involved a sixteen-year-old Roman mother, a middle-aged Celtic king of a small tribe, and Emperor Nero’s secret plans:

Sheila's book list on Roman Britain and the Celts

Sheila Finch Why did Sheila love this book?

Absolutely invaluable and more narrowly focused, Miles Russell’s Roman Sussex. This one gives the reader great details of ruins and archaeological sites (there are scores of them -- villas and temples and city walls --to be found all around Sussex). I've visited many of these historical sites, both as a student and later. Some of these places are only just coming to light, often by accident as Fishbourne was revealed when a backhoe cutting a trench across an open field hit a section of Roman brickwork. There's also a good discussion here of the real Togidubnus, my protagonist, the Celtic king who was probably the first inhabitant of the enormous palace at Fishbourne.

By Miles Russell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roman Sussex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Starting with the first named resident of the county, Tiberius Claudius Togidubnus, Great King of Britain (with his palace at Fishbourne) and friend of the Roman emperor Claudius, this book reassesses the story of the Roman invasion of Britain and looks in detail at the earliest examples of Roman culture in Britain.


Book cover of Britain and the Celtic Iron Age

Sheila Finch Author Of A Villa Far From Rome

From my list on Roman Britain and the Celts.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sheila Finch is best known as a Nebula-winning author of science fiction, but on a visit back to her first alma mater in Chichester, UK, she encountered a mystery that wouldn’t let her go. Who built the nearby magnificent Roman palace that was just now being excavated at Fishbourne, and why? Months of research later, she came up with a possible explanation that involved a sixteen-year-old Roman mother, a middle-aged Celtic king of a small tribe, and Emperor Nero’s secret plans:

Sheila's book list on Roman Britain and the Celts

Sheila Finch Why did Sheila love this book?

Another, more popularly oriented (and much shorter) discussion of Celtic life by Simon James (with Valerie Rigby), has a different focus: Britain and the Celtic Iron Age. Like the longer, less specific to Britain version by this author, this one gave me a much greater “feel” for the life of my characters before and after the Roman conquest. It’s full of photos and illustrations of Celtic artifacts, many of them collected by the British Museum.

By Simon James,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Britain and the Celtic Iron Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Celts are seen as a family of European peoples who spoke related languages and shared many things in common, from art to aspects of religion and social organization. Was the British Iron Age simply part of this supposedly uniform, Celtic world, or was it something much more distinctive, complex, strange and fascinating than we have been led to believe? New research is promoting reappraisals of Britain's prehistory, in ways which challenge many ideas, such as that of a familiar Celtic past. This work discusses the many facets of the lives of Iron Age Britons, drawing on the wealth of…


Book cover of Daily Life in Ancient Rome: The People and the City at the Height of the Empire

Sheila Finch Author Of A Villa Far From Rome

From my list on Roman Britain and the Celts.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sheila Finch is best known as a Nebula-winning author of science fiction, but on a visit back to her first alma mater in Chichester, UK, she encountered a mystery that wouldn’t let her go. Who built the nearby magnificent Roman palace that was just now being excavated at Fishbourne, and why? Months of research later, she came up with a possible explanation that involved a sixteen-year-old Roman mother, a middle-aged Celtic king of a small tribe, and Emperor Nero’s secret plans:

Sheila's book list on Roman Britain and the Celts

Sheila Finch Why did Sheila love this book?

A historical novel has to do more than just re-tell a part of history. The author has the duty to make history come alive for the reader, even if fictionalized. That means details about daily life and customs, not just buildings and battles. This book was enormously helpful in describing everyday Roman life. What the Romans were eating and wearing in Rome, they probably also ate (as near as they could) and wore in their colonies. Here I found everything from going to the barber to going to the circus.

By Jerome Carcopino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Daily Life in Ancient Rome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic book brings to life imperial Rome as it was during the second century A.D., the time of Trajan and Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus. It was a period marked by lavish displays of wealth, a dazzling cultural mix, and the advent of Christianity. The splendor and squalor of the city, the spectacles, and the day's routines are reconstructed from an immense fund of archaeological evidence and from vivid descriptions by ancient poets, satirists, letter-writers, and novelists-from Petronius to Pliny the Younger. In a new Introduction, the eminent classicist Mary Beard appraises the book's enduring-and sometimes surprising-influence and its…


Book cover of Pagan Celtic Britain

Sharon Paice MacLeod Author Of Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

From my list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for Celtic cultures, languages, and traditions comes from my family, where singing and storytelling were common. I worked as a singer and musician, and trained in Celtic Studies through Harvard University. That was an amazing experience, and research in Scotland and Ireland expanded my knowledge tremendously. I taught Celtic literature, mythology, and folklore at numerous colleges, and am Expert Contributor in Iron Age Pagan Celtic Religion for the Database of Religious History at the University of British Columbia, and invited Old Irish translator for the upcoming Global Medieval Sourcebook at Stanford University. I wake up every day excited to share the historical realities of these amazing cultures and beliefs!

Sharon's book list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology

Sharon Paice MacLeod Why did Sharon love this book?

This classic and unsurpassed study of iconography and literature pertaining to deities and various types of symbolism found in Celtic myth, I think has often been overlooked by students... as well as by enthusiasts, who inexplicably prefer trying to discern the veracities of topics related to Celtic paganism through online chat rooms, where many posts (including heated arguments and mind-boggling claims and posturing) rarely seem to culminate in any kind of helpful or accurate conclusions. And readers and seekers deserve better!

I would highly recommend that people step away from the phone, and pick up this book! So many of the questions that never seem to get answered on social media are both answered and clarified in this excellent work (which I use myself!). The chapters talk about a variety of gods and goddesses, and mythic themes (with examples from Britain, Ireland, Gaul, and the Continent) including horned gods, the…

By Anne Ross,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Pagan Celtic Britain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although some aspects of pre-Roman and pre-Christian beliefs remain shrouded in mystery, the author of this comprehensive, profusely illustrated volume contends that neither the Roman invasion of Britain nor the coming of Christianity eliminated pagan religious practice. Dr Anne Ross, who speaks Gaelic and Welsh, writes from wide experience of living in Celtic speaking communities where she has traced vernacular tradition. She employs archaeological and anthropological evidence, as well as folklore, to provide broad insight into the early Celtic world. She begins by examining Celtic places of worship, the shrines and sanctuaries in which sacred objects were housed and from…


Book cover of Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia)

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

If there is one book that will make you want to jump on a plane or get in your car and travel to this unique and beautiful corner of Spain, then it’s this one. A sumptuous coffee table book, Maravillas de Galicia introduces the reader to the wonders of Galicia with stunning photography by José Lourido, a Galego himself. More than simply a guide book, Maravillas is a book to be pored over and savoured again and again. 

The book is well laid out in both Spanish and English: There are chapters covering the major Galician cities as well as national parks and bio-reserves, ancient Celtic ruins and Roman monuments, stunning beaches, and picturesque villages. There are maps for each entry and a list of other must see places nearby making this book the perfect starting point to discover everything which Galicia has to offer. And if you can’t get…

Book cover of The Religion of the Ancient Celts

Luke Eastwood Author Of The Druid`s Primer

From my list on Druids and Druidry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a student of Druidry since the mid-1990s and I have also had a passion for history and mythology since I received a children’s version of “The Twelve Labours of Hercules” when I was around 7 years old. I’ve read pretty much all the major stories and texts in relation to Celtic myth and Druid lore (particularly from Ireland). I have spent the last 20 years studying the remains of Irish Druidism and how to incorporate it into modern practice is a respectful but relevant way.

Luke's book list on Druids and Druidry

Luke Eastwood Why did Luke love this book?

Another golden oldie (from 1911) but seriously, most of the older books were written with a level of seriousness, diligence, and rigorousness that is sadly lacking in many of the modern books on Druidism – which I find frequently regurgitate or recapitulate fairly recent earlier books from the mid-late 20th century, often without delving into the original source material.

This book, again, is not exclusively about Druids but more generally about the religious culture of the Celts across Gaul, Britain, and Ireland. Even so, it is an immensely informative book, albeit somewhat difficult to read because of the fairly archaic style of the writing. As with other somewhat challenging books – the pay-off is certainly more than worth the effort.

By J A MacCulloch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Religion of the Ancient Celts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Book cover of The Horse Goddess

Helen Benigni Author Of The Myth of the Year: Returning to the Origin of the Druid Calendar

From my list on the Goddess for a journey of self-exploration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been interested in feminine figures since I was a small, Catholic child presented with the Virgin Mary! Further down the road in graduate school and in my teaching career as an English Professor at a small Liberal Arts college, I began to research comparative mythology and the study of archetypes with a particular emphasis on the female divine. Now, after publishing three books and several articles on the goddesses, I'm happy to help others in their journey of discovery. I believe a good way to approach that study today is to focus on how our contemporary women writers portray goddesses in their works of fiction and non-fiction.

Helen's book list on the Goddess for a journey of self-exploration

Helen Benigni Why did Helen love this book?

The Horse Goddess is a novel for anyone who loves horses!

It is the story of the Indo-European migrations in prehistoric central Europe, specifically in what is now Switzerland, where the lover of Epona, a young and spirited goddess, sweeps her away to his home, which is the plains of Russia.

Here, very far from home and anything that she knows, Epona experiences taming horses, riding horses, going into battle on a horse, and anything equine that remotely would inspire her to return home with her knowledge and gifts for her people.

Her journey is one that we can all relate to whether we are horse-people or not. It’s about the gifts of knowledge and creativity that a woman who becomes a goddess brings to enlighten her people.

On a personal note, the story is one that inspired me to the epiphany that being part of a culture and gifting…

By Morgan Llywelyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Horse Goddess as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The adventures and exploits of Epona--who flees her Celtic trible with the Scythian warrior, Kazhak, and battles the menacing Shapechanger--shape the legends that make her a goddess


Book cover of Celtic Devotions: A Guide to Morning and Evening Prayer

Betsy Duffey Author Of More Love

From my list on Christian devotional books to build your faith.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books have been an important part of my faith journey. I set aside time each morning to read scripture, and devotional material, to meditate and pray. As I read about the experiences of others my faith increases and I know God better. As a writer I express my own faith through words and invite others to know God better by experiencing Him with time set aside in the mornings. More Love is part of a series of small books that I have created to give readers experiences to connect with God and to know His love. 

Betsy's book list on Christian devotional books to build your faith

Betsy Duffey Why did Betsy love this book?

This beautiful book includes thirty morning and evening readings of Celtic prayers, poetry, and quotations. I love the fresh look at nature and God through the eyes of the Celts. Readings are from Psalm 119 and from the Carmina Gadelica, a collection of traditional Gaelic Songs.  A lovely and inspirational way to start and end your day. 

By Calvin Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Celtic Devotions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sunrise and sunset. Morning and evening. Waking and resting. Your days are busy and unknown: each contains unexpected moments of joy and pain, struggle and hope. The time between your rising and sleeping is new each day. The same was true for the Celts, though their lives looked different from yours. And in the midst of the uncertainty of days, they chose to meditate on truth, to draw near to the One who holds the sun and moon in his hands. Calvin Miller invites you to do the same in Celtic Devotions. This thirty-day guide provides morning and evening readings…


Book cover of The Celtic Heroic Age: Literary Sources for Ancient Celtic Europe and Early Ireland and Wales

Sharon Paice MacLeod Author Of Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld: Mythic Origins, Sovereignty and Liminality

From my list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for Celtic cultures, languages, and traditions comes from my family, where singing and storytelling were common. I worked as a singer and musician, and trained in Celtic Studies through Harvard University. That was an amazing experience, and research in Scotland and Ireland expanded my knowledge tremendously. I taught Celtic literature, mythology, and folklore at numerous colleges, and am Expert Contributor in Iron Age Pagan Celtic Religion for the Database of Religious History at the University of British Columbia, and invited Old Irish translator for the upcoming Global Medieval Sourcebook at Stanford University. I wake up every day excited to share the historical realities of these amazing cultures and beliefs!

Sharon's book list on authentic Celtic mythology, religion, and cosmology

Sharon Paice MacLeod Why did Sharon love this book?

This is an incredibly useful and totally indispensable resource that provides excellent translations of well-known and lesser-known writings about the Celts from the Iron Age and the Medieval Era.

Many people don't realize that there are really bad translations of some of these materials floating around the internet, and there's no need for that. The editors and translators of this classic anthology are top-notch, and whether the accounts or texts come from Greek, Latin, Gaulish, Old Irish, or Middle Welsh sources, students and enthusiasts can rely upon them.

Because it is a sourcebook, it doesn't provide any commentary, so that's important to know upfront (and fear not: see below). As such, some of the material may not make sense to some readers - or can lead to erroneous claims and inaccurate conclusions - if one doesn't know the history of the text, the historical context, and the secondary studies that…

By John T. Koch (editor), John Carey (editor),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Celtic Heroic Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new edition of an invaluable collection of literary sources, all in translation, for Celtic Europe and early Ireland and Wales. The selections are divided into three sections: the first is classical authors on the ancient celts-a huge selection including both the well-known-Herodotos, Plato, Aristotle, Livy, Diogenes Laertius, and Cicero-and the obscure-Pseudo-Scymnus, Lampridius, Vopsicus, Clement of Alexandria and Ptolemy I. The second is early Irish and Hiberno-Latin sources including early Irish dynastic poetry and numerous tales from the Ulster cycle and the third consists of Brittonic sources, mostly Welsh.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Celts, Roman Britain, and the Roman Empire?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Celts, Roman Britain, and the Roman Empire.

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