10 books like The World of the Celts

By Simon James,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The World of the Celts. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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An Imperial Possession

By David Mattingly,

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

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.  

An Imperial Possession

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.


Roman Sussex

By Miles Russell,

Book cover of Roman Sussex

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.

Roman Sussex

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.


Britain and the Celtic Iron Age

By Simon James,

Book cover of Britain and the Celtic Iron Age

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.

Britain and the Celtic Iron Age

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…


Daily Life in Ancient Rome

By Jerome Carcopino,

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

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.

Daily Life in Ancient Rome

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…


The Druids

By Peter Berresford Ellis,

Book cover of The Druids

My copy of this book is highlighted and dogeared to the max. When searching the word Druids, you usually come up with books on magic or books related to the neopagan movement which calls itself "druidism". This book, however, is a summary of what we really know about them and is based on solid research. Scholarly yet highly entertaining. Awesome book!

The Druids

By Peter Berresford Ellis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Readable and well-researched history and practices of the Druids. Illustrated.


Pagan Celtic Britain

By Anne Ross,

Book cover of Pagan Celtic Britain

I am fascinated by the author’s contention that neither the Roman invasion of Britain nor the coming of Christianity eliminated pagan religious practice across the land. I also like the combination of archaeological and anthropological evidence with folklore and tradition, which is very unusual in such works, and provides a far broader insight into the early Celtic world than most books of its type. 

Pagan Celtic Britain

By Anne Ross,

Why should I read it?

2 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…


Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia)

By Jose Lourido, Katherine Williams, Amandine Demarteau

Book cover of Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia)

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…

Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia)

By Jose Lourido, Katherine Williams, Amandine Demarteau

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wonders of Galicia (Maravillas de Galicia) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Celtic Devotions

By Calvin Miller,

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

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. 

Celtic Devotions

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…


The Celtic World

By Barry Cunliffe,

Book cover of The Celtic World

If you are looking for an overview of Celtic culture, this book is it. It is richly illustrated with artifacts, many obscure, which I appreciate. It is written by one of the foremost Celtic historians. Cunliffe continues to delve into the relationships between tribes of people who have been collectively called "Celts."

The Celtic World

By Barry Cunliffe,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Numerous illustrations, photographs, and maps mark a large-format exploration of the history of the Celts, a civilization that once ranged from central Europe to northern Scotland, that studies the multifaceted character of a misunderstood people.


The Mabinogion Tetralogy

By Evangeline Walton,

Book cover of The Mabinogion Tetralogy

Be sure it is Walton’s version of this very ancient Welsh mythological cycle. I have read other translations, but Walton turns the stories into more modern fiction and it rivals the best fantasy books out there, in my opinion. The Welsh pig-herd Pwyll and his bargain with the king of the dead is wonderfully told and highly readable.

The Mabinogion Tetralogy

By Evangeline Walton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An omnibus edition containing the four compelling novels of the Mabinogian, a quartet of fantasy novels based on epics and tales of medieval Welsh mythology, features The Prince of Annwn, The Children of Llyr, The Song of Rhiannon, and The Island of the Mighty. 10,000 first printing.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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

7,000+ 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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The Roman Empire Explore 127 books about the Roman Empire