"Europe seems forever to have been a vast battlefield, and never more so than in ancient times when the Celtic peoples ranged across its hills and valleys, plains and mountains, for about a thousand years. Even their name comes from roots that indicate 'to strike, ' 'combat, ' 'fighter, ' 'destroyer, ' and would have been used by themselves as a laudatory term reflecting their success in overcoming other peoples and spreading their power." "Certainly the Celts were warlike peoples, whose power expanded greatly for some centuries. At various times, and often coincidentally, they did battle and settled in regions as far flung as Asia Minor in the east to Britain and Ireland in the west, and from modern Germany in the north to huge tracts of Spain in the south." "And yet the story of the Celts is in many ways a sad and tragic one, as the author describes in a thoroughly researched, highly readable text. He relates how, for instance, from attacking the Greeks homeland and even marching on Rome they were eventually forced to fall back across Europe such that their civilization almost disappeared. Remnants of their culture have survived in parts of western Europe, but today it is only in the British Isles and the north-west of France that the Celtic languages can be discerned."--Jacket.