The Encyclopedia concentrates on the cultures that arose throughout Europe after the dispersal of the Aryan-speaking peoples from their homeland north of the Black Sea during BC 4th millenium.
Relying on mythology, history and archeology, the author has traced the development and movements of the "Q-Celt" and "P-Celt" speaking peoples of Europe and Asia Minor. The time span covers roughly from BC 3rd millenium to the Roman occupation of Celtic Europe, with the emphasis on the Bronze and Iron Ages. The result is a comprehensive overview of the people we have come to call the Celts.
The work uses a clear language style and is organized as an encyclopedia for easy reference. Over 50 sub-cultures, 260 tribes and 1000 characters (deities, heroes, warriors, etc.) are listed alphabetically, with separate chapters describing religious practices, customs, social structure, etc. as well as relevant museum collections and sites of interest.
The Encyclopedia has taken 18 years of concentrated and painstaking research. The overview or "Big Picture" of the cultures that we call the Celtic people is a giant jigsaw puzzle with many pieces still missing. I hope the encyclopedia will help guide interested people to areas that are in need of further research. The world of Celtology would certainly be the better with the addition of new unbiased researchers, especially those with a working knowledge of the ancient Celtic languages, Latin or Sanskrit. Many of the early translations suffer from political and religious bias and women especially have come out the worse for it.
I have worked on this book with what I believe has been an unbiased opinion catering to none of the popular trends of the present or past, but have, as the ancient blacksmiths did, sought the "ring of truth". I set out not to prove anything about these people but to discouver them. I hope anyone who purchases "The Celtic Encyclopedia" will find it not only interesting but also inspiring as they travel their paths of this life.
Once again, to anyone who finds, as I did, that they have become captured by the mystique of these ancients, remember that reality is a hard sword to sharpen. Before you develop any romantic notion about these people, know that the Celts were first and foremost highly-trained aristocratic warriors who loved to fight for honor, the head of the loser being the prize.
Why -- you may ask -- did you spend 18 years of your life totally immersed in a research that provided no financial rewards along the path, no degree and with no job at the end? I´m not sure yet, but I do consider this encyclopedia to be "PensionWare", not "FreeWare", so if you want to hear my version of the tune I would appreciate it if you dig up just a wee bit of gold to pay the piper and may the Old Ones watch over you.
Harry Mountain - a friend of the Celts