Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar

Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar

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Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar

Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar

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Excerpt

This book is in one sense a companion of my Caesar's Conquest of Gaul; and much that was written in the preface of that volume is equally applicable here. The last three chapters of Part I, and the later articles in Part II, are intended to do for Britain what I formerly tried to do for Gaul; but whereas the main object was then to illustrate the conquest, and the opening chapter was merely introductory, my aim in these pages has been to tell the story of man's life in our island from the earliest times in detail. What has been called 'prehistory' cannot be written without knowledge of archaeology; but from the historical standpoint archaeological details must be handled, not for their own sake, but only in so far as they illustrate the development of culture. The two books are constructed on the same principle: in this, as in the other, the second part is devoted to questions which could not properly be discussed in narrative or quasi-narrative chapters, though I am encouraged by the judgement of expert critics, British, American and Continental, of Caesar's Conquest of Gaul, to hope that general readers who are interested in these matters may not find the articles which deal with them tedious. Those on Stonehenge, Ictis, and the ethnology of Britain, although they controvert certain opinions which are commonly accepted, will, I hope, tend to place facts in their true light. Two articles deal with well-worn themes,--the identity of the Portus Itius, and the place of Caesar's landing in Britain. These problems have been pronounced by eminent scholars . . .

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