The Barbarians Speak

How the Conquered Peoples Shaped Roman Europe.

eBook, 352 pages

English language

Published June 7, 2021 by Princeton University Press.

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The Barbarians Speak re-creates the story of Europe's indigenous people who were nearly stricken from historical memory even as they adopted and transformed aspects of Roman culture. The Celts and Germans inhabiting temperate Europe before the arrival of the Romans left no written record of their lives and were often dismissed as "barbarians" by the Romans who conquered them. Accounts by Julius Caesar and a handful of other Roman and Greek writers would lead us to think that prior to contact with the Romans, European natives had much simpler political systems, smaller settlements, no evolving social identities, and that they practiced human sacrifice. A more accurate, sophisticated picture of the indigenous people emerges, however, from the archaeological remains of the Iron Age. Here Peter Wells brings together information that has belonged to the realm of specialists and enables the general reader to share in the excitement of rediscovering a "lost …

2 editions


  • Cultural studies
  • European archaeology
  • European history: BCE to c 500 CE
  • Indigenous peoples
  • BCE to c 500 CE
  • History: World
  • History
  • History - General History
  • Ancient Rome
  • Europe
  • Ancient - Rome
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology and Ancient History
  • Classics
  • European History
  • History / Ancient / Rome