Being Scottish I of course have a stereotypical propensity to meanness, and unwillingness to part with hard cash and if much of English literary tradition is to be believed the celtic poetic spirit is embedded in its melancholia.
Melancholia the result of a cold damp climate, the celtic poetic genius formed from dwelling on misty mountain tops. An entanglement of ancient medical perspective on the humours and the notion that dry humours from which genius gushes forth require the dry climatic conditions of say Greece.
The cold frozen North a home for the fickle barbarian, temperament and humour of its inhabitants shaped by this environment. Northern Europe needed to alter this tradition in line with it’s own self image, the melancholic poetic genius an example of this renegotiation.
Anyway, my second book is now winging its way to my home, Greg Woolf, Tales of the Barbarians: Ethnography and Empire in the Roman West.
Prof Woolf has a subtle touch he is also an admirer of Hodder. So I have an escape plan if my first reading choice goes wrong. It may help me understand this book in a wider perspective. Satisfying my stereotypical Scottish desire to obtain value for money rather than mourning it’s loss from the top of a mist filled mountain.
‘Interplay of inquirer and inhabitant’ a core theme of the book. I can easily buy into this idea and if it takes a few unfamiliar twists and turns I can plot to some extent where to look further.