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A.D. 500 by Simon Young

A.D. 500

The Real World   Travel   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A travel guide to the Dark Ages written rather like a Rough Guide, advising you on what to look out for, what to avoid, what you should know about customs and dress, food and shelter, a wonderful and unusual way to tackle popular history. Highly recommended.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


A.D. 500 by Simon Young

AD 500 is written as a practical survival guide for the use of civilised visitors to the barbaric islands of Britain and Ireland. It describes a journey which begins in Cornwall and continues through Wales and Ireland, then across to Scotland and eventually down to London and southern Britain.

The Romans have left, and the islands are now fought over by Irish, British Celts, Picts and Saxons. It is a dangerous world, full of tribal war. The British Celts are enthusiastic head-hunters, while the Saxon gods require regular blood sacrifices, animal and sometimes human. There are social pitfals too (`Do not make fun of the Celts' beliefs about Arthur'...'Don't refuse a place in a Welsh collective bed.')

Cheviot bandits, bizarre forms of Christianity, boat burials, peculiar haircuts, human sacrifice, poetry competitions, slave markets, the legend of King Arthur - these are the realities of life in the sixth century AD.


'Informative and entertaining, this is popular history at its best.'

'A kind of Roman Britain version of Mad Max a brilliant, funny, original book'.
Yorkshire Evening Press

'Entertaining and informative It throws new light on the mysterious Dark Ages'.
Belfast Telegraph

'hugely entertaining... What a joy to be able to recommend a book about misery, bloodshed and grisly superstition for being funny, compassionate and clear-eyed.'

About the Author

Simon Young
Simon Young was awarded a starred First in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic from Cambridge University, as well as the Chadwick Prize for Celtic studies. Since then he has lived in Spain, Ireland and Italy, where he is now completing a doctorate at the University of Florence. The author of many academic articles, he has also written about the Dark Ages for History Today, the Spectator, and the Guardian. He combines a commitment to serious history, especially that of the medieval Celts, with a desire to communicate Dark Age history to the general public. He lives in Florence with his Italian wife.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd February 2006


Simon Young

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Orion Publishing Co




The Real World



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