Book cover of Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws: And Other Classical Myths, Historical Oddities, and Scientific Curiosities by Adrienne Mayor
Ancient Civilizations

Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws: And Other Classical Myths, Historical Oddities, and Scientific Curiosities

Adrienne Mayor is renowned for exploring the borders of history, science, archaeology, anthropology, and popular knowledge to find historical realities and scientific insights—glimmering, long-buried nuggets of truth—embedded in myth, legends, and folklore. Combing through ancient texts and obscure sources, she has spent decades prospecting for intriguing wonders and marvels, historical mysteries, diverting anecdotes, and hidden gems from ancient, medieval, and modern times. Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws is a treasury of fifty of her most amazing and amusing discoveries. […Learn More]

Book cover of Persians: The Age of the Great Kings by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones
Ancient Civilizations

Persians: The Age of the Great Kings

The Achaemenid Persian kings ruled over the largest empire of antiquity, stretching from Libya to the steppes of Asia and from Ethiopia to Pakistan. From the palace-city of Persepolis, Cyrus the Great, Darius, Xerxes, and their heirs reigned supreme for centuries until the conquests of Alexander of Macedon brought the empire to a swift and unexpected end in the late 330s BCE.  […Learn More]

Book cover of The Rise of Rome: From the Iron Age to the Punic Wars by Kathryn Lomas
Ancient Civilizations

The Rise of Rome: From the Iron Age to the Punic Wars

By the third century BC, the once-modest settlement of Rome had conquered most of Italy and was poised to build an empire throughout the Mediterranean basin. What transformed a humble city into the preeminent power of the region? In The Rise of Rome, the historian and archaeologist Kathryn Lomas reconstructs the diplomatic ploys, political stratagems, and cultural exchanges whereby Rome established itself as a dominant player in a region already brimming with competitors. […Learn More]

Book cover of Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean by Carolina Lopez Ruiz
Ancient Civilizations

Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean

The first comprehensive history of the cultural impact of the Phoenicians, who knit together the ancient Mediterranean world long before the rise of the Greeks.

Imagine you are a traveler sailing to the major cities around the Mediterranean in 750 BC. You would notice a remarkable similarity in the dress, alphabet, consumer goods, and gods from Gibraltar to Tyre. […Learn More]

Book cover of Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past by Sarah Parcak
Ancient Civilizations

Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past

National Geographic Explorer and TED Prize-winner Dr. Sarah Parcak gives readers a personal tour of the evolution, major discoveries, and future potential of the young field of satellite archaeology. From surprise advancements after the declassification of spy photography, to a new map of the mythical Egyptian city of Tanis, she shares her field’s biggest discoveries, revealing why space archaeology is not only exciting, but urgently essential to the preservation of the world’s ancient treasures. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Greek Fire: American-Ottoman Relations and Democratic Fervor in the Age of Revolutions by Maureen Santelli
Ancient Civilizations

The Greek Fire: American-Ottoman Relations and Democratic Fervor in the Age of Revolutions 

The Greek Fire examines the United States’ early global influence as the fledgling nation that inserted itself in conflicts that were oceans away. Maureen Connors Santelli focuses on the American fascination with and involvement in the Greek Revolution in the 1820s and 1830s. That nationalist movement incited an American philhellenic movement that pushed the borders of US interests into the eastern Mediterranean and infused a global perspective into domestic conversations concerning freedom and reform. […Learn More]

Book cover of Greek Warfare beyond the Polis: Defense, Strategy, and the Making of Ancient Federal States by David Blome
Ancient Civilizations

Greek Warfare beyond the Polis: Defense, Strategy, and the Making of Ancient Federal States

Greek Warfare beyond the Polis assesses the nature and broader significance of warfare in the mountains of classical Greece. Based on detailed reconstructions of four unconventional military encounters, David A. Blome argues that the upland Greeks of the classical mainland developed defensive strategies to guard against external aggression. These strategies enabled wide-scale, sophisticated actions in response to invasions, but they did not require the direction of a central, federal government. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Death of Caesar: The Story of History's Most Famous Assassination by Barry Strauss
Ancient Civilizations

The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination 

Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate on March 15, 44 BC—the Ides of March according to the Roman calendar. He was, says author Barry Strauss, the last casualty of one civil war and the first casualty of the next civil war, which would end the Roman Republic and inaugurate the Roman Empire. “The Death of Caesar provides a fresh look at a well-trodden event, with superb storytelling sure to inspire awe” (The Philadelphia Inquirer). […Learn More]

Book cover of The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece -- and Western Civilization by Barry Strauss
Ancient Civilizations

The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece — and Western Civilization 

On a late September day in 480 B.C., Greek warships faced an invading Persian armada in the narrow Salamis Straits in the most important naval battle of the ancient world. Overwhelmingly outnumbered by the enemy, the Greeks triumphed through a combination of strategy and deception. More than two millennia after it occurred, the clash between the Greeks and Persians at Salamis remains one of the most tactically brilliant battles ever fought. […Learn More]