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 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 The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World by Kara Cooney
Ancient Civilizations

The Good Kings: Absolute Power in Ancient Egypt and the Modern World

Written in the tradition of historians like Stacy Schiff and Amanda Foreman who find modern lessons in ancient history, this provocative narrative explores the lives of five remarkable pharaohs who ruled Egypt with absolute power, shining a new light on the country’s 3,000-year empire and its meaning today.

In a new era when democracies around the world are threatened or crumbling, best-selling author Kara Cooney turns to five ancient Egyptian pharaohs–Khufu, Senwosret III, Akenhaten, Ramses II, and Taharqa–to understand why many so often give up power to the few, and what it can mean for our future. […Learn More]

Africa

Cleopatra: A Life

The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt.

Her palace shimmered with onyx, garnets, and gold, but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator.

Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first when both were teenagers. She poisoned the second. […Learn More]

Ancient Civilizations

Cleopatra’s Daughter: and Other Royal Women of the Augustan Era

The Roman emperor Augustus gave his name to the age he dominated, from the latter half of the first century BC until the second decade of the following century. Yet he shared the age with several royal women who ruled parts of the Mediterranean world, in a symbiotic relationship with Rome. This book is the first detailed portrait of these remarkable women. Previous accounts of the period have centered on Augustus or Rome’s allied kings, with scant attention to the women who ruled as their partners or on their own. […Learn More]

Africa

The World Beneath the Sands: The Golden Age of Egyptology

A thrilling history of the West’s scramble for the riches of ancient Egypt by the foremost Egyptologist of our time.

From the decipherment of hieroglyphics in 1822 to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon a hundred years later, the uncovering of Egypt’s ancient past took place in an atmosphere of grand adventure and international rivalry. […Learn More]

Ancient Civilizations

1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the “Sea Peoples” invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. […Learn More]