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 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 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]

Book cover of Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership by Barry Strauss
Ancient Civilizations

Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership

In Masters of Command, Barry Strauss compares the way the three greatest generals of the ancient world waged war and draws lessons from their experiences that apply on and off the battlefield.

Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar—each was a master of war. Each had to look beyond the battlefield to decide whom to fight, when, and why; to know what victory was and when to end the war; to determine how to bring stability to the lands he conquered. […Learn More]

Book cover of Pandora's Jar: Women in the Greek Myths by Natalie Haynes
Ancient Civilizations

Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths

The national bestselling author of A Thousand Ships returns with a fascinating, eye-opening take on the remarkable women at the heart of classical stories Greek mythology from Helen of Troy to Pandora and the Amazons to Medea.

The tellers of Greek myths—historically men—have routinely sidelined the female characters. When they do take a larger role, women are often portrayed as monstrous, vengeful or just plain evil—like Pandora, the woman of eternal scorn and damnation whose curiosity is tasked with causing all the world’s suffering and wickedness when she opened that forbidden box. But, as Natalie Haynes reveals, in ancient Greek myths there was no box. It was a jar . . . which is far more likely to tip over. […Learn More]

Book cover of Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City by Edmund Richardson
Asia

Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City

For centuries the city of Alexandria Beneath the Mountains was a meeting point of East and West. Then it vanished. In 1833 it was discovered in Afghanistan by the unlikeliest person imaginable: Charles Masson, an ordinary working-class boy from London turned deserter, pilgrim, doctor, archaeologist and highly respected scholar.

On the way into one of history’s most extraordinary stories, Masson would take tea with kings, travel with holy men and become the master of a hundred disguises; he would see things no westerner had glimpsed before and few have glimpsed since. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Greeks: A Global History by Roderick Beaton
Ancient Civilizations

The Greeks: A Global History

A sweeping history of the Greeks, from the Bronze Age to today  

More than two thousand years ago, the Greek city-states, led by Athens and Sparta, laid the foundation for much of modern science, the arts, politics, and law. But the influence of the Greeks did not end with the rise and fall of this classical civilization. As historian Roderick Beaton illustrates, over three millennia Greek speakers produced a series of civilizations that were rooted in southeastern Europe but again and again ranged widely across the globe.   […Learn More]

Book cover of The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy by Myke Cole
Ancient Civilizations

The Bronze Lie: Shattering the Myth of Spartan Warrior Supremacy

The story of the Spartans is one of the best known in history, from their rigorous training to their dramatic feats of arms–but is that portrait of Spartan supremacy true? Renowned novelist and popular historian Myke Cole goes back to the original sources to set the record straight.

The Spartan hoplite enjoys unquestioned currency as history’s greatest fighting man. Raised from the age of seven in the agoge, a military academy legendary for its harshness, Spartan men were brought up to value loyalty to the polis (the city-state) above all else, and to prize obedience to orders higher than their own lives. […Learn More]