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]

Computers & Technology

Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology

The fascinating untold story of how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life—and even invented real automated machines 

The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life—and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, “life through craft.” […Learn More]

Ancient Civilizations

The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World

The real history of the Amazons in war and love

Amazons―fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world―were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons. […Learn More]