Browse our Ancient World 2019 Catalog

Our new Ancient World catalog includes the fascinating untold story of how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life—and even invented real automated machines, a new account of the famous site and story of the last stand of a group of Jewish rebels who held out against the Roman Empire, a new translation that captures the gripping power of one of the greatest war stories ever told—Julius Caesar’s pitiless account of his brutal campaign to conquer Gaul.

If you plan on attending AIA/SCS 2018 in San Diego this weekend, stop by Booths 204/206 to see our full range of Ancient World titles and more.

 

Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children—the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple—reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. The first extensive archaeological excavations of Masada began in the 1960s, and today the site draws visitors from around the world. And yet, because the mass suicide was recorded by only one ancient author—the Jewish historian Josephus—some scholars question if the event ever took place.

Featuring numerous illustrations, Masada is an engaging exploration of an ancient story that continues to grip the imagination today.

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, long before medieval automata, and centuries before technology made self-moving devices possible, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life—and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, “life through craft.” In this compelling, richly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor tells the fascinating story of how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, and Chinese myths envisioned artificial life, automata, self-moving devices, and human enhancements—and how these visions relate to and reflect the ancient invention of real animated machines.

A groundbreaking account of the earliest expressions of the timeless impulse to create artificial life, Gods and Robots reveals how some of today’s most advanced innovations in robotics and AI were foreshadowed in ancient myth—and how science has always been driven by imagination. This is mythology for the age of AI.

Imagine a book about an unnecessary war written by the ruthless general of an occupying army—a vivid and dramatic propaganda piece that forces the reader to identify with the conquerors and that is designed, like the war itself, to fuel the limitless political ambitions of the author. Could such a campaign autobiography ever be a great work of literature—perhaps even one of the greatest? It would be easy to think not, but such a book exists—and it helped transform Julius Caesar from a politician on the make into the Caesar of legend. This remarkable new translation of Caesar’s famous but underappreciated War for Gaul captures, like never before in English, the gripping and powerfully concise style of the future emperor’s dispatches from the front lines in what are today France, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland.

Browse our Jewish Studies 2019 Catalog

Our new Jewish Studies catalog includes a new exploration of the ancient story of Masada, an engaging firsthand portrait of American Judaism today, and a gripping revisionist history that shows how ordinary Italians played a central role in the genocide of Italian Jews during the Second World War.

If you’re attending the Association for Jewish Studies meeting in Boston this weekend, you can stop by Booth 206 to check out our Jewish studies titles!

 

Jodi Magness Masada book cover

Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children—the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple—reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. In Masada, archaeologist Jodi Magness explains what happened there, how we know it, and how recent developments might change understandings of the story.

 

Jack Wertheimer New American Judaism book cover

American Judaism has been buffeted by massive social upheavals in recent decades. Like other religions in the United States, it has witnessed a decline in the number of participants over the past forty years, and many who remain active struggle to reconcile their hallowed traditions with new perspectives—from feminism and the LGBTQ movement to “do-it-yourself religion” and personally defined spirituality. Taking a fresh look at American Judaism today, Jack Wertheimer, a leading authority on the subject, sets out to discover how Jews of various orientations practice their religion in this radically altered landscape. The New American Judaism is a quintessentially American story of rash disruption and creative reinvention, religious illiteracy and dynamic experimentation.

 

Simon Levis Sullam Italian Executioners book cover

In this gripping revisionist history of Italy’s role in the Holocaust, Simon Levis Sullam presents an unforgettable account of how ordinary Italians actively participated in the deportation of Italy’s Jews between 1943 and 1945, when Mussolini’s collaborationist republic was under German occupation. While most historians have long described Italians as relatively protective of Jews during this time, The Italian Executioners tells a very different story, recounting in vivid detail the shocking events of a period in which Italians set in motion almost half the arrests that sent their Jewish compatriots to Auschwitz.