Publisher, Philosophy, Political Theory & Ancient World
Our list takes a broad disciplinary and geographically inclusive approach to understanding humanity’s ancient past, with an emphasis on seeing ancient civilizations as fluid sites of crosscultural interaction. Drawing on ancient history, archaeology, classics, mythology, philosophy, religion, and art history, it is informed by well-established approaches to textual and archaeological evidence, as well as by new methodologies. Covering regions from the Greco-Roman world to Egypt and the ancient Near East, and from Central Asia to East Asia, our books illuminate new ways of understanding ancient cultures, peoples, politics, philosophies, literary texts, and religions, and how these inform our present.
New & Noteworthy
Gurus of degrowth: Say hello to the ancient Cynics
Mark Twain once quipped “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
How to Say No
The Cynics were ancient Greek philosophers who stood athwart the flood of society’s material excess, unexamined conventions, and even norms of politeness and thundered “No!” Diogenes, the most famous Cynic, wasn’t shy about literally extending his middle finger to the world, expressing mock surprise that “most people go crazy over a finger.”
On consolation, grief, and coping, and heaven
Psychotherapy is not a recent invention. Thousands of years before Freud, Greek thinkers had discovered the seemingly magical effects that words can have to soothe the mind.
Book Club Pick: Flying Snakes and Griffin Claws
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.
Jason König on The Folds of Olympus
I have always loved spending time in the mountains and reading about the history of mountains and mountaineering. I never set out with the intention of joining up those interests with my work as a classicist, but it just occurred to me at one point that premodernity, and especially the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, tend to be completely ignored in that increasingly vast body of writing.
Adrienne Mayor on Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs
Flamethrowers, poison gases, incendiary bombs, the large-scale spreading of disease: are these terrifying agents of warfare modern inventions? Not by a long shot.