I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book, and was amazed beyond my best expectations. The first day I picked it up, I could hardly put it down, reading long past midnight. The descriptions of the people, the rulers, the battles, the times, are fascinating. Not only is there a treasure trove of biblical information, but also many first person accounts of encounters with Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, etc. The source materials used are from the people who were there! Any one with an interest in history and notable people of the past will be fascinated. Remember Herod, who ordered the slaughter of the infants when Jesus was born? According to this, he included his own children! Read about Ptolemy Philopator, who in 216 BC tried to murder all the Jews in Alexandria by locking them in the hippodrome with 500 drunken elephants. (It didn't work.) Really, you have to see this to believe it. This is definitely worth every penny.