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e-Gorgias 98




Issue 98
October/November: 2016

Reading Time: 10 minutes
Dear Friend,
It has been an exciting Autumn at Gorgias Press - we recently began our popular Annual Sale (40% off all books!), launched our all new, fully redesigned website, and finished our 2016 Fall Catalog, which celebrates our 15th anniversary (expect these to arrive in your mailboxes in December)! Moreover, we're getting ready for the AAR/SBL Annual Meeting (booth 531) and MESA Annual Meeting in November, as well as the AJS Annual Meeting (booth 103) in December.

In addition to announcements about recently released and upcoming books, this issue of e-Gorgias includes a piece from our new Islamic Studies Acquisitions Editor,
Adam Walker; blurbs about our new website and annual sale; a column by one of our Gorgias Press Book Grant winners for 2016, Miriam DeCock; and a note on Ilana Wartenberg's book launch for her volume, The Epistle of the Number by Ibn al-Ahdab.


Zack Wainer, Marketing and Editorial Assistant

  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
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For the complete list of recent publications, please visit our New Releases page.

ImageFromGFF A Short Chronicle on the End of the Sasanian Empire and Early Islam
Edited and Translated by Nasir al-Ka'bi
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0563-8
Hardback: $161.20; Annual Sale: $96.72 (You Save: $64.48)

The Short Chronicle is probably part of a Church History that is no longer extant, and it was written by an Ecclesiastic living in the north of Mesopotamia and belonging to the Church of the East. It is an eyewitness report on a crucial historical period, the mid-7th century that witnessed the demise of two contending world empires, the Sasanian and the Byzantine, and their replacement by Islam, thus signaling the end of Late Antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The Chronicle may be the earliest Syriac document which relies heavily on official Sasanian sources, including Khwadāy-nāmag, when it discusses secular history, and on church histories when dealing with ecclesiastical matters. It may also be the oldest Syriac chronicle which deals with the advent of Muḥammad and the ensuing Arab conquest, and which mentions Arab cities for the first time ever, including Mosul, Kufa, and Baṣra.

Picture of The Coup of Jehoiada and the Fall of AthaliahThe Coup of Jehoiada and the Fall of Athaliah
By Clayton Bench
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0577-5
Hardback: $95; Annual Sale: $57 (You Save: $38)


The Coup of Jehoiada and the Fall of Athaliah explores the discursive and historiographical techniques used to incorporate 2 Kings 11 into the larger deuteronomistic history. More specifically, this book explores how and why the report of Athaliah’s execution was not incorporated into the deuteronomistic history the same way as other Ahabite death reports found in 1 Kings 14 – 2 Kings 10. Approaching the text from a discourse critical perspective indicates that the report of Jehoiada’s coup and Athaliah’s execution in 2 Kings 11 was not initially a part of the deuteronomistic history. This analysis of the intertextuality and interdiscursivity of 2 Kings 11 shows that once the coup report was incorporated into the deuteronomistic history, it was successively redacted and reproduced in Late Monarchic Judah and Persian Period Yehud. The discourses that guided and constrained this process of textual production and reproduction were mainly concerned with Joash’s dynastic legitimacy and the legitimacy of the Jerusalem-centered Yahweh cult. As a result, Athaliah’s Israelite heritage and her short period of rule in Jerusalem had to be delegitimized.

Picture of The Center and the Source The Center and the Source
By Michael J. Svigel
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0646-8
Hardback: $95; Annual Sale: $57 (You Save: $38)

The identity of catholic Christianity in the early second century was marked by a unified confession of the unique incarnational narrative—that the heavenly Son/Logos became incarnate, suffered, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven. In the early second century this narrative was already widespread and played a foundational role in the theology and paraenesis of catholic Christians. This confessional identity both preceded and precipitated identity-challenging christological conflict with teachers and traditions that rejected central tenets of the incarnational narrative. This book further proposes a model for explaining unity and diversity in early Christianity that centers about a clear confessional identity, allowing both extreme expressions of diversity of texts and traditions while explaining the exclusion of teachers, texts, and traditions that deviated from the confessional norm. This model also proposes an explanation for the promotion and protection of a clear catholic identity in the early second century apart from the structures of an established canon, creed, and cathedra. Furthermore, this early, widespread, and foundational incarnational narrative suggests that its historical roots reach back perhaps as early as the middle of the first century among the majority of first generation Christians.

ImageFromGFF Essays in Global Color History
Edited by Rachael B. Goldman
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0582-9
Hardback: $60; Annual Sale: $36 (You Save: $24)

This collection of 13 interdisciplinary essays (3000 B.C.- 600 A.D) examines a wide range of topics, examining the use and cultural significance of color in the Ancient World. A unifying theme of these essays is that they examine which colors were preferred in ancient cultures, what social and cultural meanings were attached to them, and how we can gain a greater understanding of these cultures by examining how they used and perceived color. After an introduction, the essays will cover the civilizations of Ancient China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesoamerica, and the Islamic world. This set of essays will explore how color was used in art (as in sculpture and maps) and cultural attitudes towards color, especially colored clothing and color as applied to physiognomic ideals. This volume addresses the subject of color in an interdisciplinary, world historical approach, including China and Mesopotamia and the Middle East, as well as Mesopotamia and the Classical World.

ImageFromGFF Xenophon's Memorabilia and The Apology of Socrates translated by Sarah Fielding
Edited with Notes and Introduction by Hélène Pignot
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0614-7
Hardback: $60; Annual Sale: $36 (You Save: $24)

Sarah Fielding (1710-1768), the younger sister of Henry Fielding, and the close friend of his literary rival Samuel Richardson, was one of the very few English women (as was her friend Elizabeth Carter, the translator of all the works of Epictetus) to master ancient languages like Latin and Greek. With the help of Shaftesbury's nephew, James Harris, a distinguished writer, scholar and grammarian, she embarked on the ambitious project of translating Xenophon's Memorabilia and the Apology of Socrates from the Greek. This work, titled Memoirs of Socrates, with the Defence of Socrates before his Judges, was finally released in 1762. She proved a discreet editor and a talented Hellenist, whose elegant style garnered praise from Tobias Smollett in his Critical Review. This superb translation is re-published in its entirety for the first time since the 18th century.

The Syrian Orthodox Christians in the Late Ottoman Period and Beyond By Khalid S. Dinno
The events following the 1895 violence in southeastern Anatolia became precursors to the genocidal Safyo of 1915, which resulted in the annihilation of nearly half the Syrian Orthodox in Anatolia and brought Syrian Orthodoxy to the verge of extinction. The apathy of the victors of World War I towards the beleaguered survivors contrasted with the welcome the exiled survivors found in the Arab lands to the south, where historical affinity was rekindled. From the safety of this new environment, Syrian Orthodoxy, led by enlightened individuals, was revitalized, drawing on a venerable Syriac cultural tradition and a patriarchal standing that was characteristically free from social elitism and tribal sectarianism. Utilizing the quest for learning that was widespread in the emerging new nation states, this new leadership, despite meager resources, launched Syrian Orthodoxy on a course of revival and renaissance not witnessed since the days of Bar Hebraeus in the late thirteenth century. No study, in any language, has covered the history of the Syrian Orthodox Church over the designated period as fully as this current work, which it is hoped will fill a dire gap and break ground in new research.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0575-1 , Hardback: $208; Annual Sale: $124.80 (You Save: $83.20)

Exodus According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation English Translation by Mark Meyer; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz & Joseph Bali
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Mark Meyer has translated the text, while Kiraz has prepared the Syriac text in the west Syriac script, fully vocalized and pointed. The translation and the Syriac text are presented on facing pages so that both can be studied together. All readers are catered for: those wanting to read the text in English, those wanting to improve their grasp of Syriac by reading the original language along with a translation, and those wanting to focus on a fully vocalized Syriac text.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0536-2, Hardback: $150; Annual Sale: $90 (You Save: $60)

Contemporary Examinations of Classical Languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, and Greek) Edited by Timothy Martin Lewis, Alison G. Salvesen & Beryl Turner
Ancient language study is becoming an increasingly sophisticated and complex discipline, as scholars not only consider methods being used by specialists of other languages, but also absorb developments in other disciplines to facilitate their own research investigations. This interdisciplinary approach is reflected in the scope of research papers offered here, invited and peer-reviewed by the ISLP.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0656-7 , Hardback: $150; Annual Sale: $90 (You Save: $60)

Cyrillona By Carl Griffin
Cyrillona (fl. 396) was a younger contemporary of Ephrem the Syrian whose work has been celebrated as comparable in both beauty and its significance for our understanding of early Syriac Christianity. This study reassesses conventional claims about the author’s identity, date, and the constitution of his corpus. It introduces each of Cyrillona’s five surviving poems and examines their poetic form and genre, structure and rhetorical features, and critical questions of text, interpretation, and theology.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0607-9 , Hardback: $95; Annual Sale: $57 (You Save: $38)

Averroes, the Decisive Treatise Edited with an Introduction by Massimo Campanini
The Decisive Treatise is perhaps the most controversial work of Averroes (Ibn Rushd, 1126-1198) and belongs to a trilogy which boldly represent the philosophical contribution to Islamic theology of this famous Andalusian commentator on Aristotle. The Decisive Treatise is a fatwa (a legal opinion) that the judge, Averroes, promulgated for his fellow Malikite jurists in order to demonstrate that the study of philosophy is not only licit from the point of view of religious law, but even mandatory for the skilled people. However, many subjects are dealt with in this comparatively short book: An epistemology aimed to show that philosophical truth and religious truth are not in contradiction; a sociology of knowledge pointing out that humans are classified in three classes (philosophers, theologians, common folk); a Qur’anic hermeneutics suggesting how to approach philosophically the Holy Book in agreement with religious requirements and linguistic rules.
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0638-3, Hardback: $75; Annual Sale: $45 (You Save: $30)

The Julian Romance Edited and Translated by Michael Sokoloff
The so-called "Julian Romance" was discovered among the Nitrian manuscripts in the 1830s. This edition, with facing Syriac text and English translation, provides a new, more accurate translation of this important Syriac text.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0533-1, Paperback: $65; Annual Sale: $39 (You Save: $26)

The Works of Cyrillona Edited and Translated by Carl Griffin
Cyrillona (fl. 396) has been ranked among the foremost early Syriac poets since his work was rediscovered by scholars in the mid-19th century. His Holy Week discourses on the Last Supper, the Washing of the Feet, and the Institution of the Eucharist have become particularly well-known to western readers through quotations by such diverse authors as Hugo Rahner and Photina Rech. This volume presents the first modern critical edition of Cyrillona’s Syriac works together with the first complete English translation.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0606-2, Paperback: $65;Annual Sale: $39 (You Save: $26)

The History of the ‘Slave of Christ’: From Jewish Child to Christian Martyr Edited and Translated by Aaron Michael Butts & Simcha Gross
The History of the ‘Slave of Christ’: From Jewish Child to Christian Martyr offers the first critical editions and English translations of the two Syriac recensions of this fascinating text, which narrates the story of a young Jewish child, Asher, who after converting to Christianity and taking the name ʿAḇdā da-Mšiḥā (‘slave of Christ’) is martyred by his father Levi in a scene reminiscent of Abraham’s offering of Isaac in Genesis 22. In a detailed introduction, the authors argue that the text is a fictional story composed during the early Islamic period (ca. 650–850) probably in Shigar (modern Sinjār). Building upon methodology from the study of western Christian and Jewish texts, they further contend that the story’s author constructs an imagined Jew based on the Hebrew Bible, thereby challenging the way that previous scholars have used this text as straightforward evidence for historical interactions between Jews and Christians in Babylonia at this time. This ultimately allows the authors to reevaluate the purpose of the text and to situate it in its Late Antique Babylonian context.
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0573-7, Paperback: $60; Annual Sale: $36 (You Save: $24)

Persian Martyr Acts under King Yazdgird I Edited and Translated by Geoffrey Herman
This volume presents five vivid tales of Persian Christian martyrs from the fifth century. They provide important historical information on Christian society at this time, revealing its geographical and social divisions. Narseh is an itinerant monk from Bēth Raziqāyē who damages a fire temple that had formerly been a church. Tātāq is a high ranking courtier from Bēth Ḥadyab who abandons his position to become an ascetic. Mār ‘Abdā is a compliant bishop from Ḥuzestān drawn into conflict with the king by his confrontational and defiant priest, Hasho. Set in the Sasanian Empire in the reign of Yazdgird I (399-420 CE), these texts thematize the struggle between the martyrs' identity as Persian subjects loyal to the king, often in the face of hostility by the Zoroastrian priesthood, and their devotion to their Christian faith.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0623-9, Paperback: $60; Annual Sale: $36 (You Save: $24)

A Unique Hebrew Glossary from India By Aaron D. Rubin
This book is the first-ever publication on Judeo-Urdu, that is, the Hindi/Urdu language written in Hebrew script. It provides background and an introduction to the Judeo-Urdu corpus, presents nearly two hundred entries from one text — a Hebrew-Judeo-Urdu glossary from the 19th century — and analyzes the orthography, phonology, and morphology of Judeo-Urdu. In the text commentary and grammatical analysis, comparison is made with standard Hindi and Urdu, from which Judeo-Urdu diverges in many interesting ways. This study will be of value to anyone interested in Jewish languages, as well as to those interested in Hindi and Urdu dialectology.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0613-0, Paperback: $48; Annual Sale: $28.80 (You Save: $19.20)

We recently hired three new acquisitions editors, Adam Walker (Islamic Studies), Matthew Steinfeld (New Testament and Early Christianity), and Yael Landman (Hebrew Bible, Ancient Near East, and Jewish Studies - as well as a previous Gorgias Book Grant winner) to complement our Senior Acquisitions Editor Melonie Schmierer-Lee. You'll be hearing from one of these new voices each month in our "From the Acquisitions Desk" column:

Since its establishment, Gorgias Press has grown into one of the world’s leading independent academic publishing houses, especially recognised for its valuable contribution to our understanding of the Late Antique and medieval worlds.

Earlier this year, we at
Gorgias Press were delighted to launch a fresh and exciting new academic series named the Islamic History and Thought Series (IHTS). Headed up by a diverse mix of world-renowned and early career academics, IHTS will introduce into the field important works, in English, French, and German, on any aspect of the Islamic world up to the pre-modern period.

I recently had the opportunity to visit two of the world’s largest academic conferences in the field, the British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS) annual conference in London and the annual International Medieval Congress in Leeds. I was amazed by the enthusiasm for the series shown by the academics I met and by the large number of people who are, in particular, excited by any publications that highlight Syriac sources and the interaction between the Islamic world and other communities, languages, and religions.

We currently have a number of excellent monographs being prepared for publication and are excited by the continued and growing contribution of Gorgias to the field of Islamic studies.
Adam Walker
Acquisitions Editor (Islamic Studies)

New Gorgias Press Website
We've been busy over the last few months here at Gorgias Press working on a new website, which went live this past month. The new website, which will be the online presence of Gorgias Press for years to come, incorporates many of the suggestions you've made, and is designed to provide a more intuitive and user-friendly experience for you, our readers. Highlights include:
  • Simplified, modern layout
  • Consolidated categories
  • Faster checkout experience

Gorgias Press Annual Sale

From now until December 31, 2016, we are happy to offer a 40% discount on all books ordered through our website! Additionally, keep an eye on your e-mail and our Facebook page for information about weekly discounts of up to 50% on single books and entire series! The following publications have been especially popular during the annual sale:

ImageFromGFF Orthodox Monasticism Past and Present
Edited by John A. McGuckin
Hardback: $227.50; Annual Sale: $136.50 (You Save: $91)

Picture of Job According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English TranslationJob According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation
Translated by Jonathan Loopstra; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz & Joseph Bali
Hardback: $150; Annual Sale: $90 (You Save: $60)

ImageFromGFFMyth, Text, and History at Sparta
Edited by Thomas Figueira
Hardback: $95; Annual Sale: $57 (You Save: $38)

Gorgias Press Book Grant 2016

Every year, we offer grants of $500 in Gorgias titles to young scholars enrolled in masters or doctoral programs in the humanities for demonstrating excellence in their fields. This year, as in years past, we received a number of outstanding applications. After much deliberation, we are happy to award Gorgias Press Book Grants to Miriam DeCock and Simcha Gross! Miriam was kind enough to write a short profile for e-Gorgias:

Miriam DeCock is a PhD candidate in Early Christianity at McMaster University’s Religious Studies Department. Her current research concerns the Greek patristic reception of the Gospel of John in the 3rd to the 5th centuries, in light of the period’s hermeneutical controversies. She completed her BA in Biblical Studies at Briercrest College, and her MA in Religious Studies at McMaster University. While she is currently working within the genre of patristic commentaries, she is interested in early Christian biblical exegesis in a variety of genres and social settings, including those evidenced in the Syriac fathers.

She intends to use the Gorgias book grant to acquire various primary texts by Syriac patristic authors, as well as resources to facilitate further study of the Syriac language.

“Many thanks to the generous folks at Gorgias for such a wonderful privilege. I can’t wait to dive into the texts this grant has allowed me to have access to!”

Wartenberg Book Launch

On 9th June University College London's Institute of Jewish Studies and Gorgias Press held a book launch celebrating the publication of Ilana Wartenberg's The Epistle of the Number by Ibn al-Ahdab. Ilana gave a talk about her research surrounding the work of Isaac Ibn al-Ahdab - the astronomer, mathematician, poet, exegete and calendar-man - and her enthusiasm for medieval mathematics shone through. Our Senior Acquisitions Editor, Melanie Schmierer-Lee, was at the book launch and had this to say "I was so happy to be there. Ilana and I had worked closely on her book, and it was wonderful to see such interest from what seemed to be a very mathematically-inclined audience. Well done Ilana!"

Melanie Schmierer-Lee (left) and Ilana Wartenberg (right) at Ilana's book launch

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