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e-Gorgias (Issue 15, February 2007)

 

Issue 15
February 2007
Reading Time: 15 minutes
 

Book Grant applications are in and the number of applicants was triple that of last year. Gorgias Press wishes to thank all those who applied. The Book Grant Committee will be meeting in the next few weeks to review each application thoroughly. We are already impressed with the interest and the quality of the applications we have received from up-and-coming young scholars. We wish all of them luck. The winners will be contacted individually, and we will announce them in the March issue of eGorgias and our website, so stay tuned.

Recent developments show that Gorgias titles and authors seem to have a habit of being up-to-the-minute relevant with respect not only to academic developments, but also to international politics. Read on:

  • In current scholarship, a recent article on mathematics in ancient Egypt in the English-language weekly Al-Ahram brought to mind one of our upcoming publications, that of The Other Mathematics: Language and Logic in Egyptian and in General by Leo Depuydt. Depuydt’s book treats several facets of Egyptian in light of modern scientific logic. The author of the Al-Ahram article, Assem Deif, is Professor of Mathematics at Cairo University. He explores the construction of the pyramids and other Egyptian monuments and temples to discern whether the ancient Egyptians had a unique skill for mathematic calculation. The full text of the article can be viewed in Al-Ahram.
  • The Assyrian Church of the East in Southern California is building the Assyrian Genocide Memorial Wall, which will be unveiled on February 17, 2007. David Gaunt, genocide scholar and Gorgias author, has been asked to contribute a message to be read on the day of the dedication. Professor Gaunt's book Massacres, Resistance, Protectors deals extensively with the sensitive subject of the genocide of the Assyrian Christians during World War I.
  • In view of the current considerations to allow Turkey to join the European Union, a campaign to raise awareness of the 1915 genocide of Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs in Turkey is underway. The campaign mission is to provide copies of David Gaunt’s book, Massacres, Resistance, Protectors to members of the EU Parliament and other decision-makers in Europe. To learn more about the campaign and how you can support it, go to Bethnahrin and click on the image of Gaunt's book cover.

     


 

  • Recent Releases: Hurray! Three Brock titles and Gaunt's book are finally here!
  • Coming Soon: Books to be released shortly, as well as new additions to our catalog
  • In Memoriam: Hrant Dink
  • European Seminar on Human Rights in Turkey
  • February Gorgias Enthusiast of the Month: Nicolas Wyatt, editor for the new Gorgias Ugaritic Series

 


 





Go to the just published page to view the list of most recent releases. We have the pleasure to announce that Ephrem the Syrian: Select Poems compiled by Gorgias author and Syriac Scholar Sebastian Brock and Gorgias Author and President George Kiraz is finally available through Gorgias Press. What's more, for a limited time you can save 10% off the list price, so buy now and save.

 

Ephrem the Syrian: Select Poems
By Sebastian, and George Kiraz Brock

ISBN 978-0-934893-65-7, Hardback, $36

The most important poet-theologian of the ancient Syriac Church, St. Ephrem wrote many works that are still in use today. In this handsome volume, twenty of Ephrem the Syrian’s poems are arranged in compliance with the saint’s understanding of salvation history. These poems, starting with paradise and running through the sacramental life of the church, are a proficiuous introduction to the thought of Ephrem.



Thomas Allom's Constantinople and the Scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor
By Mark Wilson

ISBN 1-59333-139-8, Hardback, $129

Allom traveled through Constantinople, Bursa, and the Aegean region making drawings. Allom’s scenic portraiture, paired with descriptive commentary by Robert Walsh, is a cultural, historical, and artistic treasure of great interest to contemporary travelers and readers.



Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia During World War I
By David Gaunt

ISBN 1-59333-301-3, Paperback, $48

This pioneering historical investigation of the genocide of the Assyrian, Chaldean, and Syrian Christians of Upper Mesopotamia during World War I uses primary sources of Turkish, Russian, German, French, and Arabic origin, and oral histories by survivors and their descendants.



The Bible in the Syriac Tradition (English Version)
By Sebastian Brock

ISBN 1-59333-300-5, Paperback, $29

This is an introduction to the Syriac versions of the Bible, with chapters on the manuscript tradition, the main editions, commentaries, and various aspects of the ways the Bible was interpreted and used in Syriac literary and liturgical traditions.



An Introduction to Syriac Studies
By Sebastian Brock

ISBN 1-59333-349-8, Paperback, $29

Primarily intended as a handbook for the student embarking on the field of Syriac studies, this Introduction should also prove a very useful resource for scholars working in adjacent fields who need to make use of Syriac materials.



The Christian Minorities in Turkey
By Wilhelm Baum

ISBN 3-902005-62-9, Hardback, $56

Spurred on by the question of whether Turkey should be given full membership to the European Union, Baum raises the specter of the massacre and torture of Eastern Christians in this nation. A cursory history of Turkey up to the nineteenth century is given, and this is supplemented by a detailed account of massacres of Christians during World War One and the reactions of the rest of the world to these religiously motivated killings. The situation is traced up through the War in Cyprus up until 1974 and then, briefly, to the modern period.



The Asmar Syriac Peshitta Gospel Illuminated Lectionary
By Asmar Khoury

ISBN 90-5047-018-1, Hardback, $1195

The Asmar Illuminated Lectionary is a masterpiece of art. Malphono Asmar Koury was one of the most prominent Syriac scribes and artists of the twentieth century. He produced this magnum opus using the most traditional calligraphic techniques which passed from scribe to scribe for generations. The volume, printed on heavy high-quality art paper and adorned with traditional Syriac art, contains the entire Peshitta Syriac lectionary.



Join Friends of the Syriac Book
By -

ISBN 0-00000-033-X, Hardback, $0

Gorgias Press is committed to publishing books in the neglected field of Syriac studies. Since the market for such books is small and the investment cannot always be returned, we believe that a community effort will make this possible. For this reason we have established Friends of the Syriac Book. We encourage your support for our mutual effort by joining this group. For more information, click on the title link.






 





Click here for the complete list

The Other Mathematics: Language and Logic in Egyptian and in General By Leo Depuydt
Since Boole, symbolic logic has supplanted Aristotelian logic. Claude Shannon first applied Boolean algebra to electronic circuits. In this investigation, several facets of ancient Egyptian and its parallels in other languages are reinterpreted from the point of view of modern logic.
ISBN 1-59333-369-2, Hardback, $88

The Ascetical Homilies of Mar Isaac of Nineveh, Edited by Paul Bedjan By Isaac of Nineveh
St. Isaac of Nineveh, or, as he is sometimes known, St. Isaac the Syrian, was born in the region of modern Qatar and lived during the seventh century. Ordained as the bishop of Nineveh sometime between 661 and 681 CE, Isaac withdrew from his ecclesiastical office after only five months, retiring to live as a monastic hermit in the mountains of southeastern Iraq. Translated from their original Syriac into a number of other languages, St. Isaac’s spiritual writings have been read by Christian monastics for centuries. The present volume gives the original Syriac text edited by Paul Bedjan.
ISBN 978-1-59333-389-8, Hardback, $140

Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar and The Influence of Gesenius By E. Kautzsch
Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar is an essential reference tool for any student of classical Hebrew. Apart from the thorough explanation given to each aspect of grammar and syntax, this volume contains an exhaustive scriptural index which leads the user directly to passages that stand as examples of difficult constructions. A full paradigm of the Hebrew verb is also included.
ISBN 978-1-59333-623-3 , Hardback, $109

Eastern Crossroads: Essays on Medieval Christian Legacy By Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala
The chapters of this volume explore both broad themes and specific topics dealing with several aspects connected with the Eastern Christian Legacy. The volume illustrates the strength of Christian cultural life through the Middle Ages under different socio-political situations, including the context of a predominately Islamic culture.
ISBN 978-1-59333-610-3, Hardback, $98

The History, Poetry and Genealogy of the Yemen By Elise Crosby
The History, Poetry, and Genealogy of the Yemen, attributed to the South Arabian historian ?Abid b. Sharya al Jurhumi, is the earliest known Arabic history of pre-Islamic Yemen. This annotated translation and synopsis will be of interest to scholars of South Arabia.
ISBN 1-59333-394-3, Hardback, $78

An Englishwoman in a Turkish Harem By Grace Ellison
Grace Ellison (d. 1935) actively encouraged dialogues between Turkish and British women at the outset of the twentieth century. Despite an impressive legacy, Ellison and her work have almost disappeared from the historical record; the republication of this 1915 work aims to address this neglect.
ISBN 978-1-59333-211-2, Hardback, $65

Adrian Fortescue and the Eastern Christian Churches By Anthony Dragani
Adrian Fortescue (1874-1923) was recognized as one of England’s foremost authorities on Eastern Christianity. This book is a critical examination of his writings on the subject, analyzing what he said about the Eastern Christian Churches, and highlighting his insights into key questions.
ISBN 1-59333-345-5, Hardback, $76

 


 





Hrant Dink (1954-2007): Journalist, Crusader for Freedom of Expression and Democracy in Turkey, and Family Man

Gorgias Press was saddened to hear the shocking news of the assassination of journalist Hrant Dink in Turkey on 19 January 2007. Dink, editor of the bilingual Armenian-Turkish weekly Agos, was shot outside of his office in Istanbul. He was a well-known figure in raising awareness of the Armenian genocide in 1915 (which has been denied officially by the Turkish government), and had reported recently receiving a number of death threats. Suspects have been arrested in connection with his murder.

Dink’s funeral was broadcast internationally. In an extraordinary show of solidarity and support for Dink and his family, Muslim Turks marched alongside Armenians chanting, “We are all Hrant” and “We are all Armenian”. A memorial service for Dink was held in Sweden, where a large group of Syriac and Assyrian Christians honored him for his bravery. Gorgias author and genocide scholar David Gaunt was among those who spoke of Dink’s work at the service in Sweden, saying, "He was a courageous seeker of the truth--outspoken and clear in his opinions and positions. His ambition was to begin a dialogue to reconcile Armenians and Turks in his own country. In this way he had at times to distance himself from Armenians in diaspora about the demand for political recognition of genocide and about laws like the proposed French law that would forbid denial. However, he knew very well that in 1915 a genocide had taken place, but tried to live and write within the confines of Turkish law and public opinion."

Dink was known as a humanitarian who helped friends in need. He was an advocate for the freedom of expression and believed it was a universal human right. It saddened him when his activities and writings on the genocide and Armenian identity in general led to a guilty verdict of violating Article 301 of Turkey’s penal code, which makes it a crime to denigrate “Turkishness”.

Following the verdict, Dink wondered whether he had an obligation to leave Turkey, stating, “In my view, to humiliate people who we live together on the basis of an ethnic or religious difference is called racism and this is something unforgivable.” He was deeply concerned that he not be misunderstood as having offended anyone: “If I am not acquitted at any stage, then I will leave my country. Because in my understanding a person sentenced to punishment with such an accusation does not have the right to live with other citizens whom he has humiliated.” He felt that life in European exile would undermine his work: “What should I do there? Ease makes me uneasy! To leave ‘boiling hells’ and go to ‘ready heavens’ was against my understanding. We were sort of people desiring to turn hell to heaven. To stay and live in Turkey was our real wish and also a must of respect towards all of our known and unknown friends giving the struggle of democracy in Turkey and supporting us.”

Gorgias Press sends its condolences to the family and friends of Hrant Dink.

The quotes above from Dink are taken from his final article, “The ‘Dove Skittishness’ of My Soul” which appeared in Agos. A more detailed account of his funeral can be found in Zinda magazine, which has also reprinted the article from Agos.

 


 





European Seminar Discusses Concerns with Turkey's Compliance with Human Rights

On January 31, a seminar was held at the Swedish House of Parliament on the issue of human rights in Turkey focusing on the issue of political genocide recognition. The seminar was organized by the Swedish parliamentary support committee for Turkey and the Assyrian National Federation. The seminar had been in preparation long before the assassination of Hrant Dink (see above, “In Memoriam: Hrant Dink”), but his untimely death cast a somber air over the proceedings. The standing-room-only audience included politicians and journalists, and representatives from the Turkish and Azerbaijani embassies. Genocide scholar and Gorgias author David Gaunt, of Södertörns University College, was among the speakers; he discussed the Workshop for Armenian-Turkish scholarship. He also spoke of the need to publish and find new documents citing from his own research experience that documents from the Turkish archives confirm eyewitness reports of the 1915 genocide. Some of these documents are included as an appendix in his book, Massacres, Resistance, Protectors. Another speaker was Ann Dissmor, former ambassador to Ankara and now head of the Parliament’s international office. She was concerned that this year’s election campaigns in Turkey would ease the situation for Turkey’s anti-democratic forces; she also pointed out that intellectuals and priests are in a very risky position. Sabri Atman, Assyrian activist from the Netherlands, spoke of the need to recognize the Assyrian genocide. Perhaps the most important political speech was that by Ove Brig, professor of international law and the leading Swedish expert on genocide law and its application. Brig declared unambiguously that what happened to the Armenians, Assyrians, Syrians and Chaldeans was, in any sense of the word, genocide. The seminar concluded with an appeal to the Turkish government to conduct a criminal investigation into the background of the assassination of Hrant Dink.



 


 





Gorgiasians have chosen Nicolas Wyatt, editor of the forthcoming Gorgias Ugaritic Series, as the Gorgias enthusiast of the month for February. We are pleased to have him introduce himself here:

"Never think that retirement leads to inaction! I have been busier than ever since retiring last year.

After tertiary education at the universities of Hull, Montpellier, King’s College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, my career was spent almost entirely in the Scottish universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. In a small department of two staff in Glasgow, I was inevitably a generalist for 18 years, and developed courses in Canaanite and Egyptian religion in addition to Israelite religion and Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. On moving to Edinburgh (for 17 years), the largest Theology and Religious Studies department in Britain, I was able to specialize wholly in ancient Near Eastern affairs.

It is a pleasure to be invited to serve as editor of a new series of monographs to be published by Gorgias Press. I was even softened up by being offered the first in the series all to myself. This will be a volume entitled Word of Tree and Whisper of Stone, and comprise a selection of eight papers, dating from 1992 to the present, from my time at Edinburgh. I hope that these will give readers some idea of the immense satisfaction I have enjoyed in researching in this discipline. eGorgias readers who do not already know it will soon learn that Ugarit and the scholarship arising from its discovery and continued excavation and interpretation are fundamental to the contextualization of the Hebrew Bible and its interpretation. With its significance as well for understanding the prehistory of Greek and Phoenician religion, Ugarit is indeed one of the well-springs of civilization.

Gorgias Press is rapidly becoming a leading publisher of Near Eastern monographs, in the United States, with broad interests across the spectrum and covering the entire historical period. It is good to be associated with the firm. I have been particularly pleased to see that in addition to the important computerized studies of Ugaritic materials by the late J.-L. Cunchillos, Joseph Azize’s fine dissertation volume (No. 15), The Phoenician Solar Theology, covering much later echoes of the same traditions, has been published by Gorgias. I met Joseph in 2003 in London, and was royally hosted by him on a visit to Sydney University in the same year."

Nicolas Wyatt

Nick has published widely in the fields of Ugaritic Studies and Ancient Near Eastern studies. Among his publications:

  • Religious Texts from Ugarit. N. Wyatt, 2nd ed. London; New York: Sheffield Academic Press, c2002. 502 p.; 24 cm. ISBN: 0826460488 (pbk.).
  • Myths of Power: A Study of Royal Myth and Ideology in Ugaritic and Biblical Tradition by N. Wyatt. Mu¨nster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1996. vii, 492 p.; 25 cm. ISBN: 392712043X.
  • Handbook of Ugaritic Studies, edited by Wilfred G.E. Watson and Nicolas Wyatt. Boston: Brill, 1999. xiii, 892 (3) p.,: ill., maps,; 25 cm. ISBN: 9004109889 (alk. paper).

Nick's recommendations from Gorgias Press follow:

 

The Phoenician Solar Theology
By Joseph Azize

ISBN 1-59333-210-6, Hardback, $76

This book, the first study of its kind, contends that an authentic Phoenician solar theology existed, reaching back to at least the fifth or sixth century BCE. Through Azize’s examination, a portrait of a vibrant Phoenician tradition of spiritual thought emerges.



One Writing... Numerous Readings
By J-L Cunchillos

ISBN 1-59333-231-9, Hardback, $97

This work aims at explaining how the recension of the Ugaritic text, based on the Northwest Semitic Philological Data Bank, originated and how it is produced.



The Texts of the Ugaritic Data Bank
By J-L Cunchillos

ISBN 1-59333-270-X, Hardback, $590

A complete edition of all the texts in the Ugaritic Data Bank. A concordance is available separately. A valuable tool for every Ugaritic scholar.



A Concordance of Ugaritic Words
By J-L Cunchillos

ISBN 1-59333-258-0, Hardback, $590

A concordance of the Ugaritic texts (published separately) of the Ugaritic Data Bank. Each word is presented in its proper context. A valuable tool for every Ugaritic scholar.




 





Due to a scheduling conflict, Gorgias Press will not be going to the AOS conference this year. We will, however, be present at the Pappas Patristics Conference, March 15-17, Boston, Massachusetts. Please stop by our table and say "hello"!

 


 





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