You have no items in your shopping cart.

e-Gorgias (Issue 18, May 2007)


Issue 18
May 2007
Reading Time: 15 minutes

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain, but here in New Jersey the rain ends up in the rivers and swells them to ten feet above flood stage. Thanks to our recent nor'easter, the state received a record-setting twelve inches of rain in April--eight inches above normal. As a result Gorgias Press was ankle-deep in water. We were about ready to start building an ark, then realized that it would be a far, far better thing for the business to move all the hard drives up off the floor. Our staff is comprised of academic nerds, computer geeks and sensitive artistic types, which means we all discovered long-forgotten muscle groups in the process of hauling around equipment and furniture, pulling up carpet, removing sodden carpet padding, and operating two wet-dry vacs. The biggest casualty was our customer service to you, as we had to spend the better part of a week with the clean-up. We thank you for your patience, and if you were not able to get in touch with us during the week of April 16-20, we encourage you to try again. We are dried out and back in business!

Here's a look at this month's eGorgias:


  • Recently Released: Our latest titles
  • Coming Soon: The American Journal of Ancient History
  • From the Acquisitions Desk: By Acquisitions Editor Steve Wiggins
  • News: Lecture Tour by David Gaunt
  • May Enthusiast of the Month: Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin, Bishop of the Netherlands, Diocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church
  • Conferences: Association of Ancient Historians; report on ARAM Conference



Biblical scholars will be pleased to know of Dirk Jongkind's new book. You can find a full description of this and any of our books on our website,


Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus
By Dirk Jongkind

ISBN 978-1-59333-422-2, Hardback, $78

Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most famous and important manuscripts of the Bible. The book studies a variety of textual and non-textual phenomena of this manuscript in order to learn more about the individual scribes who were responsible for copying the text.

The Cosmic Covenant
By Robert Murray

ISBN 978-1-59333-604-2, Hardback, $85

Murray’s study of the covenant theme begins with a chronological survey of the concept, beginning at the creation itself. He traces this theme through the Bible, noting its key components of justice and peace. The concept is a shared one between Judaism and Christianity, and Murray suggests that it continues to have ecological as well as spiritual relevance to the world today.

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream or The End of a Medieval Catholic Church
By Roger Lenaers

ISBN 978-1-59333-583-0, Paperback, $49

The Catholic Church of the Third Millennium has retained its medieval images and formulations. The book suggests different ways for modern Catholics to speak about Scripture, hierarchy, Jesus, the afterlife, sacraments, sin, redemption, sacrifice, supplicating prayer and other issues.

Eastern Crossroads: Essays on Medieval Christian Legacy
By Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala

ISBN 978-1-59333-610-3, Hardback, $98

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 predominantly Islamic culture.

The Book of the Laws of Countries: A Dialogue on Free Will versus Fate, A Key-Word-in-Context Concordance
By Jerome Alan Lund

ISBN 978-1-59333-374-4, Hardback, $98

This key-word-in-context concordance will facilitate the study of the very early Syriac text called The Book of the Laws of the Countries, a dialogue on free will versus fate between the Edessean philosopher Bardaisan and his interlocutor Awida.

By Frederick Carl Eiselen

ISBN 978-1-59333-592-2, Hardback, $78

Although the name of "Sidon" is familiar to readers of the Bible, few know much about it. In this seminal study of the city of Sidon the reader is taken through what can be known of the political history and cultural influence, ancient and present, of this important city.

The Mameluke or Slave Dynasty of Egypt 1260-1517 A.D.
By William Muir

ISBN 978-1-59333-697-4, Hardback, $76

Alert to the implications of Egyptian politics to the world of the Middle Ages, Muir offers a detailed look at the rule of the slave-soldier caste known as the Mamelukes who ruled Egypt from 1260 to 1517. Each ruler of the Bahrite and Circassian dynasties is given a full chapter, and the role of the Mamelukes under the Ottoman Empire is reviewed.

The Ancient Egyptians and the Origin of Civilization
By G. Elliot Smith

ISBN 978-1-59333-609-7, Hardback, $76

This monograph, in its second, hard-to-locate edition, proposes a connection between prehistoric monumental European sites and those of the Pyramid Age in Egypt. Using ethnicity as a basis, Smith ties the ancient peoples of Egypt to those of Syria and discusses how Egyptian culture spread from its point of origin.

An Englishwoman in a Turkish Harem
By Grace Ellison

ISBN 978-1-59333-211-2, Hardback, $65

Grace Ellison (d. 1935) actively encouraged dialogues between Turkish and British women at the outset of the twentieth century. Connected with progressive Ottoman elites discussing female and social emancipation, Ellison stayed in an Ottoman harem. Working as a respected journalist, both at home and abroad, she published articles about British-Turkish relations, Turkish nationalism, and the status of women across cultures. This book recounts Ellison’s stay with her friend Fâtima and features reports on motherhood, employment, polygamy, slavery, harem life, modernization, veiling, and prominent women writers. 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.

Aramaic (Syriac) Grammar
By Thomas Arayathinal

ISBN 978-1-59333-512-0, Hardback, $198

Arayathinal’s grammar is among the most comprehensive Syriac grammars ever produced. Designed as a teaching text, this volume is also a solid reference grammar for use by advanced scholars and beginners alike.


Gorgias Press is pleased to announce that we will be publishing the American Journal of Ancient History. The editor is T. Corey Brennan of Rutgers University. This journal will be produced in one volume annually, beginning in 2008. The price for the subscription is $50 per annual issue.

Click here for a complete list of our soon-to-be-published books.


Subscription for American Journal of Ancient History By T. Corey Brennan, ed.
The American Journal of Ancient History is directed towards the interests of the members of the Association of Ancient Historians. It publishes articles concerning the history of the ancient Mediterranean world and the history of other countries in their relations with it. The journal will be produced in one volume annually, beginning in 2008. The price for the subscription is $50 per issue; institutional and individual rates are the same.
ISBN 0362-8914, Paperback, $50

Jesus the Galilean By David A. Fiensy
This monograph does not attempt to present a systematic description of Jesus’ theology. Rather, it works primarily on four texts: Mark 6:1-4; 10:17-22; 7:1-23; and 11:15-17.
ISBN 978-1-59333-313-3, Hardback, $68

Drower's Folk-Tales of Iraq By Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley
A collection of folktales from Iraq, dating from the 1930s, found in the archives of the famous English Lady E. S. Drower (1879-1972), who was novelist, folklorist, specialist on the Mandaeans, and writer of travel accounts. The stories–carrying recognizable Near Eastern folk-tale features–feature monsters and heroes, maidens and fairies and they give a vivid picture of a now extinct oral folktale tradition. The Gorgias Press edition includes the 1931 tales as well as the previously unpublished tales.
ISBN 978-1-59333-360-7, Hardback, $120

Theodora By Gregorios Boulos Behnam
Theodora is a historical play showing that the Byzantine Empress Theodora (d. 548) was a saintly lady with sublime character and decorum. She was the daughter of a Syrian priest and belonged to the Syrian Church. She protected the Fathers of her church from the persecution of the Byzantine church and state.
ISBN 978-1-59333-314-0, Paperback, $29

The Origins of the Islamic State in 2 Volumes By abu-l 'Abbas Ahmad ibn-jabir Al-Baladhuri
This set is one of the most reliable sources on the beginnings of Islamic statehood. It covers the wars of Prophet Muhammad, the ridda wars, the conquests of Syria, Armenia, Egypt, the Maghrib, and the occupation of Iraq and Persia. The set also covers the spread of Islam into the outer-lying areas of the Middle East.
ISBN 978-1-59333-763-6, Hardback, $179

Studies in Arabic and Hebrew Letters in Honor of Raymond P. Scheindlin By Michael Rand and Jonathan P. Decter, eds.
This volume contains contributions, in English and Hebrew, on the following topics: Biblical criticism, Medieval Biblical lexicography, Classical and Post-Classical piyyut, Medieval Hebrew poetry and science, Judeo-Arabic poetry and epistolography, Classical Arabic poetry and prose, and the history of Jewish Studies in America.
ISBN 978-1-59333-701-8, Hardback, $86

The Military Consilium in Republican Rome By Pamela Delia Johnston
The consilium, or advisory council, is found in virtually every aspect of Roman life, especially in the military sphere. This work examines in detail the composition and workings of the commander's consilium in the mid-to late Republican period.
ISBN 978-1-59333-373-7, Hardback, $76

The History of the Governors of Egypt by Abu 'Umar Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Kindi By Nicholas August Koenig
Published for the first time in this book is the History of the Governors of Egypt by Abu Umar Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Kindi (d. 870). Edited from a single manuscript by Nicholas Koenig, this study is as close as possible to a critical edition when only one manuscript survives.
ISBN 978-1-59333-766-7, Hardback, $62

Athos and its Monasteries By F. W. Hasluck
In this treatment of Mount Athos, perhaps the most famous of Greek monasteries, Hasluck takes the reader through an historical synopsis of the complex from the beginnings of Athos through the nineteenth century. Also included is a description of the history and architecture of the twenty sovereign monasteries on Mount Athos.
ISBN 978-1-59333-767-4, Hardback, $74

Negotiating Island Identities By Ina Berg
This volume interweaves archaeological data and current theoretical approaches to illuminate socio-economic strategies behind increasing imports and imitations of Minoan pottery shapes, styles and technologies in the Middle to Late Bronze Age Cyclades.
ISBN 978-1-59333-725-4, Hardback, $78



Dear E-Gorgias Readers,

April was a busy month in the Acquisitions Department with several submissions of new manuscripts to consider and the approval of several new titles. Often the acquisitions process may seem to lumber along like an ailing elephant – slowly and painfully. In fact, however, this time-consuming process is a sign of health! With our manuscripts being carefully reviewed by internal and external reviewers, the continuing quality of Gorgias Press titles is assured.

Be sure to watch our web pages for new book titles over the next few weeks. Many new books are bubbling up through the stew that leads to publication. Dirk Jongkind’s Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus, the newest volume of our Texts and Studies series, is now available and will be of interest to biblical scholars everywhere. Other titles in the new series Gorgias Précis Portfolios are quickly moving through the paces, along with books on linguistics and even a study of Dura Europos. Reprints in the Gorgias Historic Travels in the Cradle of Civilization series will soon be hitting the shelves.

Please continue encouraging new submissions from potential authors – Gorgias Press is pleased to consider quality manuscripts in a wide variety of areas.

Steve Wiggins, Acquisitions Editor



Gorgias Author David Gaunt Lecture Tour in California, May 3-11, 2007

David Gaunt, author of Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia During World War I, is now in California for a series of lectures on the Armenian and Assyrian Genocides of 1915. Professor Gaunt is speaking at several institutions between now and May 11, including Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, California State Stanislaus, California State Fresno, UCLA, the Assyrian American Association of Southern California, and the Analysis Research and Planning for Armenia Institute (ARPA). In addition, he will be interviewed on Ashur TV and the Loma Linda Broadcasting Network.

The main sponsors of the tour are the Assyrian American National Federation (AANF) and the National Armenian Association for Studies and Research (NAASR). For more information regarding the tour, contact Jacklin Bejan or Marc Mamigonian.

Professor Gaunt's book will be available for purchase at the lectures. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Here is Dr. Gaunt's schedule:

  • May 3: 7:30 p.m.: Stanford University. Tresidder Union, Cypress Room, 2nd floor, 459 Lagunita Drive, Stanford, CA 94305.
  • May 4: 7:30 p.m.: University of California at Berkeley, Dwinelle Hall, Room 219.
  • May 5: 11:00 a.m. Television interview with Ashur TV (Assyrian Satellite Program).
  • May 5: 4:00 p.m.: "Come Meet the Author", Assyrian American Association of San Jose, 1352 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA.
  • May 6: 4:00 p.m.: California State University, Stanislaus, Demergasso-Bava Hall, Room 166, 801 West Monte Vista Avenue, Turlock, CA 95832.
  • May 8: 7:30 p.m.: California State University, Fresno, University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191.
  • May 9: 7:30 p.m.: The Assyrian American Association of Southern California Hall, 5901 Cahuenga Boulevard, North Hollywood, CA 91601.
  • May 10: 10:00 a.m.: Television interview with Loma Linda Broadcasting Network.
  • May 10: 7:00 p.m.: University of California, Los Angeles, Moore Hall, Room 100 (use parking lot 6 at the corner of Westwood and Strathmore and follow signs), Los Angeles, CA 90095.
  • May 11: 7:30 p.m.: Merdinian Armenian Christian School, 13330 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, CA.



Our enthusiast of the month is Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin, who was recently consecrated as Bishop of the Netherlands, Diocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church.


Mor Polycarpus has a long history with Gorgias Press and its founders. He and GP President George Kiraz have been good friends for sixteen years and were students together in England. Mor Polycarpus has been an enthusiastic supporter of GP, and has contributed to the dissemination of the Syriac language with his translation of Sebastian Brock's Bible in the Syriac Tradition into Syriac for GP. As part of his new position, he will take over Bar Hebraeus Verlag, a press which does much publishing in Syriac. Bar Hebraeus Verlag (which operates out of St. Ephraim the Syrian Monastery in the Netherlands) and Gorgias Press will now be working together to bring Syriac texts to their many readers.

The consecration in Damascus on April 15.

His Eminence was born Edip Aydin in Turabdin, Turkey. His primary and secondary education included training in Syriac language, literature, theology and liturgy. Upon completion of his secondary education, he was ordained subdeacon in the Syriac Orthodox Church. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Divinity from the University of London in 1995 and subsequently audited the M.St. course in Syriac Studies at Oxford under the supervision of Dr. Sebastian P. Brock. Subdeacon Edip came to the USA and earned his Master of Divinity in 2000 from Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY, graduating with distinction. He received the name Augin (Eugene) when he was tonsured as a monk; he was ordained to the priesthood in 2002 and is nearing completion of his Ph.D. at Princeton in the field of Early Church History and Ecumenics, under the supervision of Professor Kathleen McVey.

Mor Polycarpus Augin Aydin was consecrated in Damascus on April 15, and installed in the Netherlands on April 29. The installation was conducted according to the Synthroniso, the order of episcopal installation. This service of welcome for the new bishop is conducted at the beginning of the Eucharistic liturgy, and uses ornate poetic language and symbolism. After opening with prayers, hymns and psalm readings, the Gospel is read by the new bishop; this is followed by a litany of prayers. The climax of the installation comes when the newly appointed bishop is seated on his throne. The clergy shout three times, "Aksios (he is worthy), Aksios, Aksios, our father Mor Polycarpus", repeated each time by the congregation. The Systaticon (commendation letter) written by the Patriarch of Antioch is read, giving the new bishop authority over his diocese. The new bishop delivers the sermon, after which the Eucharist is completed.

The episcopal name, Polycarpus, recalls Saint Polycarpus of Smyrna (A.D. 69-155). He is said to have been a disciple of John, meaning either John the son of Zebedee (traditionally viewed as the author of the fourth Gospel) or John the Presbyter. Like his namesake Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin, Saint Polycarpus was a man of letters. His sole surviving work is his Letter to the Philippians, a mosaic of references to the Greek Scriptures.

Gorgias President George Kiraz with Mor Polycarpus

Both the consecration and installation were attended by George Kiraz. George had time to visit with His Eminence, who offered these remarks:

"Gorgias Press through its ever increasing wide range of publications and reprints in the field of Syriac Studies has become a second Beth Gazo, treasure house, for the entire Syriac-speaking Churches. Like the essential liturgical Beth Gazo of varied and rich Syriac melodies, Gorgias Press is becoming an indispensable source for the Syriac reader and specialist alike. I highly commend George Kiraz & his wife Christine for their vision and contribution to the field of Syriac scholarship, and I strongly recommend the Syriac people to adorn their libraries with books taken from this modern new Beth Gazo."

Gorgias Press congratulates His Eminence, and we wish him well in his ministry.


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

ISBN 1-931956-15-4, Paperback, $35

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 the Syriac literary and liturgical tradition.

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.


Gorgias Press will be exhibiting at the conferences and meetings listed below, offering a special discount to conference attendees for not just the books in display but for all items in our current catalog. In addition, our editors will also be present at these meetings should you have a manuscript proposal which you would like to discuss with us.

Gorgias Press at Annual Meeting of the Association of Ancient Historians

Look for us at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Ancient Historians in Princeton, NJ, May 3-6, 2007. We will have preview issues available of the American Journal of Ancient History--ask to have a look!

We will also be at the following conferences:

Conference Report: ARAM Society, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, April 10-12

Gorgias Press was present at the Modern Syriac Literature conference held by the ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies at its 23rd international meeting at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. This was the first time the Society held its meeting in Chicago. The conference paid special attention to the modern period of Syriac and Neo-Aramaic literature with speakers from academia and Aramaic-speaking communities, particularly the local Assyrian community. The papers covered various topics, including literary studies and historical studies of the period. Gorgias President George Kiraz delivered a paper detailing his experiences of speaking with his children exclusively in Kthobonoyo, a spoken form of Classical Syriac. Gorgias series editor Geoffrey Khan of the University of Cambridge spoke on the syntax and discourse structure of Neo-Aramaic narrative texts from Barwar, a subject Gorgias will publish in its Neo-Aramaic Studies series. J. F. Coakley of Harvard University spoke about Assyrian printers in the United States between 1915 and 1943. His book, Typography of Syriac: A Historical Catalogue of Printing Type 1537-1958 is available from Gorgias Press. Gene Fojtik, our conference representative in the area, managed a Gorgias Press booth at the meeting.

Conference Bestsellers

The following five titles were bestsellers at the recent ARAM and Dorushe conferences:

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 I and the reactions of the rest of the world to these religiously motivated killings. The situation is traced up through the War in Cyprus until 1974 and then, briefly, to the modern period.

The Scattered Pearls: History of Syriac Literature and Sciences
By Aphram (Ephrem) I Barsoum

ISBN 1-931956-04-9, Hardback, $95

The only history of Syriac literature to make use of hundreds of manuscripts from the east. “This is a work which has long been recognized as an essential source of information for anyone with a serious interest in Syriac literature.” Sebastian P. Brock, University of Oxford

The Book of the Laws of Countries: Dialogue on Fate of Bardaisan of Edessa
By H. J. W. Drijvers

ISBN 978-1-59333-371-3, Hardback, $58

The Book of the Laws of Countries (BLC) by Bardaisan of Edessa belongs to the most important writings of early Syriac literature. The text reflects the intellectual climate of northern Mesopotamia and in particular that of the city of Edessa, at the end of the second century and the first decades of the third century CE.

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.

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.


Gorgias Press
46 Orris Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA
Tel. +1 732-699-0343
Fax. +1 732-699-0342