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e-Gorgias (Issue 20, July 2007)

 

Issue 20
July 2007
Reading Time: 15 minutes
 
Dr. Maria Mavroudi

What do Gorgias Press employees have on their minds on any given day? Check out our new staff blog at www.gorgiaspress.com/blog. Our blog entries are as eclectic as our staff, and that says a lot! We encourage you to take a look and add your comments to the dialogue.

We are pleased to announce the re-publication of the Ginza, or The Great Treasure, which is the highest work of authority for the Mandaeans, a religious group which has been subject to recent persecution in the Middle East. The original edition of 100 copies is very rare; we now offer it in a reprint edition with a new introduction by Charles Häberl. See below under "Recently Released" to read more about this important title.

Gorgias author and Syriac scholar Dr. Sebastian Brock will be stateside to present a lecture in Paramus, NJ on July 14. Check the "News" section for further detail. H.E. Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin will also be present.

Our Gorgias Enthusiast of the month is Dr. Maria Mavroudi of Princeton University. Read more about her in our "Enthusiast" section.

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


 

  • Recently Released: Our latest titles
  • Coming Soon: Forthcoming titles from Gorgias Press
  • From the Acquisitions Desk: Acquisitions Editor Steve Wiggins suggests summer brain food
  • News: Sebastian Brock to Offer Free Lecture and Booksigning in New Jersey
  • June Enthusiast of the Month: Dr. Maria Mavroudi of Princeton University
  • Reviews: Buchan and Shemunkasho books reviewed
  • Conferences: Report on the North American Syriac Studies Symposium

 


 





You can find a full description of any of our books on our website, www.gorgiaspress.com.

 

Deification in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition: A Biblical Perspective
By Stephen Thomas

ISBN 978-1-59333-324-9, Hardback, $78

A popularly-written study of the biblical roots of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s mystical understanding of the knowledge of God. This unique study brings together the best of contemporary exegesis with the tradition of Eastern Christianity and illustrates the biblical roots of the Eastern Church's understanding of grace as the energy of God. The book presents, in lay terms, the shape for an Orthodox biblical theology for the 21st century and will be of interest to all Christians for whom the Bible is divine revelation and for whom tradition continues to be creative.



Studies in Arabic and Hebrew Letters in Honor of Raymond P. Scheindlin
By Michael Rand and Jonathan P. Decter, eds.

ISBN 978-1-59333-701-8, Hardback, $86

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.



The Searchable and Bookmarked Syriac-English Dictionary
By George (ed) Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-59333-790-2, CD (PDF), $39

In the lamentable absence of an English-Syriac dictionary, this handy digital tool will be useful to Syriac scholars on the go. A pdf version of J. Payne-Smith’s Compendious Syriac Dictionary, fully bookmarked and searchable, this innovative tool will allow scholars to search all English words in the dictionary. Not only can this pdf be uploaded to laptops, it will also work with smart phones, palms, and other portable electronic devices. Ideal for carrying into the library with you while on Syriac research, this worthwhile edition of the time-honored dictionary will be certain to find a host of applications for today’s Syriac scholar.



Recent Developments in Midrash Research
By Teugels, Lieve M. & Ulmer, Rivka (eds)

ISBN 1-59333-201-7, Hardback, $68

This work consists of a selection of papers from sessions during the first two years of SBL Consultation on Midrash. It demonstrates innovative approaches to midrashic texts and hermeneutic reflections on similarities and differences between interpretations of the Bible.



Linguistic Tips for Latino Learners and Teachers of English
By Edward Odisho

ISBN 978-1-59333-690-5, Hardback, $65

This book avoids exclusive dependence on rote imitations; rather, it teaches language as a live entity that one should hear, see, feel and then cognitively process. Certain linguistics facts take some teachers months or even years to teach. The approach presented here reduces learning time considerably.



The Great Treasure or Great Book, commonly called "The Book of Adam," the Mandaeans' work of highest authority
By Julius Heinrich Petermann

ISBN 978-1-59333-525-0, Hardback, $268

The rare source of Mandaic doctrines, the Bible of the Nasoreans, this fascinating work has been largely unavailable until now. “The Treasures,” or Ginza, written in the Nasorean script and language, was published in 1867 by J. H. Petermann. Now with an English translation of the introduction, this scarce resource is at last available.



The Rites of Eastern Christendom
By Archdale King

ISBN 978-1-59333-390-4, Hardback, $160

In this classic introduction to Eastern Orthodox liturgies, King examines the liturgies of nine Oriental churches. The Syrian, Maronite, Syro-Malankara, Coptic, Ethiopic, Byzantine, Chaldean, Armenian, and Syro-Malabar rites are all considered. Each is described and given a context in the setting of its native church.



Supplement aux Dictionnaires Arabes
By Reinhart P. A. Dozy

ISBN 978-1-59333-518-2, Hardback, $332

This massive two volume supplemental dictionary was originally intended to complete E. W. Lane’s lexicographical work, but has come to stand as an essential wordbook in its own right. Going beyond a customary dictionary, it is a wealth of information about the Arabic world.



Dictionnaire Arabe-Francais
By A. de Biberstein Kazimirski

ISBN 978-1-59333-504-5, Hardback, $483

The standard dictionary for the translation of Arabic into French for many years, this massive work contains all known Arabic roots. Apart from standard Arabic, the dialects of Algiers and Morocco are also included in this two-volume set.






 





We have a broad mix of titles coming your way!

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

 

Exegesis in the Targum of Psalms: The Old, the New, and the Rewritten By Timothy Edwards
The Old, the New and the Rewritten illustrates how Targum Psalms creatively interprets selected psalms and how those interpretations relate to other Jewish and Christian traditions, including early translations of the psalms, rabbinic Midrashim, the New Testament and early Church Fathers. The study of these Psalms suggests viewing Targum Psalms as a creative partner in the world of biblical interpretation, as opposed to a compilation of already existing midrashic material. Edwards portrays the Targum as a link between the written and oral Torah that leads its readers on a path to tradition.
ISBN 978-1-59333-432-1, Hardback, $78

St. Cyril of Alexandria, A New Testament Exegete By Lois M. Farag
This study portrays Cyril of Alexandria as exegete and theologian through an examination of his Commentary on the Gospel John. It begins with an attempt to place Cyril and his commentary within their context. This work argues that Cyril wrote his Commentary on the Gospel of John early in his writing career, almost a decade before becoming bishop. Cyril’s commentary on the Johannine Gospel reveals his exegetical method and his strong Trinitarian theology. The commentary also focuses the nature and work of the Holy Spirit: the indwelling of the Spirit is the beginning of the newness of life.
ISBN 978-1-59333-581-6, Hardback, $88

The Platonic Theology of Ioane Petritsi By Levan Gigineishvili
Gigineishvili’s study is a comprehensive exposition of the philosophical system of twelfth-century Georgian Christian Neoplatonist philosopher Ioane Petritsi. Petritsi translated and commented Proclus’ "Elements of Theology" – the first complete translation of this treatise ever made. The translation needed the creation of a philosophic language—a medium for transmitting the extravagant philosophic ideas into Georgian—which Petritsi had effectively achieved. Petritsi both explains intricacies of Proclus’ thought and tries to prove the basic affinity between the Platonic and the Biblical traditions. Gigineishvili exposes the entire system of Petritsi’s thought on a background of ideas of Proclus, other Neoplatonists, and of the Church Fathers.
ISBN 978-1-59333-395-9, Hardback, $76

Terms for Eternity: Aiônios and Aïdios in Classical and Christian Texts By David Konstan Ilaria Ramelli
This book explores two ancient Greek terms for eternity, aiônios and aïdios, from their earliest occurrence in Pre-Socratic philosophy and Plato down through the patristic fathers, where they play a crucial role in debates over eternal punishment vs. universal salvation.
ISBN 978-1-59333-694-3 , Hardback, $79

The Military Consilium in Republican Rome By Pamela Delia Johnston
The consilium, or advisory council, played an important role in the everyday activities of the Roman magistrate in his role as military commander. This work is an in-depth look at the commander's consilium from its first depicted appearances in the accounts of the legendary period to 31 BC. The concilium adapted to meet changing needs and serves to illustrate how Romans felt about their own society. The role of the commander's consilium can be seen as a pragmatic compromise between the desire for competent leadership and personal ambition on the one hand, and the Romans' ever-present fear of tyrannical behavior on the other hand.
ISBN 978-1-59333-373-7, Hardback, $76

Negotiating Island Identities By Ina Berg
Negotiating Island Identities explores the history of interaction between Crete and the Cycladic islands from the late Middle to Late Bronze II periods when Minoan influence was at its peak. Based on a thorough investigation of pottery assemblages from key sites, the book advocates a rethink of established acculturation scenarios (such as “Minoanisation”) in relation to the Cycladic islands. Openness or closure towards outside influences was not predetermined by cultural, geographical or ecological variables but was socially constructed. Island communities could consciously fashion their worlds and make choices about the nature and degree of interaction with their neighbours.
ISBN 978-1-59333-725-4, Hardback, $78

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

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

American Journal of Ancient History (New Series 2.2, 2003 [2007]) By T. Corey Brennan, ed.
The continuation of the historic American Journal of Ancient History this volume contains three articles: “Urartu and the Medikos logos of Herodotus” by Laura D. Steele, “‘The athletes of war’: An evaluation of the agonistic elements in Greek warfare” by John Dayton, and “Agesilaus’ Egyptian enterprise” by Stephen Ruzicka. This is volume 2, number 2 of the New Series (2003 [2007]).
ISBN 978-1-59333-746-9, Paperback, $50

American Journal of Ancient History (New Series 3-4, 2004-2005 [2007]) By T. Corey Brennan, ed.
The continuation of the historic American Journal of Ancient History this volume contains nine articles and comprises the contents of volumes 3 and 4 of the New Series (2004-2005 [2007]).
ISBN 978-1-59333-782-7, Paperback, $50

Early and Later Jewish Influence on Christianity By F C Burkitt
Selected from the essays of the influential volume “The Legacy of Israel,” the three contributions in this volume explore early and later Jewish influence on Christianity. Written by F. C. Burkitt, A. Meillet, and L. Magnus, the articles consider the patristic period and modern European literary usage of Hebrew scripture and tradition.
ISBN 978-1-59333-692-9, Paperback, $29

The Life of Al-Ghazzali By Duncan B. MacDonald
Al-Ghazzali’s contributions to Muslim theology cannot be overestimated and Professor MacDonald brings to life the thoughts and experiences of this medieval theologian, philosopher, and mystic, with special attention to his religious experiences and opinions.
ISBN 978-1-59333-863-3, Paperback, $29

Athos and its Monasteries By F. W. Hasluck
The reader is taken through an historical synopsis of the complex from the beginnings of Athos through the nineteenth century. In this detailed and amply illustrated study, Hasluck begins with a description of the foundation of the monastic system on Athos and moves through the centuries and considers the administration of the monastery and its architecture in the light of early twentieth-century standards. A second part to the book includes a description of the twenty sovereign monasteries. This book remains a valuable resource for those interested in a major role played in Greek history by the region of Mount Athos.
ISBN 978-1-59333-767-4, Hardback, $74

The Semitic Ishtar Cult By George Aaron Barton
Textual evidence regarding the ancient Near Eastern goddess Ishtar is carefully cataloged, transliterated and translated. This is a great resource for anyone interested in the languages and religions of the ancient Near East or Biblical Literature.
ISBN 978-1-59333-851-0, Paperback, $34

The Emperor Julian and the Jews By Michael Adler
This study explores the Emperor Julian's actions in regards to the Jews, especially his advances toward rebuilding the Jewish Temple. It offers the reader an insight into an aspect of Julian’s reign not often examined by Christian historians.
ISBN 978-1-59333-857-2, Paperback, $29

Bar Hebraeus' Book of the Pupils of the Eye By Herman F. Janssens
The Book of the Pupils of the Eye is Bar Hebraeus’s introduction to Aristotle’s Organon. This volume makes the Sryiac text available to the interested scholar or student.
ISBN 978-1-59333-859-6, Paperback, $34

Bardaisan and the Odes of Solomon By William Romaine Newbold
A compelling discussion of the origins and authorship of the Odes of Solomon, this work provides great insight into the person of Bar Daysan as well as the research surrounding the text of the Odes of Solomon.
ISBN 978-1-59333-860-2, Paperback, $24

Islam Corrects Judaism By Sidney Adams Weston
Herein a 13th century Alexandrian Jewish convert to Islam records his understanding of the truth of Islam over Judaism. Dr. Sidney A. Weston edits, translates and comments on this text making it accessible to the scholar and enthusiast alike.
ISBN 978-1-59333-862-6, Paperback, $29

 


 





July is here. Many people think about the summer as a time to take a break, relax, and forget the intense times of the school year. What the rest of the world doesn’t realize is that those in academic pursuits never take the summer off. Academics are busy working on the research projects they’ve had to put off all year long while their classes take their time, and those in the publishing business are trying to get their customers to read more of their books!

If you are looking for some intellectual stimulation this summer, Gorgias Press has several options for you. Deification in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition: A Biblical Perspective by Stephen Thomas will provide some substantial food for thought and it has just been released. The long-awaited History, Poetry, and Genealogy of the Yemen by Elise Crosby is now available as your thoughts turn to the exotic realm of the southern Arabian peninsula.

If your time is broken up into small bits over the summer, the second volume of Ehud Ben Zvi’s Perspectives on Hebrew Scriptures will take just short amounts of time at a sitting, and will bring you up-to-date on biblical studies for the earlier testament. The reprint of Archdale King’s Rites of Eastern Christendom will give you a great comparative source for historical liturgies and church practices.

If helping Latino learners of English understand the technical aspects of the process is part of your duties, take a look at Edward Odisho’s Linguistic Tips for Latino Learners and Teachers of English, which appeared in June. Languages have been an emphasis for our recent reprints as well: Reinhart Dozy’s Supplement aux Dictionnaires Arabes and A. de Biberstein Kazimirski’s Dictionnaire Arabe-Francais are both now available.

And one last “if”: If you are working on a manuscript and are looking for a publisher, please keep Gorgias Press in mind. The academic presses keep rolling during the summer, and if you beat the fall rush, we can look at your submission before everyone else fills our inbox in September!

Happy reading,

Steve Wiggins, Acquisitions Editor

 

Deification in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition: A Biblical Perspective By Stephen Thomas
A popularly-written study of the biblical roots of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s mystical understanding of the knowledge of God. This unique study brings together the best of contemporary exegesis with the tradition of Eastern Christianity and illustrates the biblical roots of the Eastern Church's understanding of grace as the energy of God. The book presents, in lay terms, the shape for an Orthodox biblical theology for the 21st century and will be of interest to all Christians for whom the Bible is divine revelation and for whom tradition continues to be creative.
ISBN 978-1-59333-324-9, Hardback, $78

The History, Poetry, and Genealogy of the Yemen By Elise W. Crosby
The history, poetry, and genealogy of the Yemen is the earliest known history of pre-Islamic Yemen. Attributed to the South Arabian historian ‘Abid b. Sharya al-Jurhumi d. 680 A.D.), it recounts in prose and poetry six saga cycles of ancient personages and events of the Yemen. Here, two sagas, the dispersion of Sam’s descendants from Babel to the Yemen, and the destruction of the tribes of ‘Ad and Thamud, are translated with complete annotation. The tales of Luqman b. ‘Ad and his seven vultures, Sulayman and Bilqis, the Himyarite kings, and Tasm and Jadis are given in full synopses.
ISBN 978-1-59333-394-2, Hardback, $78

Perspectives on Hebrew Scriptures II By Ehud Ben Zvi
This volume incorporates all the articles and reviews published from 2004 to 2005 in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures.
ISBN 978-1-59333-612-7, Hardback, $123

The Rites of Eastern Christendom By Archdale King
In this classic introduction to Eastern Orthodox liturgies, King examines the liturgies of nine Oriental churches. The Syrian, Maronite, Syro-Malankara, Coptic, Ethiopic, Byzantine, Chaldean, Armenian, and Syro-Malabar rites are all considered. Each is described and given a context in the setting of its native church.
ISBN 978-1-59333-390-4, Hardback, $160

Linguistic Tips for Latino Learners and Teachers of English By Edward Odisho
This book avoids exclusive dependence on rote imitations; rather, it teaches language as a live entity that one should hear, see, feel and then cognitively process. Certain linguistics facts take some teachers months or even years to teach. The approach presented here reduces learning time considerably.
ISBN 978-1-59333-690-5, Hardback, $65

Supplement aux Dictionnaires Arabes By Reinhart P. A. Dozy
This massive two volume supplemental dictionary was originally intended to complete E. W. Lane’s lexicographical work, but has come to stand as an essential wordbook in its own right. Going beyond a customary dictionary, it is a wealth of information about the Arabic world.
ISBN 978-1-59333-518-2, Hardback, $332

Dictionnaire Arabe-Francais By A. de Biberstein Kazimirski
The standard dictionary for the translation of Arabic into French for many years, this massive work contains all known Arabic roots. Apart from standard Arabic, the dialects of Algiers and Morocco are also included in this two-volume set.
ISBN 978-1-59333-504-5, Hardback, $483

 


 





Sebastian Brock to Lecture in New Jersey

Renowned British Syriac scholar Sebastian Brock will present a lecture entitled "The Syriac Culture and Heritage" on Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. at the Assyrian Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary, 644 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey. The lecture is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a book signing with complimentary refreshments. The lecture is presented by Gorgias Press in collaboration with the Assyrian Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary and the Aramaic American Association.

Brock is acknowledged as the foremost and most influential academic in the field of Syriac language today. He is considered to be responsible for the recent resurgence of interest in the field of Syriac studies. He has reintroduced the vast and varied literature of Syriac-speaking Christianity to many readers, and has published extensively in the field of Syriac.

Brock has brought new attention to St. Ephrem the Syrian, St. Isaac of Nineveh and other important writers. His work has demonstrated the many points of contact between the Church and the Synagogue. He was awarded the Medal of St Ephrem by Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.

Until his retirement in 2003, Brock held the position of Reader in Syriac Studies at the University of Oxford. Sebastian Brock was born in 1938 and studied Classics (Greek and Latin) and Oriental Studies (Hebrew and Aramaic) at Cambridge University before doing a DPhil at Oxford University on the text of the Septuagint. He taught at the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge before taking up his post at Oxford.

Also present at the lecture will be H.E. Mor Polycarpus Eugene Aydin who will be available to sign his translation of Brock's Bible in the Syriac tradition.

The Wisdom of Isaac of Nineveh: A Bilingual Edition
By Sebastian Brock

ISBN 1-59333-335-8, Paperback, $24

Here, in the inaugural volume of the Texts from Christian Late Antiquity (TeCLA) series, Gorgias Press is pleased to present Sebastian Brock’s masterful English translation of St. Isaac’s writings accompanied for the first time by the Syriac text.



Ephrem the Syrian: Select Poems
By George Kiraz Sebastian 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 proficuous introduction to the thought of Ephrem.



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

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

This is a basic introduction to the various Syriac translations of the Bible and the ways in which they were used in the Syriac tradition. After an initial discussion of the general problems of biblical translation, the different surviving Syriac translations are outlined, as well as biblical manuscripts, lectionaires, printed editions, and translations. A reception history of the Syriac Bible covers the ways in which it has been interpreted, the commentary tradition, its use in preaching, in liturgy, and in spirituality. An appendix offers some comparative samples (in translation) to illustrate some of the differences between the different Syriac translations.



An Introduction to Syriac Studies
By Sebastian Brock

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

This Introduction aims to provide basic guidance to important areas of Syriac studies. The relevance of Syriac studies to a variety of other fields is explored. A brief orientation to the history of Syriac literature is offered, and Syriac is set within the context of the other Aramaic dialects. A thorough discussion on important tools (Instrumenta Studiorum) is presented; topics include grammars, dictionaries, the Bible in Syriac, histories of Syriac literature, bibliographical aids and relevant series, periodicals, and encyclopedias. This Introduction should prove useful both for the student beginning Syriac studies and for scholars working in adjacent fields.



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.






 





Our July Enthusiast is Dr. Maria Mavroudi, Professor of Byzantine History at Princeton University. Dr. Mavroudi is a Byzantinist whose research focuses on the relations between Byzantium and the Arabs, especially bilingualism in Greek and Arabic in the Middle Ages and its implications for cultural exchange between the Byzantine and the Islamic world, including the development of Byzantine and Islamic science. She is the author of A Byzantine Book on Dream Interpretation: The Oneirocriticon of Achmet and Its Arabic Sources, which extensively discusses what modern scholars generally consider as the most important Christian dreambook of the Middle Ages.

A native of Thessaloniki, Greece, Dr. Mavroudi describes herself as "a Gorgias enthusiast throughout the year, every year." She also had these kind words about Gorgias Press:

"Since my first encounter with Gorgias Press in 2001 and in every subsequent encounter since I always appreciated the enthusiasm with which Gorgias Press embraced its scholarly mission to serve researchers in fields that are extremely important for our understanding of the world in the past and the present but are not always perceived as main stream; the opportunities it gave to graduate students (the future of every one of these fields) by establishing the Gorgias book grant and including them among its employees; the inventiveness with which it incorporated new technologies in its various publishing projects; and the possibility it offered to own books that without the Gorgias reprints would have been unattainable. I hope that Gorgias Press will continue to grow for decades to come and serve not only the scholarly community but also the wider educated public."

 

In honor of Dr. Mavroudi's studies in Byzantium and related areas, Gorgias staff recommend the following books:

 

Introduction to the Grammar of Hebrew Poetry in Byzantine Palestine
By Michael Rand

ISBN 1-59333-348-X, Hardback, $95

This book investigates the interaction between grammatical norms and poetic technique on the basis of a corpus selected from the oeuvre of the payyetan Eleazar be-rabbi Qillir. As a basis for this investigation, a descriptive/comparative analysis of the Qillirian dialect is offered. The first portion of the work is a grammar devoted mainly to morphology and syntax. The second portion of the work is an investigation of the poetic norms, as well as rhetorical techniques employed by Qillir, together with an assessment of their impact on the grammar. The overall aim of the project is to design an analytical framework within which a self-conscious poetic dialect might be investigated.



Greek Tradition and Latin Influence in the Work of George Scholarios
By Christopher Livanos

ISBN 1-59333-344-7, Hardback, $76

This book attempts to understand the miscommunications between Greeks and westerners in the fifteenth century by concentrating on the work of George Gennadios Scholarios who under the name of Gennadios II became the first Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church during Ottoman Rule.



The Age of Justinian and Theodora: A History of the Sixth Century AD
By W G Holmes

ISBN 1-59333-250-5, Hardback, $125

This two-volume work is not only a depiction of the life and times of Justinian and Theodora, but also a presentation of cultural and socioeconomic lineage of an empire and its peoples that still serves as a major reference text today.




 





Theological Thinking of Saint Ephrem: Buchan and Shemunkasho Books Reviewed

 

Two books from the Gorgias Dissertation series have been reviewed in the latest issue of Studia Humaniora Tartuensia (Vol. 8, 2007): Thomas Buchan's "Blessed is He who has brought Adam from Sheol": Christ's Descent to the Dead in the Theology of Saint Ephrem the Syrian and Aho Shemunkasho's Healing in the Theology of Saint Ephrem.

Reviewer Amar Annus, in discussing the focus of the two books on Saint Ephrem, notes that the books "discuss some important aspects in theological thinking of Saint Ephrem." He adds,

"The books under review are the first monographic treatments of corresponding aspects in Ephrem's voluminous theological writings, mostly written in poetry. Both books are new, innovative and important. Buchan's book is important in that it collects the evidence for theological images of Christ's descent to the Dead in Ephrem's writings. Shemunkasho's book can be seen as a definitive treatment of the corresponding issue."

 

"Blessed is He who has brought Adam from Sheol" Christ's Descent to the Dead in the Theology of Saint Ephrem the Syrian
By Thomas Buchan

ISBN 1-59333-228-9, Hardback, $76

Buchan’s work is an examination of the theological use of the doctrine of Christ's descent to the dead in the works of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (ca. 306-373 C.E.). Ephrem's conception of Christ's descent to Sheol provides us with an important and distinctive vision of the significance of this salvific event. Ephrem's use of Semitic and non-Western poetic forms and structures as a mode of theological discourse, coupled with his preference for imagery and symbolism rather than definition, resulted in a variety of vivid depictions of Christ's descent to Sheol. The doctrine is shown to be an integral and multifaceted component of Ephrem's theology.



Healing in the Theology of Saint Ephrem
By Aho Shemunkasho

ISBN 1-59333-156-8, Hardback, $76

Ephrem, the most celebrated writer of the Syriac Church, presents a wide range of theological themes and images that are characteristic of fourth-century Syrian Christianity. A significant theme that no one has yet studied in Ephrem is the concept of sickness and healing. This book presents the significance of healing theology and the ways in which the healing of man - spiritually, mentally, and corporally - is highly valued by Ephrem. The main part of the book deals with the causes of spiritual sickness and the process of healing, and the way in which Ephrem places them in the divine history of salvation.




 





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 will be present at the following conferences:

Gorgias Participates at the Fifth North American Syriac Studies Symposium, University of Toronto, June 25-27, 2007

Conference Report by Christine Kiraz

The Fifth North American Syriac Studies Symposium was held at the University of Toronto (with sponsorship from the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies). Gorgias Press was represented by George and Christine Kiraz, and Robert Morehouse.

The University of Toronto and the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies (CSSS) have a special place in Gorgias history as it was there almost six years ago that Gorgias made its debut by exhibiting its first twelve titles at the society’s annual meeting. It was lovely to return to the scene of the crime and show the Syriac studies crowd our new titles and how much we have grown. The field of Syriac is such an integral part of our list that four tables were barely enough to show conference attendees the Syriac delights we had in store for them. By far the most popular item was The Searchable and Bookmarked Syriac-English Dictionary. Scholars were enthusiastic about the possibility of taking the dictionary wherever they go (maybe even to the beach?). Robert Murray’s Symbols of Church and Kingdom, as well as John Healey’s Leshono Suryoyo made a strong showing as well as the two new Sebastian Brock volumes. In fact, some of the established scholars who had a copy of the first edition of Brock’s Bible in the Syriac Tradition and Introduction to Syriac Studies felt compelled to purchase the newer Gorgias editions because of the important new information presented therein.

On the first evening of the conference, Gorgias Press co-sponsored a cocktail reception honoring the conference attendees together with CSSS. Gorgias president George Kiraz gave the opening speech at the reception thanking the Syriac crowd for their academic support and urging them to continue to support Gorgias projects.

The diversity of papers presented during the conference reflected the expansion of the field since the last symposium, and four papers focused on Gorgias projects. Kyle Smith (a 2007 Gorgias Book Grant runner-up) from Duke University gave a paper on "Dendrites and Other Standers: Evidence from the Newly Translated History of the Exploits of Bishop Paul and Priest John". Together with three other grad students from Duke, he is working on an edition of the previously unpublished Syriac text which they will co-publish with Lucas Van Rompay in our Texts from Christian Late Antiquity (TeCLA) series. Two papers discussed homilies by Jacob of Sarug, which will find their way into a new bilingual edition of this text that Gorgias is planning. The first one was by Bob Kitchen, entitled, "Christian Typology in Jacob of Serug’s Memra 122 on Jonah" (this is one of 6 homilies which he will publish in the Gorgias project), and the second was by Susan Harvey, entitled "Jephtha’s Daughter" (which will be co-authored by Ophir Muenz-Manor). The fourth paper was presented by Gorgias president George Kiraz on the structure of the West Syriac daily offices, an edition of which he is preparing.

During the conference we were pleased to welcome our December 2006 eGorgias enthusiast Celia Lottridge, granddaughter of William Shedd who authored Islam and the Oriental Churches. Celia is currently trying to trace first-hand accounts of Assyrian orphan refugees for her next children’s book. We also discussed two possible book projects with Celia dealing with her family’s missionary experiences but more will follow on this as things begin to materialize.

At the conclusion of the meeting, it was decided that papers dealing with Syriac as a bridge culture would be published in our new Eastern Christian Studies series, while other papers would be published on Hugoye. The print version of this will soon be distributed via Gorgias; we will make an announcement on our website when it is available.

See you in four years in North Carolina!

Conference Bestsellers

The following titles were bestsellers at the Syriac Studies Symposium:

The Searchable and Bookmarked Syriac-English Dictionary
By George (ed) Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-59333-790-2, CD (PDF), $39

In the lamentable absence of an English-Syriac dictionary, this handy digital tool will be useful to Syriac scholars on the go. A pdf version of J. Payne-Smith’s Compendious Syriac Dictionary, fully bookmarked and searchable, this innovative tool will allow scholars to search all English words in the dictionary. Not only can this pdf be uploaded to laptops, it will also work with smart phones, palms, and other portable electronic devices. Ideal for carrying into the library with you while on Syriac research, this worthwhile edition of the time-honored dictionary will be certain to find a host of applications for today’s Syriac scholar.



Symbols of Church and Kingdom
By Robert Murray

ISBN 1-59333-150-9, Paperback, $64

In this revised and updated edition of his classic work, Robert Murray offers the fullest and most vivid picture yet available of the development and character of the culture. It will be of interest to a wide range of readers.



Leshono Suryoyo: First Studies in Syriac
By John Healey

ISBN 1-59333-190-8, Hardback w/ CD, $65

John Healey’s, Leshono Suryoyo, is an introductory grammar for those wishing to learn to read Classical Syriac, one of the major literary dialects of Aramaic and the language of one of the main groups of Middle Eastern churches, including the Syrian Orthodox Church, the Church of the East, and the Chaldaean Church. From the first centuries of the Christian era, Syriac was used by the main theological and historical writers of this tradition (Ephrem the Syrian, Philoxenus of Mabbogh, Thomas of Marga, and Barhebraeus). It also continues to be used in worship.



An Album of Dated Syriac Manuscripts
By William Hatch

ISBN 1-931956-53-7, Hardback, $280

The main reference for dating Syriac manuscripts and the standard in the field. This Album conveniently brings together two hundred facsimiles, each representing a page of a dated Syriac manuscript.



An Introduction to Syriac Studies
By Sebastian Brock

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

This Introduction aims to provide basic guidance to important areas of Syriac studies. The relevance of Syriac studies to a variety of other fields is explored. A brief orientation to the history of Syriac literature is offered, and Syriac is set within the context of the other Aramaic dialects. A thorough discussion on important tools (Instrumenta Studiorum) is presented; topics include grammars, dictionaries, the Bible in Syriac, histories of Syriac literature, bibliographical aids and relevant series, periodicals, and encyclopedias. This Introduction should prove useful both for the student beginning Syriac studies and for scholars working in adjacent fields.



The Wisdom of Isaac of Nineveh: A Bilingual Edition
By Sebastian Brock

ISBN 1-59333-335-8, Paperback, $24

Here, in the inaugural volume of the Texts from Christian Late Antiquity (TeCLA) series, Gorgias Press is pleased to present Sebastian Brock’s masterful English translation of St. Isaac’s writings accompanied for the first time by the Syriac text.



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

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

This is a basic introduction to the various Syriac translations of the Bible and the ways in which they were used in the Syriac tradition. After an initial discussion of the general problems of biblical translation, the different surviving Syriac translations are outlined, as well as biblical manuscripts, lectionaires, printed editions, and translations. A reception history of the Syriac Bible covers the ways in which it has been interpreted, the commentary tradition, its use in preaching, in liturgy, and in spirituality. An appendix offers some comparative samples (in translation) to illustrate some of the differences between the different Syriac translations.




 





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