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e-Gorgias (Issue 32, October-November 2008)


Issue 32
October-November 2008
Reading Time: 13 minutes

In this issue, we have lots of news to share with you, first of which is that we are in on our way to SBL packed with many many books and great savings. We hope that you stop by our booth to visit us and check out our new catalog and offerrings. Our booth numbers are 336-340, right next to the main isle. In addition we are offering great savings on all our books not just on display but also in our catalog.

If you can't make it to SBL, no worries... Our holiday sale is going on now for great savings. Also, we are accepting applications for the 2009 Book Grant in any field that Gorgias publishes in. Please see our news section for details.


All Gorgias books are on sale for 30% off the list price through Gorgias BiblioPerks™ and every tenth order placed through our website will win $3 per volume pricing. In addition, every purchase made through our website will be entered into three drawings to win a Kindle: Amazon’s Wireless Reading Device valued at $350.00 each. If you have been compiling your wish list in anticipation of this sale, now is the time to cash in! Good Luck!

The sale will end on midnight, December 31, 2008 US Eastern Standard Time. The Kindle winners will be announced early in the New Year. All purchases made through this online sale are final, so no returns or cancellations will be honored. If you aren’t sure which books to buy, click on the link under Gorgiana to see our latest catalog.


  • Recently Released: Our latest titles
  • Coming Soon: Forthcoming titles from Gorgias Press
  • From the Acquisitions Desk: By Acquisitions Editor Steve Wiggins
  • News: New agreement with the Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies; Gorgias Annual Sale Winners; and 2009 Book Grant Announcement
  • Reviews: M. Zammit’s 'Enbe men Karmo Suryoyo (Bunches of Grapes from the Syriac Vineyard). A Syriac Chrestomathy and Sebastian P. Brock's The Wisdom of St. Isaac of Nineveh
  • Conferences: Report on the Syriac Symposium from George Kiraz



Gorgias press is pleased to announce the availability of the following:


Malphono w-Rabo d-Malphone
By George A. Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-59333-706-3
Hardback, $189 (BiblioPerks™ $151.20)

A substantial Festschrift for Sebastian P. Brock, this volume contains 34 essays from a variety of scholars across the field of Syriac studies. Most of the essays are in English, with a few contributions in French and German. No scholar in this discipline will want to miss this important collection that represents the latest in serious exploration of the world of Eastern Christianity in Late Antiquity.

Homer and the Bronze Age
By Peter Karavites

ISBN 978-1-59333-985-2
Hardback, $107 (BiblioPerks™ $85.60)

This scholarly and up-to-date investigation of Bronze Age and Near Eastern literature and Homer’s poetry reveals fascinating similarities between Near Eastern and Homeric Diplomatic Practices and the enduring influence of Humanistic Ideals on Bronze Age customs and practices.

Manuscrits Syriaques Conservés dans la Bibliothèque des Maronites d’Alep (Syrie)
By Francisco del Río Sánchez

ISBN 978-1-59333-956-2
Hardback, $134 (BiblioPerks™ $107.20)

The Maronite Library of Aleppo is one of the most important collections of manuscripts in Syria. This catalogue gives the first detailed description of the Syriac copies, containing also images and indices of titles, personal names, subjects and places.

Saladin and the Fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
By Stanley Lane-Poole

ISBN 978-1-59333-559-5
Hardback, $133 (BiblioPerks™ $106.40)

The first English biography ever written about Saladin, this thoroughly researched biography by a reputable scholar retains its readability and interest for those interested in this major Islamic leader of the twelfth century.

Reliquary of Ancient Ecclesiastical Laws
By Paul de Lagarde

ISBN 978-1-59333-988-3
Hardback, $116 (BiblioPerks™ $92.80)

A notable resource for both church historians and linguists, this work of Lagarde contains both Syriac and Greek materials concerning ancient ecclesiastical laws. A number of ancient documents are cited in this unusual collection. Half of this collection is presented in the original Syriac and half in the original Greek. All introductions and notes are written in Latin. Intended for the serious linguist and church historian, this work requires language skills to unravel. As a collection of materials that had been inaccessible up to Lagarde’s time, this volume also serves as a period piece containing a fresh view of writings that helped inform the growth of canon law.

History of Arabic Literature in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
By Louis Cheikho

ISBN 978-1-59333-539-7
Hardback, $142 (BiblioPerks™ $113.60)

In this edition of Cheikho’s literary survey of Arabic literature of the nineteenth century, the reader will find the Arabic original of Cheikho’s fine text. Difficult to locate outside the Middle East, Gorgias Press is now bringing this uncommon find to Arabists in the western world.

A History of the Holy Eastern Church: The Patriarchate of Alexandria
By John Mason Neale

ISBN 978-1-59333-050-7
Hardback, $121 (BiblioPerks™ $96.80)

The first volume of an ambitious project to document the history of the early church, this is one of John Mason Neale’s crowning achievements. Meticulously researched, Neale’s treatment of the early church in Egypt is among the required reading of any student of oriental Christianity still today. Beginning with the traditions of St. Mark’s foundation of the Egyptian church, the developments of Christianity are traced up through the controversies associated with Nestorius and the Council of Chalcedon. In Neale’s characteristically readable style, the early stages of Eastern Christianity and its noteworthy figures are presented here with historical accuracy and authority. The origins of monasticism, the troubles and triumphs of St. Athanasius, the Arian heresy, and the ecumenical councils are all treated in this important study of the church in Egypt.

Palestine Past and Present
By Henry S. Osborn

ISBN 978-1-59333-570-0
Hardback, $154 (BiblioPerks™ $123.20)

A nineteenth-century travelogue in a class by itself, Osborn’s account of his travels through the Holy Land is sprinkled with literary, biblical, and scientific observations. This work on the physical geography of the Holy Land remains undiminished despite the years since its publication.


We are excited to announce that the following titles will soon be in print:

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


Fillets of Fatling and Goblets of Gold
This volume explores the role of ritual behavior in the meal imagery of the Ugaritic mythological and epic texts, evaluating whether these events succeeded in their purpose or if they failed and explaining the importance in recognizing the outcomes.
ISBN 978-1-59333-084-2, Hardback, $115 (BiblioPerks™ $92.00)

Hannibal's Odyssey: Environmental Background to the Alpine Invasion of Italia
Hannibal's invasion of Italia in 218 BC is depicted from the standpoint of environmental evidence eliticted from ancient texts and analyzed against present-day Earth science databases leading to the conclusion the Punic Army followed the southern route over the Alps as first proposed by Sir Gavin de Beer in the 1960's.
ISBN 978-1-59333-951-7, Hardback, $114 (BiblioPerks™ $91.20)

Interpretation, Religion and Culture in Midrash and Beyond
The third issue of Proceedings of the Midrash session at the SBL Annual meeting published in this series. This volume contains papers on religion in midrash (2006) and modes of biblical interpretation in rabbinic, Syriac and Islamic traditions (2007).
ISBN 978-1-59333-619-6, Hardback, $90 (BiblioPerks™ $72.00)

Commentary on the Liturgy of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch
The exposition of the Liturgy of St. James, which is basically the Celebration of the Holy Eucahrist, is most significant for the understanding of the mystery of the God in offering His only Son a vicarious sacrifice for the redemption of man. The purpose of the liturgy is to show the believer the right path and leads him by faith to salvation and eternal life through the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ represented in the form of Bread and Wine. To make it understandable, Rev. Saka explains not only the meaning of terms connected with the liturgy but of all the components of the vessels, the vesting, the censoring, the candles and the propitiatory prayers associated with them. This exposition should benefit both church and liturgical scholars and lay people interested in the profound spiritual meaning of their faith.
ISBN 978-1-60724-002-0, Hardback, $88 (BiblioPerks™ $70.40)

Social identity in Nahum
The Book of Nahum’s moving and disturbing poetry provides a prophetical glimpse on the social identity dynamics of ancient Israel. A multidimensional reading of Nahum leads to a theological-ethical model for interpreting uncomfortable texts like the oracles concerning the nations.
ISBN 978-1-60724-001-3, Hardback, $117 (BiblioPerks™ $93.60)

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Tower of Babel
This volume gives a bilingual Syriac-English edition of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homily on the Tower of Babel. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume constitutes a fascicle of Gorgias’s Complete Homilies of Saint Jacob of Sarug.
ISBN 978-1-60724-000-6, Hardback, $51 (BiblioPerks™ $40.80)

Jacob of Sarug's Homily on the Veil on Moses' Face
This volume gives a bilingual Syriac-English edition of Saint Jacob of Sarug’s homily, The Veil on Moses' Face. The Syriac text is fully vocalized, and the translation is annotated with a commentary and biblical references. The volume constitutes a fascicle of Gorgias’s Complete Homilies of Saint Jacob of Sarug.
ISBN 978-1-59333-644-8, Paperback, $50 (BiblioPerks™ $40.00)



Report on the Byzantine Studies Conference from Acquisitions Editor, Steve Wiggins

Gorgias Press was an obvious presence at the Byzantine Studies Association of North America Conference held in New Brunswick last month. BSANA is a highly regarded venue of all matter Byzantine, and many conference attendees took the time to browse the Gorgias table and comment on the breadth of our publications. Many friends of the Press stopped by to make themselves known and those who were unfamiliar with Gorgias left the conference knowing the unique contribution we have to make to the study of “East meets West.”



New Partnership between Gorgias Press and the Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies

We are very excited to notify our readers that the Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies will soon be available in print with with Gorgias Press.

The Journal of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies publishes the latest scholarly research on the two thousand year old Syriac literature, including historiography, church history, spirituality, and epigraphy. It reports on the most recent archeological and iconographic discoveries in the Middle and Asia, unveiling the rich ancient past of Syriac Christianity. JCSSS is thus a refreshing and reliable source of information on the World of Syriac.


Amir Harrak, President of the Canadian Society for Syriac Studies, commented that he was very enthusiastic about the new partnership between the CSSS and Gorgias Press. "It is great to be working with Gorgias Press, the leading publisher in the field of Syriac studies ... this agreement will certainly help to widen the readership of the journal."

Book Grant applications for 2009

In its efforts to promote education, Gorgias Press offers annually the Gorgias Book Grant. This program offers outstanding graduate students grants in the form of Gorgias Press publications. Grants consist of books in the value of $500.00 per grant. Each year, two grants are distributed.

2008-2009 Grant Field: Any field within the scope of Gorgias Publications

Application Deadline: January 31, 2009


  • 1. Candidate must be enrolled in a graduate program (Master's or Ph.D.) in an accredited university or an institution of learning in the field of the grant.
  • 2. Candidate must have the equivalent of a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Application Process

Send by mail the following items to: Gorgias Press LLC, Book Grants Program, 46 Orris Ave., Piscataway, NJ 08854. (All documents, apart from official transcripts, must be in English. Part 1 and 2 of the application can be emailed to Christine Kiraz,

  • 1. A letter indicating your interests in your field and plans for the future.
  • 2. A two-page description of your thesis, or a one-page description of your course work in the case of course-based programs.
  • 3. Official transcripts of the previous 2 years of university education. If the institutions you come from do not give out transcripts please contacts us to make alternative arrangements to satisfy this requirement.
  • 4. Two letters of recommendations from professors familiar with your work (one must be your current supervisor in the field of the grant).

2008 Annual Sale Winners

Gorgias is pleased to announce the following two customers as winners at our annual sale. They are:

Garrett Galvin who ordered the Bible in the Syriac Tradition and Introduction to Syriac Studies (for details see below) and Philip Stadter who selected AJAH Volume 5.

Congratulations to both of you!!

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

ISBN 1-59333-300-5, Paperback, $38 (BiblioPerks™ $30.40)

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.

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

ISBN 1-931956-15-4, Paperback, $46 (BiblioPerks™ $36.80)

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.

An Introduction to Syriac Studies
By Sebastian Brock

ISBN 1-59333-349-8, Paperback, $38 (BiblioPerks™ $30.40)

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.



New Testament Abstracts Notes Zammit’s Syriac Chrestomathy

The latest issue of New Testament Abstracts (vol. 52, no 3, p. 644) noted M. Zammit’s 'Enbe men Karmo Suryoyo (Bunches of Grapes from the Syriac Vineyard). A Syriac Chrestomathy. “Although this chrestomathy is intended primarily for students who have covered the essentials of Syriac morphology and syntax”, the Abstracts tells us, “it should also interest those who cherish Syriac literature in general.”

Lucas Van Rompay Reviews Sebastian P. Brock's The Wisdom of St. Isaac of Nineveh, Review of Biblical Literature

Professor Lucas Van Rompay, a specialist in Syriac studies at Duke Univeristy, offers an informative review of Sebastian P. Brock's The Wisdom of St. Isaac of Nineveh.

Van Rompay credits the book for the "quality" of the selected extracts, "the elegance of the translation, the careful presentation, and the impeccable Syriac: a real gem for students of Syriac and for those interested in late ancient asceticism."

`Enbe men Karmo Suryoyo (Bunches of Grapes from the Syriac Vineyard): A Syriac Chrestomathy
By Martin Zammit

ISBN 1-59333-346-3
Hardback, $85 (BiblioPerks™ $68.00)

`Enbe men Karmo Suryoyo is a chrestomathy intended primarily for students who have covered the essentials of Syriac morphology and syntax, but it should also interest anyone who enjoys Syriac literature in general. The twenty-six selections consist of examples of Syriac prose and poetry from the second until the thirteenth centuries AD. The readings reflect a wide and varied range of subject matter. Inevitably, selections of a religious nature predominate, but historical, ethnographic, chemical, astronomical, and linguistic excerpts produced by famous Syriac authors, as well as less familiar ones, have been included. A Syriac-English glossary and an index of grammatical points are included.

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

ISBN 1-59333-335-8
Paperback, $32 (BiblioPerks™ $25.60)

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.


Gorgias Press will be exhibiting at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, November 21-25. We hope you stop by our booth number 336-340 and say hello.

Symposium Syriacum Conference Report

Xth Symposium Syriacum was held in Granada, Spain and hosted by International Center for the Study of the Christian Orient (ICSCO) and Javier Martinez, Archbishop of Granada. The gathering included approximately 250 participants that flocked to Granada from all over the world. Gorgias Press with its ever increasing titles in Eastern Christianity and Syriac Studies in particular made a strong presence. In addition, Gorgias co-hosted a reception in honor of Sebastian P Brock and presented him with a Festschrift in honor of his 70th birthday entitled Malphono w-Rabo d-Malphone “Teacher and the greatest among the teachers” edited by our own George Kiraz. We were also able to present a galley proof of The Chronicle of Michael the Syrian for which Gorgias is trying to raise funds for the printing. Among best sellers were the new volumes in the TeCLA series on Jacob’s Homilies, as well as some of the Gorgias classics such as Murray’s Symbols of Church and Kingdom and Brock’s Introduction to Syriac Studies. George was busy establishing exciting new partnerships with a few institutions and we expect to make a formal announcement of our new partnerships early in the next year.

At the business meeting it was decided that Malta would be the next host of the XIth Symposium Syriacum to be held in September of 2012.



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