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e-Gorgias (Issue 50, Special Edition 2011)


Issue 50
Special Edition 2011
Reading Time: 8 minutes

As the year draws to a close, and with Gorgias gaining a decade under her belt, I am grateful to you our readers, authors and our staff. Gorgias Press is not only an opportunity for us to make rare resources available, but it is also the place where my children come to do their homework after school, help out the staff in their spare time, and even give everyone a few laughs. It is a family run business that extends beyond the walls of our own home. And so, our Gorgias family would like to extend to you our readers and authors our warmest wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Gorgias Holiday Sale

There are only 3 days left to save through our Annual Holiday sale. As the year draws to a close, so must our sale end on midnight EST of January 2, 2012. As part of the web sale, all BiblioPerks titles are marked down at an amazing 40% off. This year, we sweetened the deal by adding a dash of luck into the mix. Every tenth order placed online will automatically win an amazing bargain: all the Biblioperks books on the shopping cart reduced to $5 per book! As if that was not all, every online order will be entered into a drawing to win a professional Canon Rebel T2i 18 Megapixel HD camera in January! Please note that there are items that exempt from the sale including Sokoloff. These will be marked with a star in your shopping cart. Check carefully before placing an order as all sales through this web sale are final.

Numerous customers have already won $5/book price. We've compiled a select list of them in the news section; check out their picks and find out more details on the sale in the News section of eGorgias.

Don’t know what to get? Download our Gorgias Press 10th Anniversary catalog (5 MB) for our latest new books, and our G&C Kiraz catalog (4 MB) for reprints.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2012 Gorgias Book Grant in any subject area that Gorgias publishes in. Eligible candidates 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, and must have the equivalent of a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The application deadline is Tuesday, January 31, 2012; winners will be announced in March 2012. For more information on how to apply, please visit our Book Grants page.

Good luck to all, and happy reading.

Christine Kiraz


  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • News
  • Enthusiast of the Month
  • Conferences: MESA 2011 Reportback



Below is a select list of recent releases. For the complete list, please visit our Just Published page.


Authority within the Christian Church
By Peter Lee

ISBN 1-59333-342-0
Hardback, $120 (BiblioPerks™ $72.00)

At the present time, when authority for the church's beliefs and actions is the subject of much discussion, this book attempts to look to the authority of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and how these are transmitted, including the roles of reason and the church.

Moses, David and the High Kingship of Yahweh
By Michael G. McKelvey

ISBN 978-1-61143-682-2
Hardback, $157.3 (BiblioPerks™ $94.38)

This work investigates the overall message of Pss 90-106 within OT Psalter. It examines especially the figures of Moses, King YHWH and David, whose literary voices appear to address the occurrence of exile and the post-exilic period.

An Outline of Middle Voice in Syriac
By Margherita Farina

ISBN 978-1-4632-0145-6
Hardback, $130 (BiblioPerks™ $78.00)

This study presents a modern linguistic approach to the function of the Syriac et-verbal prefix. It proposes a unified account of the different values traditionally attributed to the Syriac et- stems, setting them into a typological comparative frame.

Jesus as New Moses in Matthew 8-9
By Michael Theophilos

ISBN 978-1-4632-0086-2
Hardback, $134.8 (BiblioPerks™ $80.88)

This volume explores the fascinating narrative structure and thematic elements of Matthew 8-9 which typologically present Jesus as the ‘New-Moses’ (and at points a greater than Moses) leading his people out of Exile.

Vie de S. Macaire L'egyptien
By Satoshi Toda

ISBN 978-1-61143-971-7
Hardback, $207.7 (BiblioPerks™ $124.62)

The Life of saint Macarius the Egyptian (c. 300-390) is transmitted in various languages of the Christian Orient. A study in its transmission and the reedition of its Coptic and Syriac versions constitute the main body of this book.

The Deserted Medieval Village of Cottam and the Settlement Matrix Model
By William Fitts

ISBN 978-1-61143-964-9
Hardback, $153.25 (BiblioPerks™ $91.95)

This volume introduces the Settlement Matrix model. Based on the concept of the setting, this approach examines each venue of daily life from the house to the settlement to the field system as integral parts of a single cultural construct.

The Commentary of Dionysius Bar Salibi on the Eucharist
By Baby Varghese

ISBN 978-1-61719-404-7
Hardback, $80 (BiblioPerks™ $48.00)

Bar Salibi's commentary on the Eucharist is an invaluable witness to the history of the Syriac version of the anaphora of St James. B.Varghese provides here an English translation of the text.

Jewish-Christian Conversation in Fourth-Century Persian Mesopotamia
By Naomi Koltun-Fromm

ISBN 978-1-4632-0156-2
Hardback, $129.7 (BiblioPerks™ $77.82)

Was there an active Jewish-Christian polemic in fourth-century Persia? Aphrahat's Demonstrations, a fourth-century adversus Judaeos text, clearly indicates that fourth-century Persian Christians were interested in the debate. Is there evidence of this polemic in the rabbinic literature? Despite the lack of a comparable Jewish or rabbinic adversus Christianos literature, there is evidence, both from Aphrahat and the Rabbis that this polemic was not one sided.

Introduction to Syriac Reading and Writing
By George A. Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0085-5
Paperback, $28.4 (BiblioPerks™ $17.04)

This volume introduces the letters of the Syriac alphabet a few at the time, and each set of letters is accompanied guides to pronunciation and the correct way to write the letters, including helpful charts and illustrations. Practice exercises at the end of each section provide the user with copious opportunities for review in order to facilitate rapid acquisition. This volume will be helpful to all who want to learn the basics of Syriac pronunciation and orthography without being inundated with technical linguistic jargon.

Idiophones of the Ancient Near East
By Richard Dumbrill

ISBN 978-1-61143-956-4
Hardback, $118.75 (BiblioPerks™ $71.25)

A comprehensive catalogue of the idiophones of the ancient Near East acquired by the Department of the Near East of the British Museum since the mid-nineteenth century. The book is fully illustrated with updated descriptions and bibliography.

Kubaba 1 (2010)
By Miguel Valério

ISBN 978-1-4632-0144-9
Paperback, $52 (BiblioPerks™ $31.20)

Kubaba is a peer-reviewed journal which specializes in the geographical region of Southwest Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Aegean before the Classical Era. It publishes articles, notes, news and reviews.

The Syriac Book of Steps 2
By Robert Kitchen

ISBN 978-1-59333-980-7
Paperback, $76.25 (BiblioPerks™ $45.75)

The Syriac Book of Steps collects 30 sermons by a late 4th century anonymous author in the Persian Empire. The author details the spiritual life, highlighting the duties and problems of two ranks of committed Christians, the Upright and the Perfect.

Index of Notable Persons in the Syriac Tradition within Select Arabic Sources
By Emilee Walker Cornetta

ISBN 978-1-4632-0162-3
Hardback, $80 (BiblioPerks™ $48.00)

This volume contains the contents of George Kiraz's catalogue of over 1300 people and places related to the Syriac tradition, expanded to include Latin names and citations as well as references to the forthcoming Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage.

Eve: The Unbearable Flaming Fire
By Mishael Caspi

ISBN 978-1-4632-0160-9
Hardback, $137.5 (BiblioPerks™ $82.50)

The book is about how Eve, the literary character, has fared in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as by the independent, non-aligned scholar of literature. All of the essays contained in this anthology were presented orally during an international seminar on biblical characters in the three traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam that took place at the University of Vienna (2007).

Second-Wave Jewish Feminism, 1971-1991: Foundational Theology and Sacral Discourse
By Luke Devine

ISBN 978-1-4632-0084-8
Hardback, $146.8 (BiblioPerks™ $88.08)

This book is the definitive critical analysis of the Jewish feminist theological project in the United States, its principal theologians and its foundational, embryonic, and more elaborated sacral discursive. The monograph critically examines each of the diverse theologians, their varied perspectives, and individual contributions, and asks will a prescriptive Jewish feminist theology ever be a reality?

The Homilies of Aphraates, The Persian Sage
By William Wright

ISBN 978-1-60724-897-2
Hardback, $190.6 (BiblioPerks™ $114.36)

Wright’s edition of the homilies of the early Syriac father, Aphrahat, includes the text, critical apparatus, and notes on biblical citations, which are also indexed. The preface surveys Aphrahat’s life and deals with the manuscripts used.


Here is a select list of forthcoming publications. Click here for a complete list.


Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage
The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (GEDSH) is the first major encyclopedia-type reference work devoted exclusively to Syriac Christianity, both as a field of scholarly inquiry and as the inheritance of Syriac Christians today. In more than 600 entries it covers the Syriac heritage from its beginnings in the first centuries of the Common Era up to the present day. Special attention is given to authors, literary works, scholars, and locations that are associated with the Classical Syriac tradition. Within this tradition, the diversity of Syriac Christianity is highlighted as well as Syriac Christianity’s broader literary and historical contexts, with major entries devoted to Greek and Arabic authors and more general themes, such as Syriac Christianity’s contacts with Judaism and Islam, and with Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Georgian Christianities.
ISBN 978-1-59333-714-8, Hardback, $160 (BiblioPerks™ $96.00)

The Book of Isaiah According to the Syriac Peshi?ta Version
Greenberg and Walter have produced an annotated translation of the Peshitta version of the Book of Isaiah. Kiraz has edited the Peshitta text. The English translation and the Syriac text are shown on facing pages so that both can be studied together.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0155-5, Hardback, $75 (BiblioPerks™ $45.00)

The Two Syriac Versions of the Prayer of Manasseh
The authors present a detailed philological and linguistic comparison of two versions of The Prayer of Manasseh. Combing state-of-the-art computational tools together with traditional philology the texts are compared at all linguistic levels, from their vocabulary up to their discursive structure, with a special emphasis on their morphology and syntax. The results are revealing not only as for the question of the relationship between the two versions, but also illuminate various debates pertaining to Syriac syntax.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0050-3, Hardback, $141.85 (BiblioPerks™ $85.11)


Abgadiyat is an annual trilingual Arabic-English-French journal published by the Calligraphy Center of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt. The journal's aim is to research, conserve and interpret the writings, calligraphies, numismatics and inscriptions of the ancient and medieval worlds.

ISBN 978-1-61143-553-5, Hardback, $475.9 (BiblioPerks™ $285.54)


The Last Man of the Ottoman Grandees
English translation of Ali Pasa’s Political Testament which was presented to the Sultan to draw a picture of the time and give a future course of action to save the empire from its doom.
ISBN 978-1-61143-123-0, Hardback, $112 (BiblioPerks™ $67.20)

Histoire des Mongols
A history of the Mongols by a Swedish diplomat of Armenian descent, of extraordinary completeness
ISBN 978-1-61143-280-0, Hardback, $758.65 (BiblioPerks™ $455.19)

History of Rome
Mommsen earned the Nobel Prize for this history of Rome by synthesizing approaches from literary reflections to archeological findings. It is a valuable library addition for the Classics scholar or history enthusiast.
ISBN 978-1-61719-221-0, Paperback, $456.2 (BiblioPerks™ $273.72)

Hymns on the Unleavened Bread
In the Hymns on the Unleavened Bread, Ephrem offers a unique perspective on Christian exegesis, hermeneutics, and self-understanding through the lens of the Christian Paschal feast as he constructs a polemical narrative of symbol fulfilled by reality.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0159-3, Paperback, $39.5 (BiblioPerks™ $23.70)

Lord Byron’s Oriental World
The book is a collections of eleven articles written by the author about Lord Byron's personal and literary involvement in Oriental life and creativity. Byron’s genuine Oriental scholarship provides the platform upon which the articles are based. The authentic images of the East and the West in Byron’s Oriental tales and some of his major works, Don Juan and Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, are analyzed to expose the influences of both worlds on his personal life and career.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0157-9, Hardback, $128.8 (BiblioPerks™ $77.28)




It is our pleasure to announce our Holiday Sale Lucky Winners! They received everything in their shopping carts reduced to $5/book (not including S&H). Congratulations to Nathan Witkamp, Dvora Bitcover, Sargon Hasso, Susan Friedman, Carrie Rhodes, Pete Lorenz, Patrick Novak, Serban Morcovescu, Gerald Skaletzky, Dr. Hans-Ulrich Wiemer, George A. Zachariah, Hany Ibrahim, and John D'Alton!

Shop now for 40% off all BiblioPerks titles

and your chance to win this amazing $5/book bargain -- but hurry! The sale ends on January 2, 2012, 12:00 AM EST! Good luck, Gorgiasians, and happy shopping!


Check out the Gorgias Press Facebook fan page!


Thanks to you we now have over 400 fans! Already many have won free books through our Gorgias Trivia games and have seen updates on the weekly best sellers. Our wonderful Gorgias staff, from Mary Ann, Phoebe, to Hoda and of course George have been updating the Gorgias Press Facebook fan page, daily. So if you are on Facebook, be sure to become a fan of Gorgias and discover special deals, offers and prizes before anyone else!

Here are a few titles that some of our winners have selected:

  Aphraates and Monasticism
By R. H. Connolly

ISBN 978-1-61143-581-8, Paperback, $23 (Sale Price $13.80)

R. H. Connolly presents here an assessment of the identity of the group known as the bnai qyama in the writings of Aphrahat and the implications of their ascetic requirements on our understanding of fourth-century monasticism in Persia.

St. Cyril of Alexandria, A New Testament Exegete
By Lois Farag

ISBN 978-1-59333-581-6, Hardback, $143.75 (Sale Price $86.25)

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 on the nature and work of the Holy Spirit: the indwelling of the Spirit is the beginning of the newness of life.

  In the Wake of Tikva Frymer-Kensky
By Steven Holloway

ISBN 978-1-59333-977-7, Hardback, $138.75 (Sale Price $83.25)

This volume consists of 14 papers delivered by Assyriologists and biblical specialists at the 2007 Society of Biblical Literature congress in sessions devoted to the scholarly legacy of the late Tikva Frymer-Kensky, Professor of the Hebrew Bible at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.

The Holy Spirit in the Syrian Baptismal Tradition
By Sebastian Brock

ISBN 978-1-59333-844-2, Hardback, $72.5 (Sale Price $43.50)

A fitting contribution to Gorgias Liturgical Studies, Sebastian Brock’s The Holy Spirit in the Syrian Baptismal Tradition is a sensitive and evocative treatment of an issue key to any liturgical tradition—that of the role of the Holy Spirit in worship. With a keen awareness of the tradition of Syrian Christianity, Brock begins his exploration with the concept and the role of the Holy Spirit in the Syriac Bible, symbols of the Spirit, the sources used to glean this information, and how it ties in with the Eucharist and Pentecost, as well as baptism itself and the subsequent practice of anointing.

  Neo-Assyrian Prophecy and the Hebrew Bible: Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah
By Russell Mack

ISBN 978-1-4632-0077-0, Hardback, $160.6 (Sale Price $96.36)

This comparative literary study of Neo-Assyrian prophecy and the Old Testament books Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah highlights similarities and differences in the material. The differences have implications for who produced the material and when.

  Manifestations of Sainthood in Islam
By Grace Martin Smith

ISBN 978-1-61143-819-2, Hardback, $148.15 (Sale Price $88.89)

This collection of papers by various scholars discusses a wide range of practices and beliefs relating to saints in Islam. The studies also demonstrate the influence of sainthood on political structures in many societies.

  Miaphysite Christology
By Mebratu Kiros Gebru

ISBN 978-1-60724-528-5, Hardback, $123 (Sale Price $73.80)

The Christology of the Oriental Orthodox Churches has all too often been misunderstood by the various Churches of the Chalcedonian tradition (Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed). Qesis Mebratu Gebru's study of the Christology of the largest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches is thus greatly to be welcomed, for it provides a clear and solidly based presentation of the teaching of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. -- Sebastian P. Brock

The Book of Religious and Philosophical Sects
By Muhammad Al-Shahrastani

ISBN 1-931956-83-9, Paperback, $63 (Sale Price $37.80)

This monumental work, by the twelfth-century historian of religious and philosophical doctrines, aspired to present "the doctrinal opinions of all the world's people," i.e. to reveal the entirety of religions and philosophies, past or present.

  History of Eastern Christianity
By Aziz Atiya

ISBN 978-1-60724-343-4, Hardback, $176.8 (Sale Price $106.08)

Written by a Copt, the book portrays the history of the faith of these non-Chalcedonian Churches with first-hand knowledge of their traditions, covering the Copts, Ethiopians, Syriac Orthodox, “Nestorians”, Armenians, and the St. Thomas Christians of South India.

American Orthodoxy and Parish Congregationalism
By Nicholas Ferencz

ISBN 1-59333-195-9, Hardback, $99 (Sale Price $59.40)

Orthodox ecclesiology doctrinally and historically requires that all authority in the church be expressed by the bishop. The unity of authority, based upon the laying on of hands, is the lived expression of the oneness and catholicity of the church. American Orthodoxy, however, does not have such an authority structure, especially on the parish level. This study explores the divergence of practice from doctrine in the American church. The study concludes with a theological discussion of the problematic nature of parish congregationalism in Orthodoxy. It points toward the already-realized conciliarity of supra-parish structures as the paradigm for a reformation of parish authority structures.

  Jacob of Serugh and His Times
By George Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-60724-049-5, Hardback, $145 (Sale Price $87.00)

This volume is a collection of studies on the Syriac sixth century writer Jacob of Sarug by a team of international scholars, including Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Sebastian P. Brock, Sharbil Iskandar Bcheiry, Khalid Dinno, Sidney Griffith , Mary Hansbury, Amir Harrak , George A. Kiraz , Edward Matthews, Aho Shemunkasho, and Lucas Van Rompay.

Early Syriac Translation Technique & the textual criticism of the Greek Gospels
By Peter Williams

ISBN 1-59333-096-0, Hardback, $122.5 (Sale Price $73.50)

This systematic investigation of the relationship between the Syriac Gospels and their Greek Vorlage, formulates clear rules for the use of Syriac witnesses in textual criticism and also shows the errors that can arise if these rules are ignored.


Enthusiast of the Month: Nathan Witkamp.

Our enthusiast this month is also one of our Holiday Sale lucky winners who had everything in his shopping cart reduced to $5/item. Here is what he had to say about Gorgias Press:

"Gorgias Press publishes hard-to-find manuscripts and highly valuable studies within the field of Syriac studies. I am very grateful, for example, for the second edition of Sokoloff’s Syriac Lexicon. An indispensable tool!"


Nathan Witkamp currently is pursuing his PhD at Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven (Belgium). The theme of his research is “A Critical Comparison of the Baptismal Rites of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Narsai of Nisibis.” Nathan and his wife live in the Netherlands and have one child.





Conference Report: Middle Eastern Studies Association's Annual Meeting (MESA) 1-4 December 2011, Washington, DC

Hoda Mitwally, GP's Editorial & Acquisitions Assistant, shares the following report:

As any student, scholar, or self-professed junkie of Middle Eastern Studies will tell you, MESA is the highlight of every autumn. It is a time to see old friends, connect with new colleagues, explore fascinating new scholarship in the field, and of course, splurge at the fantastic book exhibit. This was my third consecutive MESA, but my first time attending as an official representative of Gorgias Press. The mood at this year's conference was especially abuzz with the many exciting transformations happening in the Arab world, with numerous papers, panels, and round-table discussions delving into these topics.

George, Christine, and I left for DC hoping that this year's MESA would be an opportunity to expand Gorgias' horizons in the field of modern Middle Eastern Studies. We certainly weren't expecting to be welcomed so warmly by new faces, to meet many brilliant prospective authors and collaborators, or even to sell out of nearly our entire conference stock! Our most popular titles were James T. Monroe's Hispano-Arabic Poetry: A Student Anthology, the long-awaited Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage and various titles from our Analecta Isisiana (Ottoman and Turkish Studies) series.

Even in times of great stress like conferences, I know I can always count on the Gorgias family's khiffat dam (an Arabic idiom literally meaning "light-blooded-ness;" figuratively "lightheartedness/good humor") to help us handle things in high spirits. Whether it was unexpectedly losing my voice for much of the conference, or Sebastian Kenoro Kiraz's charming sales pitches to passerbys (see picture below), or mine and George's fruitless search for DC's best kunafa, MESA 2011 was truly an unforgettable experience overall. Thank you to everyone who helped make it the success that it turned out to be. Until MESA 2012 in Colorado, best wishes to all and Happy New Year!

(Pictured above: Sebastian Kenoro Kiraz managing the Gorgias booth at MESA.



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