Happy July, Gorgiasians! It has been a beautiful, pleasant summer in New Jersey so far with warm and sunny weather and low humidity... just the right weather to be sitting outside on your porch - or better yet, by the beach - with a book. We have a lot in store for you in this issue of eGorgias, so read on for fun and exciting news on all things Gorgias.
We are undergoing a number of changes at Gorgias, not least of which is our recent debut on YouTube! That's right, friends: Gorgias Press is taking the world of social media by storm! Our first video is on "The Making of the Antioch Bible." I also am pleased to introduce the newest member of our staff team, Jad Kaado. You can read more about Jad and watch our first-ever YouTube video in our News section.
We just returned from the American Theological Library Association annual meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. Please see our Conferences section for a report-back from Editorial Assistant Phoebe Youhanna. This month, we will also exhibit at the Syriac Symposium & Christian Arabic Conference in Valletta, Malta and the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting in Amsterdam.
As announced in our June issue, we are proud to introduce you to our 2012 Gorgias Book Grant winners, Timothy B. Sailors and Todd French. You can read more about them in our Enthusiast of the Month section.
Finally, we are very close to reaching our 100th subscriber for our amazing, limited-time only 50%-off Antioch Bible deal. The Antioch Bible is a fresh new idiomatic English translation based on the Aramaic text of the Syriac Peshitta, which is also part of our new Surath Kthob series. Only the first 100 individual subscribers will be able to lock the price of all future volumes at half off the list price (orig. $150/volume, now $75/volume with subscription discount). Hurry and subscribe now!
From the Acquisitions Desk
Enthusiast of the Month
Below is a select list of recent releases. For the complete list, please visit our Just Published page.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0174-6 Cloth, $150 <!-(BiblioPerks™ $135.00)-->
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshi?ta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Childers has translated the Peshi?ta of Matthew, while Kiraz has prepared the Syriac text in the west Syriac script, fully vocalized and pointed. The translation and the Syriac text are presented on facing pages so that both can be studied together. All readers are catered for: those wanting to read the text in English, those wanting to improve their grasp of Syriac by reading the original language along with a translation, and those wanting to focus on a fully vocalized Syriac text.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0155-5 Cloth, $150 <!-(BiblioPerks™ $135.00)-->
This volume is the first in a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Greenberg and Walter have produced an annotated translation of the Peshitta version of the Book of Isaiah, while Kiraz and Bali have edited the Peshitta text. The English translation and the Syriac text are shown on facing pages so that both can be studied together.
ISBN 978-1-60724-814-9 Hardback, $174.5 <!-(BiblioPerks™ $157.05)-->
The Book of the Himyarites, given in Syriac and English translation, deals with the growth of Christianity in Arabia. The introduction provides details about the historical value of the work and its relationship to other related sources.
Here is a select list of forthcoming publications. Click here for a complete list.
Greek and Syriac Miniatures in Jerusalem Hatch presents in this volume seventy-one Greek and Syriac miniatures which he describes and reproduces in beautiful images. These belong to the Byzantine period, most of which were painted in the Second Golden Age. Eight belong to the thirteenth century, but the rest are the works of artists who lived in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. All are religious in character, some being scenes and others portraits. The present volume presents Hatch’s images from 1931 after applying computer digital enhancements to them. The result is lucid. ISBN 978-1-60724-417-2, Hardback, $437.5
The Syntax of Neo-Aramaic: The Jewish Dialect of Zakho This monograph is dedicated to the description of the larger units operating in the Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialect of Zakho: what they are, how they work, what their interrelations are like, etc. ISBN 978-1-60724-048-8, Hardback, $225.55
Issues in Luke-Acts This volume provides an introduction and engagement with the major critical issues in the study of Luke-Acts, from standard historical-critical questions, to theological themes and issues, to its reception history. ISBN 978-1-60724-160-7, Paperback, $95.225
From the acquisitions desk this month I would like to draw attention to three new titles that are in the final stages of production and will be in print soon.
First Came Marriage: The Rabbinic Appropriation of Early Jewish Wedding Ritual by Susan Marks will appear in the Gorgias Dissertations in Jewish Studies series. By combining ritual and historical perspectives Marks provides a new look at practices rejected or highlighted by early rabbis and their successors. She investigates the process by which early Jews married and the various moves they used to minimize, elaborate or codify these practices. By focusing on ritual, we come to reconsider the limitations placed on slaves and mamzerim marrying, laying the groundwork for a fuller understanding of how the rabbis construct citizenship. Other sources alluding to wedding processions and feasts provide an important counterpoint to mishnaic and talmudic texts that do explore wedding customs, revealing the limits of a rabbinic stake in these practices. The earliest rabbis, the Tannaim, emerge as less concerned with weddings than previously thought. Only the later rabbis, the Amoraim, develop an interest in articulating Jewish wedding blessings. These explorations point to the need for new ways of understanding the relationship of rabbis to the larger community, recognizing that other events in neighboring communities might help explain why weddings gradually become meaningful in later rabbinic circles.
New to our Bible in Technology series comes Cantus scriptus: Technologies of Medieval Song: The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age; 2010 Symposium, edited by Lynn Ransom. Scholars from all disciplines are recognizing the value of manuscript studies in their research. The essays collected in this volume, first presented at the 3rd Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age, held November 21-22, 2010, at the University of Pennsylvania and the Free Library of Philadelphia, reflect this trend. Each year, the symposium brings together scholars from around the world and across disciplines to share research related to the study of manuscript books and documents produced before the age of print and to discuss the role of digital technologies in advancing manuscript research. Speakers are invited to address a particular theme and examine the variety of ways in which the inscribed pages of the manuscript book open new windows onto the past. The 2010 symposium, entitled Cantus Scriptus: Technologies of Medieval Song, centered on issues relating to the material presence of that most ephemeral of human expression, music. The papers engaged manuscript evidence in a variety of thoughtful and stimulating ways, demonstrating once again the treasure of information that lies between the covers of a manuscript book.
Finally, I would also like to mention a forthcoming title in our Gorgias Disserations in Early Christian Studies series entitled, Early Christian Attitudes to War, Violence and Military Service by Despina Iosif. The traditional view is that early Christians, prior to Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, were pacifists who stubbornly refused to enlist in the Roman army and engage in warfare, preferring to die rather than betray their beliefs. However, a plethora of literary and archaeological evidence demonstrates that was not usually the case. The majority of early Christians did not find military service or warfare particularly problematic. Christians integrated with the dominant mores of society and that included military service. It is, in fact, possible that Christianity was particularly attractive to those in military service. This study looks to reposition early Christian ethics and the attitude towards war and to bring new understanding to the relationship between military service and Christianity.
Happy reading Gorgiasians!
The Gorgias Acquisitions Department
First Came Marriage: The Rabbinic Appropriation of Early Jewish Wedding Ritual By Susan Marks This study probes the evidence for whether the process by which Jews married mattered and to whom. A comparison of Jewish and other contemporaneous wedding customs reveals a shift in approach between the aloof mishnaic consideration and the prescribed and articulated Jewish wedding blessings in the Babylonian Talmud. ISBN 978-1-59333-585-4, Hardback, $176.8 (BiblioPerks™ $159.12)
ISBN 978-1-61719-056-8, Hardback, $159.25 (BiblioPerks™ $143.33)
Early Christian Attitudes to War, Violence and Military Service By Despina Iosif The early Christians were not of one mind when it came to war, violence and military service. There was a bewildering variety of opinion as to how they understood their place in the world. It seems however that generally they did not stand apart from society; on the contrary, they were happy to integrate and conform and they often accepted war and service in the army as activities which did not raise specific ethical problems. ISBN ISBN_NOT_ASSIGNED_59806, Hardback, $0 (BiblioPerks™ $0.00)
We are pleased to introduce our newest member of the Gorgias Press staff, Jad Kaado!
Jad Kaado is an archaeologist from the University of Toronto. A native of New Jersey, Jad attended Rutgers University for his undergraduate career, where he majored in both Anthropology and Classics. He then attended the University of Toronto to complete his Masters degree in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, with a specialization in Near Eastern Archaeology. Jad’s broad academic interests include Bronze and Iron Age societies of the Levant and Mesopotamia, ancient Near Eastern religions, art history, ceramics, economics (inter and intraregional trade), and epigraphy. He also participated in excavations located in Jordan, Syria, and Southern Turkey. Non-academic pursuits of Jad include reading, writing, traveling, soccer, cinema, live theater/concerts, and museums.
He remarks, “I’m very happy to have joined the staff at Gorgias Press as Production Editor, and am grateful for the positive and academic environment surrounding it. I also look forward to meeting and interacting with current/new scholars during my time here.”
Click here to watch Gorgias Press's YouTube debut video: an interview with George Kiraz on "The Making of the Antioch Bible"! The video is also embedded below:
Rutgers University Libraries partners with Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute to preserve and promote collections on Syriac and Middle Eastern minorities
Gorgias Press sends our congratulations to Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute for the announcement of its recent partnership with Rutgers University Libraries. This partnership will preserve, digitize, and make accessible the Beth Mardutho Research Library's impressive collection of over 30,000 items relating to Syriac and the Middle East.
To read more about this exciting new collaboration, click here!
Check out the Gorgias Press Facebook fan page!
Thanks to you, we now have nearly 500 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!
Gorgias Press sends our congratulations to Timothy Sailors and Todd French, the 2012 winners of the annual Gorgias Press Book Grant for graduate students.
We also extend our congratulations to our runner-ups: Reyhan Durmaz, Rebecca Falcasantos, Virginia LaPorta, Michaela Neulinger, Paul Noorlander, and Ashoor Yousif. Thank you to all who applied.
Timothy B. Sailors has studied biblical studies and early Christian literature at the universities of Notre Dame (M.A.), Cambridge (M.Phil.), Tübingen (Dr.Theol.), and at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (visiting student). He has presented his work at international conferences and published in international and peer-reviewed venues on topics such as the New Testament, Textual Criticism, the Apostolic Fathers, Early Jewish Literature, and Manuscript Studies. With a primary research interest in pre-Nicene Christian literature (in all its varieties), his background in classical and Semitic languages, and the languages of the Christian Orient, has allowed him to consult and utilize primary witnesses to these texts at a number of manuscript collections around the world. He is currently the recipient of a Memorial Stipend from the Catholic Biblical Association of America.
"I am honored to have been chosen to recieve a Gorgias Book Grant."
Todd French is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Religion at Columbia University. Prior to his work at Columbia he studied New Testament at Union Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Church History at Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.M.). Under the direction of John McGuckin, his dissertation focuses on retributive themes in early Byzantine hagiography.
"Having studied Syriac for several years, I have long appreciated the commitment Gorgias Press has made to this important field of literature. I am excited to use this grant to add new volumes to my library."
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.
It was hard to believe I was going to work when I arrived at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch (yes, it’s a mouthful to say) in Scottsdale, Arizona for the annual American Theological Librarian Association (ATLA) conference, where Gorgias Press was exhibiting. Located about 30 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, this desert oasis was the perfect setting for a conference.
During the day, when temperatures outside averaged 109 degrees, attendees and exhibitors alike were meeting downstairs in the cool ballrooms, or at their respective company tables displaying their latest publications and products. At the Gorgias table, I was glad to see that a lot of attendees stopped by to look at our publications. In particular, many were looking for the first two volumes of our new series Surath Kthob. The series is an English translation of the Syriac Peshitta Bible printed alongside the original Syriac, fully pointed and vocalized. Being the first such publications of their kind, it was natural that the first two volumes, Isaiah and Matthew, were like celebrities among the other publications. Other books that were also quite popular included The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage and some titles from our Gorgias Handbooks series. The attendees were all very amiable and friendly and I was very happy to see them at the Gorgias table.
All in all, I thought the conference was a great success both from an exhibitor’s stand point and thanks to the efforts of ATLA staff members who did a phenomenal job organizing the conference. Gorgias Press is really pleased to have been able to participate in this year’s event, and looks forward to exhibiting at ATLA next year.
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Gorgias Press is an independent academic publisher specializing in the history and religion of the Middle East and the larger pre-modern world. We are run by scholars, for scholars, who believe strongly in "Publishing for the Sake of Knowledge."